Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My short, open letter to the Department of Justice


Department of Justice,

Good evening.  My name is Jason Frost and I am a proud manager of an independent bookstore in Bakersfield, CA.  I just want to make my feelings known about your lawsuit against the major publishers, and I’ll try not to be repetitive to what you’ve already heard.  I don’t see how you can call the agency model “price fixing”.  The major publisher put that in place to keep Amazon from devaluing eBooks like they do everything else.  Amazon is the one making their own rules and using underhanded tactics to force everyone to fall in line.  As an independent bookstore we are already unable to compete with the deep discounts they place on books, and if allowed to proceed they will make it impossible for me to compete in the eBook market as well.

How you can allow Amazon to successfully make their argument that having a FAIR price for eBooks is beyond me.  The only thing they want to do is what they always do, treat books, authors, and publishers like toilet paper and only as a means to an end.  As a book seller that turns my stomach, and a member of society that scares me.  Books are not only intellectual property but they are financial property to all who write and who rely on those who write, for a living.  Your lawsuit puts both of those in jeopardy.  Why can’t you see past the smoke and mirrors that Amazon is throwing up?  Why can’t you see the bigger picture?  Amazon does not own the publishing world and they should not be allowed to make the rules.  Their childlike and baseless tantrums should be ignored with the same temperance in which it was given.

Forcing publishers to bow to this lawsuit is only going to hurt the publishing would and the only company, the ONLY company that is going to benefit is Amazon.  Why does a company that, by their own actions and history, devalues books get to set the rules for those who don’t?  Everything about this lawsuit is backwards and I only hope that you can see the logic in letting the entities that create the work; authors, publishers, editors, proofreaders, and others on the food chain, place a fair price on a product for which they own, and work.  Letting one company run rip shod to get a product only for them to turn around and practically give it away  is not only a bad idea.  It’s a bad idea wrapped in a mistake, stuffed with failure. 

Thank  you for your time,
Jason Frost

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