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Old 06-13-2012, 12:27 PM   #31
DiapDealer
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I would be surprised if many readers submitted a comment. I would expect that the vast majority of comments have come from industry folks. That is the way these things tend to work.
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I think it's down to the fact that a lot of folks BS on the Internet, but don't take the trouble to compose a formal response. That takes a lot of time and energy-which most people don't want to do, since this settlement isn't crucial to their business, the way it would be for an author, a bookseller, or a publisher.
If that's the case; if consumers/readers are welcome participants to this public comment period party—and 150 letters (the vast majority of which are anti-settlement) were all that could be mustered (so far)—then consumers deserve any fleecing that might come their way (real or perceived).
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #32
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Yup. People are fine with discussing it informally but are less likely to post a letter. The reality is that most people don't know where to send the info and are not invested enough to look it up. Most don't know that they can submit a comment.

What is more surprising to me is that more authors have not sent comments. I would have thought that the indie authors would have been more proactive in submitting comments.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:45 PM   #33
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If that's the case; if consumers/readers are welcome participants to this public comment period party—and 150 letters (the vast majority of which are anti-settlement) were all that could be mustered (so far)—then consumers deserve any fleecing that might come their way (real or perceived).
Does that stand for Supreme Court decisions as well? Any one can file a friend of the court brief, amicus briefs I believe they are called, but the vast majority of the time they are filed by interest groups and concerned parties and not private citizens.

Do people deserve what they get when they do not understand the complexity of the legal system and how to go about submitting letters, comments, or briefs? Or is it that people have been not been educated enough on how the Judicial system works to understand that they can do these things?

I know about some of this because I have a PhD in Political Science and have friends who study Judicial Politics. I did not take any classes in that field, I focused on International Relations and Comparative Politics, so am by no means an expert. If I barely understand the process, after many years of specialized training, why would I expect that someone who enjoys reading but has never been a part of a law suit to know what they can and cannot do when a case like this comes up.

I think your expectations are far too high. I would be thrilled if more then half of my students in American Government could name the President of the United States and knew how many states there are in the US. Heck, only 25% of my students knew how many Supreme Court Justices there are and only 10% knew who the Chief Justice is. Asking them to understand how to comment on a Federal Court Case is more then just a small reach.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #34
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I would be thrilled if more then half of my students in American Government could name the President of the United States...
I know, I know... he's that guy from Kenya... right?

I knew my MBA (Master of Banana Arts) would come in handy one day.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:02 PM   #35
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You have spent too much time listening to Donald Trump
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:02 PM   #36
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Yup. People are fine with discussing it informally but are less likely to post a letter. The reality is that most people don't know where to send the info and are not invested enough to look it up. Most don't know that they can submit a comment.

What is more surprising to me is that more authors have not sent comments. I would have thought that the indie authors would have been more proactive in submitting comments.
For indie writers, things aren't clear cut.

1. If retailers can go back to deep discounting of BPH titles, that will cut deeply into indie sales.

2. Right now, Amazon are the indie's friends. Long term, indie writers are Amazon suppliers and if Amazon becomes more dominant, then they can effortlessly squeeze the indies. Consider this scenario :

"I'm sorry, but because of changes in the market, we will have to offer you 50 per cent on royalties instead of 70 per cent. And to participate in the KDP program , you are going to have to give us 150 days' exclusivity, not 90."

If 90% or more of your sales are through Amazon, then your only option is pretty much to smile and bend over.

Indie writers are therefore likely to sit out this one, for the most part. Of course, The Konrath Group is probably going to send a pro-settlement letter. They think that Amazon is unlikely to squeeze them, for whatever reason.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:08 PM   #37
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\Of course, The Konrath Group is probably going to send a pro-settlement letter. They think that Amazon is unlikely to squeeze them, for whatever reason.
They, or at least Konrath himself, already have sent a letter...

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2012/0...er-to-doj.html
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #38
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I'm tired of guesses. I want someone to explain to me in detail, exactly how this comment period works.
So, go find a lawyer, and pay him to explain it to you.


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Are all comments accepted and considered, or are they weighted/combined? Surely it's not a secret.
The DoJ solicits comments per the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, and they are filed in the Federal Register.

The judge in the case will read them, and use that as part of the consideration for whether or not to accept the settlement. The judge can use whatever criterion he/she chooses, within the bounds of the law.


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Because let's face it: if 150 is a lot then it's obviously not a "come one, come all" situation. And if it's not a "come one, come all" situation, how does one make it past the velvet rope?
Most people don't know about it.

And the courts are not supposed to be swayed by public opinion in the same way as an elected representative. Their yardstick ought to be whether the settlement is consistent with the law, and is a minimally acceptable resolution of the issue.

It's also rather rare for a judge to actually overturn a settlement. It does happen, but either the settlement needs to be really egregious, or the judge has to really think there's a notable public benefit to a trial, to nix a settlement.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #39
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It's also rather rare for a judge to actually overturn a settlement. It does happen, but either the settlement needs to be really egregious, or the judge has to really think there's a notable public benefit to a trial, to nix a settlement.
Realistically, I think the court will accept this settlement, with some tweaks.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:28 AM   #40
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If they've agreed with the settlement/what the DoJ are doing, they're not going to have an overwhelming urge to write in. If the DoJ was coming out in favour of publishers, which people disagreed with, I'm sure you'd find a boat load of letters making their way to the DoJ (after a period of internet/paper calls for action).

People tend to react in greater numbers when they disagree with something. In addition, I doubt many people are even aware of the comments period. At best they'll have read headlines in the papers saying ebook prices may fall or amazon may be handed a monopoly or publishers under fire from DoJ (take your pick/make up your own). Either way, I'd be surprised if more than a tiny fraction of those who read about the DoJ case know anything more than a superficial overview and have no idea/nor care about the comments period.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #41
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If that's the case; if consumers/readers are welcome participants to this public comment period party—and 150 letters (the vast majority of which are anti-settlement) were all that could be mustered (so far)—then consumers deserve any fleecing that might come their way (real or perceived).
Absolutely. That is why I just sent an email to the addresses listed above. Basically, I objected to any settlement that allows the defendants to use the Agency method in the future. The Agency method was the result of an illegal collusion between Apple and the publisher defendants. The Agency method is not used to distribute any other format of book.

Music and Video have made the shift to the internet. Books still need to make that shift, and artificial price fixing to supress demand is not the way to go about it.
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