Originally Posted by Steve Jordan
Strictly speaking, of course, there's nothing stopping publishers from releasing their e-books in other formats (unless they stupidly signed away their right to do that when they contracted to Amazon). So, if pubs released their e-books in, say, ePub, the war would be on, with e-books, and possibly with readers.
ePub would be GREAT...buuuut...
It sure would be nice to know more details about the electronic rights Amazon has co-opt'd...
Given Amazon's investment in the Kindle's development and buying Mobipocket, I cannot see Amazon signing a deal that would allow a publisher to license other re-sellers for at least the first few years of the agreement.
I really see this as more of a file format war then anything else...kinda like the old Word vs. Wordstar vs. WordPerfect vs. Xywrite...and then there was the first true Windows word processor Ami Pro (now IBM's Word Pro [just a stoopid name])...
It is going to be the file format itself that dictates the market. And right now Amazon is king. Unless publishers can get together with author's such as yourself and others to hammer out the real options I see the whole market as stagnating due to this current single source issue which is developing.
Who knows even Google might have something to say about the issue in the long run...???
But, I am getting the sense that, in my life time, we will not see a decent solution to what is really a simple problem...can you imagine if there were the same controls over something like paper & binding of books? I see an ebook format as no different really.
I imagine it is going to take yet another law on the books to address the restrictions to information access that a single dominant seller can cause.
BTW, I LOVE many aspects of the Kindle and other readers...except the file format issue and the cost of the devices themselves...see I don't buy into the per unit cost of a screen being more that $25-$50, especially WITHOUT a touch screen. But it is the control over the formats the books are available in that makes it all possible.