An article in SlashGear hits some of the high points of the situation concerning e-books vs. paper books and why the big publishers are doing what they are doing.
You might not know that I was a freelancer and managing editor of “Video Store” magazine for several years. This situation with the big publishers is very similar to the history of the sale and rental of movies on videotape. At first, the studios tried to prohibit rental of their movies on tape. The Supreme Court knocked that down with what came to be called the “First Sale Doctrine,” in which it was held that when someone bought something they could do anything they wanted with it (short of outright piracy). But…and it’s a big but…this First Sale Doctrine applied only to movies. Not to music or to books.
Then the movie studios held back the release of movies on tape (and on cable and network television) according to a standard formula. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but tapes were not released until six months or more after the movie hit the big screen.
This window shrank as time went on, however, as the studios found they were making more money from sales of videotapes to video rental stores than from the box office.
Will the same happen in the e-book area?
I address the ebook-sales-delay tactic being used by traditional publishers, as well as well as other points, in today’s article, EBOOK PRICE FIXING: Who Gets Hurt in the End?