Monday, December 04, 2006

Did anyone notice the Publishers Weekly announcement today that amazon.com have installed machines to print copies of books 'on demand' in several of their locations - ie warehouses? This means that amazon can make PDF files of existing books, and apparently, print up to several hundred copies of a book. How on earth will authors and publishers know when they are selling a copy? The only way to police this is to not give amazon the authority to scan a book for Look Inside The Book, so that there is no argument. And for publishers to order a copy of any book which they know to be out of stock which becomes mysteriously available...

It's all too much - the simple publisher with a large back list which they faithfully reprint and keep in stock will have to don a policeman's helmet.

Comment?????

3 comments:

Susan Hill said...

Or you could just try trusting amazon. Why assume they wouldn't be honest ? Their very considerable international reputation is on the line here and it would hardly be worth losing for a few copies.

Adrian Weston said...

Indeed, I think amazon are capable of all kinds of sharp things but their business model aint based on theft of intellectual property.

Catheryn said...

Hmm - no, I am not accusing them of theft just opportunism...they sell the American editions of books in the British market openly, available from amazon.co.uk and it takes several efforts at contacting them before this is put right - and then they continue to sell second hand copies etc, which may well come from a wholesaler. And we pay for our rights, of course!