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Apple E-Book Case: Cure Will Hurt
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jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
8/3/2013 | 1:37:52 PM
re: Apple E-Book Case: Cure Will Hurt
I'm pretty sure I'm missing something here, because my simple brain is having a hard time figuring out what the big deal is about Apple's eBook program: Amazon has had a strangle-hold on the publishing market and has been pushing prices lower and lower, which is generally a good thing -- though not for publishers or authors, like me; Apple comes along and offers an alternative that will help keep some profit in the business for content creators and publishers, but doesn't prevent hem from selling through Amazon or any other channel (yes, there are some catches, like they can't use Apple's software to create content for other platforms, but it wouldn't be compatible anyway). Amazon gets pissy and whines to the DOJ that big, bad Apple is making it hard for them to screw publishers and authors and keep as much money for themselves -- up to 70% in some cases, versus Apple's comparably puny 30% -- because Apple has a monop... Oh! Wait. Apple *doesn't* have a monopoly in the tablet market ... or the phone market ... or the desktop market ... AND Apple is a new player to the book market.

But because Apple is this massively successful company, the government feels it needs to stop them? The government -- our government -- that's doing such a horrendously poor job running the country, suddenly knows how to run the publishing industry so much better ... and they feel compelled to save the ironically-named David in this fight -- Amazon -- from Goliath Apple ... yet they'll be killing publishers and authors who collectively don't have anywhere near the resources of "poor, little Amazon".

All of which raises a question for the DOJ: when your sanctions put book publishers out of business (and their employees out of work) and make it infeasible for authors to make a living creating content, what (new) books do you think Amazon will be selling? There won't be anything in the pipeline, because their won't be any money to be made in the market by anyone except Amazon.

That makes total sense. Of course that's what the government should work towards -- more people out of work, so our economy can continue its death spiral ... or accelerate it.

Apple is no white knight here. I'm not naive, and no one else should be either. Apple wants to make money. But it's plan at least spreads the wealth around to ensure that the folks who make the content that Apple will make money off will continue to make money themselves, so they continue to make new books and thus keep the money machine running for everyone.

If only someone in our government had a clue how to do something -- anything -- that promotes self-sustaining business models, instead of pandering to those who whine the loudest or only seek to take down the successful individuals and corporations that have demonstrated they know how to create products and services that consumers crave.

God forbid our government actually think further ahead than yesterday. We wouldn't actually want it to have an actual long-term goal in mind and a plan to actually get us there. This knee-jerk (emphasis on "jerk") reaction stuff is way more entertaining to watch ... as we all pack up our belongings and move into cardboard boxes in dingy alleys.


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