Kindle disclosure, tough new French copyright law, CNN on e-book piracy, free Kindle books, Apple-ology

image “Amazon could pay for Kindle sales coyness.” That’s the Reuters  headline about Amazon’s refusal so far to disclosure unit numbers despite the feverish hype.

Kindle sales are just just a fraction of Amazon’s revenue, far from a material percentage. But Amazon boosters are certainly talking as as if it could reach that level—one reason why, for ethical reasons if nothing else, I hope that CEO Jeff Bezos will share numbers.

In other news:

–New copyright laws in France will provide not just for fines but also possible suspension of access to the Internet (via Gary Price). So what happens at the household level? Will some children be unable to download books from home because their parents ran afoul of the laws?

–CNN reviews the e-book piracy issue and wisely notes that “some evidence suggests that authors’ and publishers’ claims of damage from illegal piracy may be overstated.” Yes, e-reader owners tend to buy more books.

–But are they always buying? CNet notes that some of the biggest “bestsellers” on the Kindle lists are free. You can find your own freebies there easily enough. As I’m writing this, the top half dozen books on the Kindle list cost zero dollars.  Public domain sites like freekindlebooks.org are another source of Kindle freebies.

–The debate continues among Apple-ologists about whether the expected miracle tablet from Apple will be a multiple-use machine or a dedicated e-book reader. A related issue is whether Apple will promote subscriptions for text or video?

2 Comments on Kindle disclosure, tough new French copyright law, CNN on e-book piracy, free Kindle books, Apple-ology

  1. “some evidence suggests that authors’ and publishers’ claims of damage from illegal piracy may be overstated.”

    Definitely. Now that I can use Kindle for PC, it’s so easy for a non-Kindle user like me to buy and download Amazon books. In fact, I’ve bought 15 ebooks from Amazon in just the past week!

    Only clicks and 5-10 seconds later, I get my ebook. I have never bought that many print books in such a short time from Amazon before. I hate typical l0-15 day book delivery times.

    If people download a pirated ebook, the format and formatting usually suck. It’s probably not the best looking format or a format that fits your ereader.

    Buying ebooks online beats all other ways of getting books, whether pirating, buying print books online, or a bookstore. I definitely would prefer to BUY the nice looking ebook that I can get in 2 clicks and 5 seconds, with no tax or shipping costs. It beats a normal print book that requires shipping and 2 weeks for delivery, plus hassles with your post office if they don’t drop off packages if you are not home.

    Another good reason to buy ebooks is the incredible convenience of moving and storing them. I just moved from the West to East Coast last year, but I left many of my books in my parents’ house. Books tend to take up the most moving boxes and be the heaviest things I move when changing addresses. I forgot some crucial books at my parents’ place, but my mom could not find them after searching for hours. Instead of that hassle, I just bought their ebook versions, even though I owned the print versions.

    I predict more people will do just this—buy ebook versions of print books they already own. And their print books will start gathering dust.

  2. “–New copyright laws in France will provide not just for fines but also possible suspension of access to the Internet (via Gary Price). So what happens at the household level? Will some children be unable to download books from home because their parents ran afoul of the laws?”

    While only the owner (who pays the bill) will be on a blacklist that would prevent him from getting another contract elsewhere, he is also prevented from canceling his current internet plan (so you still have to pay fully, but not be able to get anything else than TV & phone). Since cable and adsl plans actually “lock” a line, yes, that was the whole idea, locking an household out of the internets.

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