e-Book Pricing Legal Settlement

Neon

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Mar 23, 2008
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#1
Got this email from Amazon today:

Dear Kindle Customer,

We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.

Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here:
www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements

In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.

Thank you for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team
Fucking great news for us book lovers. Not only is there a potential credit coming for us (I've bought something like 25-30 e-Books since I got my Kindle in October 2010), but future prices on e-Books will be lower (I assume by a similar margin described above - between $0.30 and $1.30 per title). Not that eBooks are crazily priced, but still. A big win for consumers.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#2
Too bad I steal most of my Kindle books. I bought one radio consultant book, that's it.
 

ianbobo

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#3
Just got the same email. I've bought tons of books wonder what the credit will be.
 

Creasy Bear

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#4
Too bad I steal most of my Kindle books. I bought one radio consultant book, that's it.
How do you steal a Kindle book? Not that I ever would... me being made of strong moral fiber and a paragon of virtue and all.
 

Atomic Fireball

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Jul 26, 2005
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#6
Benefits from an Attorney General E-books Settlement Fund

Para una notificación en Español, llamar o visitar nuestro website.

Records indicate that you are eligible for a payment from Settlements reached by the State Attorneys General with E-book publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. The Settlements resolve an antitrust lawsuit about the price of electronic books (“E-books”). Amazon.com has not been sued in this case. It is providing this notice as a service to its customers.

What the Settlements Provide

The Settlements create a $69 million fund for payments to consumers who purchased qualifying E-books from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012. If the Court approves the Settlements, eligible consumers like you will receive automatic credits to your E-reader accounts. The credit can be used on any purchases of E-books or print books. The amount of your payment has been determined based on the qualifying E-book purchases identified by Amazon.com in your E-reader account.

How to Receive your Benefit

Because you are pre-qualified, you do not need to do anything to receive your credit . It will be applied to your account by Amazon.com automatically, and you will receive another email letting you know when it’s available. (If you bought E-books from more than one retailer, you may receive notices with different instructions about whether you will receive a credit or need to file a Claim Form for that retailer. You will have a separate claim for each retailer and you should follow the specific instructions from each one.)

You also have the option to receive a check instead of your credit. You can request a check by calling 1-866-621-4153, or going to the Settlement website listed below, and clicking on the Check Request Option link. Be sure to reference the Settlement ID number found at the bottom of this email. The Settlement website is: www.EBookAGSettlements.com

Your Other Rights

You can choose to exclude yourself from the Settlements and keep your right to sue on your own. If you exclude yourself, you can’t receive any benefits from the Settlements. If you don’t exclude yourself, you can submit objections about the Settlements.

Your written Exclusion Form or objections must be postmarked by December 12, 2012 . Please visit the Settlement website for detailed information on how to submit a valid Exclusion Form or objection.

A separate lawsuit against two other publishers and Apple, Inc. continues and is set for a trial in 2013. Your rights in the separate suit are not affected by any action you take in regards to these Settlements.

The Court will hold a hearing on February 8, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. to consider whether to approve the Settlements. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing.
This is my kind of bilingual message - they put the title in mexican and then say fuck it and write the rest in english.

edit - oops I guess it says go to the website for the beaner version
 

Atomic Fireball

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#8
I've bought about 60 kindle books - twenty dollars here I come!
 
May 24, 2004
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#9
Usenet FTW!

If I had to pay for all the books have/am/will read in the past year alone, I would be out over $800. I've spent about $22 on generic toner to print them and paper is free at Staples.

Enjoy your $20, though.
 

Atomic Fireball

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#10
Usenet FTW!

If I had to pay for all the books have/am/will read in the past year alone, I would be out over $800. I've spent about $22 on generic toner to print them and paper is free at Staples.

Enjoy your $20, though.
Before the advent of the Kindle and apple book store I had amassed 13 gigs of etexts and audio books from usenet (some say you can even get radio shows there). I'm kind of too lazy to transfer them to a tablet or whatever. With the kindle books I can impulse-buy anything and insantly access it on my PC, Ipad, Itouch, Kindle, Kindle Fire, or 110" TV.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#11
Usenet FTW!

