By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Amazon outrage of the week

From The Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler:

The tech giant … won’t sell downloadable versions of its more than 10,000 e-books or tens of thousands of audiobooks to libraries. That’s right, for a decade, the company that killed bookstores has been starving the reading institution that cares for kids, the needy and the curious. And that’s turned into a mission-critical problem during a pandemic that cut off physical access to libraries and left a lot of people unable to afford books on their own.

And good for the Post, which, as we all know, is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

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1 Comment

  1. MagellanNH

    Daniel Takash (Niskanen Center & Ordinary Times) just did an interesting article that’s related to this. His piece was in response to the Dr. Suess “cancellation,” but unlike the cancel culture angle many covered, Takash’s piece focuses on copyright law. In addition to covering the difficulty with shortening copyright terms, he also touches on the problem of eroded consumer rights with digital products compared to physical copies.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “The way to address this problem is to formalize digital ownership in our copyright laws. The creation of a “digital first-sale” right wouldn’t help those who stream or license, but it would make legally viable the option for consumers to fully purchase the right to the digital copy of a work, which they could then buy and sell just as they would in the real world. Perzanowski and Schultz suggest this, and while there is an argument to be made that this can be fixed by the courts, there’s no substitute for the certainty provided by legislation.”

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