Books: Charles Stross on publishers, ebooks & Amazon

He thinks the big publisher's obsession with DRM is playing into Amazon's hands and fears for the authorial future.  I think he's mostly right here.  DRM is fool's gold.  Digital distribution of any sort inevitably results in  giving stuff away to people who don't want to pay for it, all DRM accomplishes is to piss off legitimate users who pay for stuff as opposed to those who pirate.  One of the minor, but very real, joys of streaming stuff  is avoiding the seemingly interminable legal warnings and piracy scolding that precede any DVD.  It's ridiculous to pay for a disc and then be heckled by all and sundry about your moral obligation to global entertainment conglomerates.

And as he notes, in this case DRM does nothing but shore up Amazon's budding Kindle monopoly the same way DRM in digital music only shored up Apple's iTunes monopoly.

This from the comment thread I agree with 100%:

I really dislike Amazon -- not least because they've delisted my books three different times now. I don't think they care about the quality of the fiction they sell; what they care about is making money as a retailer, same as WalMart. Fact is, the books are a commodity sourced from a variety of competitive sole traders; if they can force down supplier wages and get the product cheaper, they'll do exactly that (and not lose any sleep over it). And because being a writer is something many people dream about, there are a lot of souls out there who will do it for free if they have to.
I reckon once Amazon break the Big Six, they'll be in a position to make the authors an offer they can't refuse -- Amazon's terms, or the road. And the terms will be a lot less favourable than the current 70% of net that everybody is mesmerized by.

Amazon doesn't give two squirts of piss about anything but their profit margin.  If they think they can make money dominating publishing and screwing authors, that's what they'll do.  Why would they treat writers any better than warehouse workers?

They're the Wal*Mart of the internet- profit above all.

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