If I had to pay for all the books have/am/will read in the past year alone, I would be out over $800. I've spent about $22 on generic toner to print them and paper is free at Staples.

Enjoy your $20, though.
When Usenet was part of an internet package,I used it all the time. What I won't do is pay to steal content. If I'm paying, I'll pay the guy who makes the product.
 

Guilty Spark

It's freeing and refreshing
May 4, 2005
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#12
You can download by foul means 5,000 books in about 5 minutes. I'll never buy a book again.
 

Cunt Smasher

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Aug 26, 2005
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#13
I use the reader app on my phone all the time, I have about 80 books on my SD card. Handy when you have to wait somewhere.
 

NotSoFast

Registered User
Apr 23, 2006
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#15
I've got a Nook from Barnes & Noble. I have only bought about a dozen books for it so far. A lowering of prices is going to be nice, even if it's only about a dollar. I've seen some ebooks that cost more than the printed version.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#16
Not that eBooks are crazily priced,
Yes, they are. Without the cost of publishing, they should be a fraction of the cost of a paperback, not more than one like most of them are. That was the biggest reason I fought getting a Kindle for so long, they are hideously expensive.

Download them illegally.
Or do as I did and have a dude on your bus hand you a flash drive with a gig worth of books on it. I feel guilty every time I read one.
 

Neon

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#17
Yes, they are. Without the cost of publishing, they should be a fraction of the cost of a paperback, not more than one like most of them are. That was the biggest reason I fought getting a Kindle for so long, they are hideously expensive.
They are not more expensive than paperbacks, at least not in NY. Are you talking about online pricing?
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#18
New release E-books are consistently around $9.99 on Amazon. Ebooks should never crack 5 bucks.
 

Neon

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#19
New release E-books are consistently around $9.99 on Amazon. Ebooks should never crack 5 bucks.
I doubt we're going to see that even with this settlement. I'm thinking the best we can hope for is about 7. But I honestly don't mind spending that kind of money on a book. If it wasn't for Kindle I'd be dropping 15-25 bucks on every book I read.
 

Falldog

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#20
I buy physical copies and "acquire" a copy of the eBook. I've seen eBooks cost more than the physical copy which is just fucking insane.
 

Neon

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#21
I buy physical copies and "acquire" a copy of the eBook. I've seen eBooks cost more than the physical copy which is just fucking insane.
That really is insane. I imagine stuff like that is what this lawsuit was all about in the first place. The publishers were artificially keeping ebook prices higher than they should be. You think that extra money went to the authors? :)
 

whiskeyguy

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#22
This is interesting:

There is an interesting article in Money Magazine this month that helps explain it a little bit. They took a bestselling hardcover novel; in this case they took The Associate by John Grisham and broke down what the various costs are. These costs are obviously estimates, and will differ greatly depending on print run but I think it is really interesting to see the basic breakdown.

Based on a list price of $27.95

$3.55 - Pre-preduction - This amount covers editors, graphic designers, and the like
$2.83 - Printing - Ink, glue, paper, etc
$2.00 - Marketing - Book tour, NYT Book Review ad, printing and shipping galleys to journalists
$2.80 - Wholesaler - The take of the middlemen who handle distrobution for publishers
$4.19 - Author Royalties - A bestseller like Grisham will net about 15% in royalties, lesser known authors get less. Also the author will be paying a slice of this pie piece to his agent, publicist, etc.

This leaves $12.58, Money magazine calls this the profit margin for the retailer, however when was the last time you saw a bestselling novel sold at its cover price.

Most books are sold to retailers at X% discount of the cover price by the wholesalers. The size of X pretty much directly corolates with the size of the print run (basic economies of scale), on a bestseller like Mr. Grisham the discount is estimated at about 50%, so we can assume a midlist novel might be 20-30%

From this number take away the consumers discount, as well as staffing, marketing, and rent costs the retailer pays before you get to the actual profit margin.

