Amazon, Big-Six Publishers Sued Over DRM

lawsuitThree indie bookstores are suing Amazon and the six largest U.S. publishers over what they say is an anti-competitive issue. They allege in a lawsuit filed in New York late last week that the digital rights management software that the publishers and Amazon use to protect their ebooks from piracy limits competition and has squeezed them out of the ebook business.
As Pub Lunch has pointed out, the suit names no other publishers and is only filed by three indie bookstores which said, through their counsel, that this is a serious suit and that they filed it thinking they could win.
Aside from that indie bookstores have been able to sell ebooks through Google and Kobo, to name two sources, it’s unclear that Amazon’s DRM is the reason the business hasn’t taken off for them. Outside of the concept of DRM, Amazon and other players have a strong infrastructure to sell ebooks; indie bookstores don’t at this point, even with the Google and Kobo partnerships. That’s just naming one major disadvantage.
On the question of DRM, many publishing digirati are against it, saying it limits readers from doing what they want with the ebooks they buy and doesn’t stop piracy; however, there are other stakeholders. Authors, for instance, are fairly pro-DRM.

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The rest of the day’s top news:
Random-Penguin, Libraries and Ebooks (DBW)
How will the Random-Penguin mega-merger affect the state of ebooks in libraries? According to the American Library Association, it could be a good thing – if the new company offers libraries a choice when purchasing ebooks.
No Macmillan Discounting…Yet; Where Will Ebook Prices Go? (DBW)
Despite being given permission by the U.S. Justice Department, retailers apparently haven’t started discounting Macmillan ebooks. Meanwhile, the average price of a best-selling ebook is at an all-time low. What will happen when Macmillan books are discounted?
Amazon’s Ebook Borrowing Push (PW)
Amazon has increased the payouts for those publishers and authors who participate in its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to a minimum of $1.5 million per month, upping the amount of money paid out per book.
Audible Now on the iPad (DBW)
In addition to launching a new iPad app, Amazon’s Audible audio-book play spruced up its iPhone app.
Sesame Joins Forces With Kindle (DBW)
Sesame Street has launched its first Kindle Fire app and it is adding its content to the FreeTime Unlimited platform, an Amazon subscription play aimed at kids.
Amazon’s Next Move: RadioShack? (QZ)
One quick way that Amazon could establish the physical retail presence that it seems after is to buy RadioShack, the beleaguered electronics chain, according to one journalist.
Building and Distributing Beautiful Content (DBW)
Illustrated ebooks haven’t taken off yet as a meaningful business for many publishers. Perhaps the reason is that the products haven’t impressed the market yet; or that they aren’t being discovered the right way. Join Digital Book World and Inkling for a free webcast on how to build and distribute beautiful interactive content. Register now!
Ingram Launches Journal Print-on-Demand (PW)
Ingram has launched a print-on-demand program for journals that the company says will “reshape the traditional supply chain.”
Incubators for Hot Ed Tech Space (Pub Lunch)
Educational technology is a hot space for start-ups with publishers, educators and regulators believing that the future of education hasn’t been scoped out yet but that it’s digital. Pearson and Kaplan have launched educational technology incubators.  
Ebooks and Start-ups: Join the Conversation! (DBW)
Our recent posts on which start-ups will live and which will die in ebooks and digital publishing have sparked a debate. Join the conversation!

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