That “threat or menace” event I mentioned a while back has come to pass, as reported by Publishers Weekly—New America and Authors United gathering together like mice to complain about that damn cat, and talk about how they asked someone else to bell it for them and have every confidence that if they do, before too long, the cat problem will be a thing of the past—but if not, why, we poor mice will go extinct any day now. There’s a three-hour UStream video I’ve embedded below (thanks to Nate for digging it up!) for anyone who cares to subject themselves to it.
I think that Nate’s and the Publishers Weekly posts and discussion therein about sum it up, as well as the discussion of the PW piece at The Passive Voice. There’s not a lot to change the observations I made in my prior piece, either. They might make a lot of noise, but what actions are they taking? Talking to the Department of Justice? The same DoJ that already investigated Amazon’s practices as part of its lawsuit against Apple and its fellow price-fixers and then took the price-fixers to court instead? Sure, good luck with that.
If Authors United really wants to take Amazon down, why don’t they put their money where their mouth is and file a suit themselves? But then, I suppose taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times is about as far as AU is willing to throw their money around. But they probably know it wouldn’t make much difference if they did, given that antitrust laws are currently interpreted to serve the consumer, not business competitors.
Really, the fact that Authors United is still making noise and trying its largely-ineffective anti-Amazon agit-prop campaign is more newsworthy and certainly more interesting than any of AU’s tired old contentions that don’t get any fresher the more they’re re-aired. They’ve already lost the battle for the public’s hearts and minds. People still love Amazon—in the US, in the UK, and other places—and show no signs of ending the affair. And as long as that’s the case, even the courts probably won’t see much percentage in reining Jeff Bezos’s company in.