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Pornification of Book Publishing

When Free Becomes Too Much to Pay for a Good Book

By Attorney Lloyd J. Jassin


Infused with serious literary value

If internet porn is free, what makes you think readers will continue to pay for eBooks?  The value proposition is just not there.

The question you can't escape is, can digital books support a cold type based publishing model and the tremendous overhead associated with it?

Publishing's mask of respectability is about to be compromised by a new metric of author and publisher success. Advertising.  It's not about eBook reading devices, it's about monetizing eBook readers.  Amazon is poised and ready, as evidenced by their willingness to build a business by selling eBooks below what they paid for them to obtain your customer data and earn your loyalty.  Google is ready, too.  Free works for Amazon and Google.  Unlike trade publishing, they are data driven.

If the business model truly shifts from owning books to accessing them via an online subscription service, what's the real cost readers pay for free (or low cost) content?   The answer is obvious, their  privacy.   A chilling thought for some.  For others, waiving their right to privacy is a fair trade for a better shopping experience.   Does "free" jeopardize our freedom to read?   The "p" in "pbook" stands for privacy.   As copyright law wanes, privacy law will take center stage.

Time to rethink the business model.  

First Amendment Disclaimer.   If Nympho Librarian appeals to your prurient interests, and you find it patently offensive, you are very confused.  Arguably, it has serious literary, artistic and political (but scant scientific) value.   So, with all due respect to your feelings, and in light of the First Amendment (the patron saint of bad taste and novel ideas), leave us alone. 



 


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DISCLAIMER: This article discusses general legal issues of interest and is not designed to give any specific legal advice pertaining to any specific circumstances. It is important that professional legal advice be obtained before acting upon any of the information contained in this article.

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Co-author of The Copyright Permission & Libel Handbook (John Wiley & Sons)


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