While it's not exact it does take away some of that "WHAT!?! $30 for a book?" shock I have when browsing my bookstore.
So if you knock out printing costs and wholesale distribution (which ebooks don't need), that's $5.63 for this hardcover book, or 20%. Also this article claims a retail profit margin of 45%, but that's ridiculous, especially for a place like Amazon that probably takes a <5% profit margin on ebooks (especially since there's very little overhead to sell ebooks).

Considering all this, I would think that ebooks should run at least 30% less than the cost of a paperback.
 

LilJimmyRbinson

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Nov 19, 2004
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#23
That is good news. Now if only we can get the digital copy when we buy a physical copy, like with Bluray or CDs.

Was this an Amazon class action or all e-books because I haven't gotten an email like this from BN. We're a Nook household.
 

Neon

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#24
That is good news. Now if only we can get the digital copy when we buy a physical copy, like with Bluray or CDs.

Was this an Amazon class action or all e-books because I haven't gotten an email like this from BN. We're a Nook household.
It was a government lawsuit against book publishers. Amazon has nothing to do with it. I believe it'll be the same for all ebook sellers.
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
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#25
Another reason to "acquire" e-books...

Imagine having every book on your Kindle remotely wiped, with no way to get it back. If you’ve invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars, that may seem frightening, if unlikely. Yet it’s exactly what happened to one Amazon customer in Europe. And even more shockingly, it was apparently the company itself responsible for deleting her library. According to Linn Nygaard, an IT consultant living in Norway, Amazon remotely wiped her Kindle and closed her Amazon account for as yet unspecified violations to its terms of service. It’s frightening evidence that when you buy into an ecosystem built on DRM, while you may own your device, you don’t own the data that lives on it.
Amazon did not return Wired’s call for comment, but it is relatively easy to parse what has happened here. For whatever reason, Nygaard ran afoul of Amazon’s rules. (It seems likely that it was because she was using her Kindle in Norway to buy content licensed in the U.K.) Because of that, Amazon decided to close her account. And here’s the thing, when it does that, it can then revoke the license its customers have bought that allows them to read books. That’s what this controversy is ultimately about: licensing.
You may think you are buying books from Amazon — and it very much encourages that perception with its language and interface that includes elements like “Buy now with 1-Click” — but that’s simply not the case. You are buying a license, not a book. If you read the Kindle Store’s terms of use, it spells out in very certain language that when it comes to Kindle, it is not in the business of selling you books:
Use of Kindle Content. Upon your download of Kindle Content and payment of any applicable fees (including applicable taxes), the Content Provider grants you a non-exclusive right to view, use, and display such Kindle Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Kindle or a Reading Application or as otherwise permitted as part of the Service, solely on the number of Kindles or Supported Devices specified in the Kindle Store, and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Kindle Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider. The Content Provider may include additional terms for use within its Kindle Content. Those terms will also apply, but this Agreement will govern in the event of a conflict. Some Kindle Content, such as Periodicals, may not be available to you through Reading Applications.​
Apple’s iBookstore has similar rules about content licensing, rather than purchasing. It’s buried in iTunes but notes that “The Apple Software enables access to Apple’s iBookstore which permits you to license digital content, such as books (the”Service”).”
In other words, what you are buying is the right to read a book, not the book itself. Amazon is also pretty specific in its rights to cut you off from your books:
Termination. Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Kindle Store and the Kindle Content, and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Kindle Store and the Kindle Content without refund of any fees. Amazon’s failure to insist upon or enforce your strict compliance with this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of any of its rights.​
And here’s the thing: What you don’t own, you don’t control. And anything protected by DRM is fundamentally not yours. This is an old argument, one that has been around so long it is almost quaint. But it is as true as ever.
Amazon has built an amazing content-delivery system that is remarkably easy to use. If that is all that matters to you, go ahead and download that Kindle Book. But don’t be surprised when Jeff Bezos comes for your library in the night.
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012...of-customers-kindle-highlights-perils-of-drm/