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Old 07-28-2019, 07:23 PM   #46
pwalker8
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
You make it sound like folks can just whistle up an anti-trust case. Even IF the government would have taken in the case, by the time a verdict is rendered, its way too late from a business perspective.
He's actually correct that folks can just whistle up an anti-trust case, as you put it. The current case of Apple Inc. v. Pepper is an anti-trust case with no government involvement.
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Old 07-28-2019, 11:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
However, the US isn't a common law country. There are some aspects of US law which are common law, but many aspects are not. While it is derived from English law, it branched off in a very different direction.

Citing dissents happens a fair amount in the US, especially as attitudes towards the original decision shift. An example is that when the DC Circuit court upheld the appointment of Mueller, they cited Scalia's dissent in Morrison v Olsen et al. (usually referenced simply as Morrison), a rather famous and influential dissent.

Appellate law in the US is generally focused on the technical aspects which were specifically listed in the appeal as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the trial judge's decision. So saying that a decision was upheld as a way to validate that the decision was correct is misleading. That's simply not the way it works in the US. Appellate courts decide if a specific point of law was correctly applied, not if the case was correctly decided.

Most of the time, when a judgement is overturned, it is returned to the trial court to reconsider keeping in mind the appellate court's clarification of how the law should be applied. No idea how common law countries do appeals.
The US is indeed a common law country, and the doctrine of precedent applies. For instance, Exeter University gives its list of common law countries and the requirements for those with a bachelors degree in law from that university to practice in those other countries here:

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/l...nlawcountries/

The US appellate system and the treatment of dissents in the US is not materially different from most or perhaps even all common law countries. The doctrine of precedent retains its central role in the US. Minority judgements have their role, but they do not represent the law.

The DC circuit court decision you refer to is IN RE: GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION which can be downloaded as a pdf HERE. The only mention of Scalia is here, where Morrison is referred to with the usual syntax naming the majority judges and that Scalia dissented. This is simply the syntax adopted. The reference simply says that Scalia dissented. It does not give any details of the dissent. It does not even tell us whether his dissent related to the particular point. I'm too lazy to look it up, but Scalia may well have agreed on this aspect of the case, and his dissent was on some other point or points. But, if he did dissent on this point, which I expect may be the case, the Court followed the majority decision Here are some relevant extracts:

From first paragraph on Page 8:

Quote:
There, this court recognized that an
independent counsel was an inferior officer because his office
was created pursuant to a regulation and “the Attorney General
may rescind this regulation at any time, thereby abolishing the
Office of Independent Counsel.” Id. at 56; see Morrison, 487
U.S. at 721 (Scalia, J., dissenting).
From final paragraph:

Quote:
Because the Special Counsel is an inferior officer, and the
Deputy Attorney General became the head of the Department
by virtue of becoming the Acting Attorney General as a result
of a vacancy created by the disability of the Attorney General
through recusal on the matter, we hold that Miller’s challenge
to the appointment of the Special Counsel fails. Accordingly,
we affirm the order finding Miller in civil contempt.
A quite unremarkable application of the doctrine of precedent.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:23 AM   #48
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The US is indeed a common law country, and the doctrine of precedent applies. For instance, Exeter University gives its list of common law countries and the requirements for those with a bachelors degree in law from that university to practice in those other countries here:

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/l...nlawcountries/
..
.
No idea what definition of common law you are using, but the definition of common law that I'm familiar with is

"the part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. Often contrasted with statutory law."

The US is for the most part a statutory law country, i.e. the law is defined by the legislature, not a common law, i.e. the law is defined by custom and judicial precedent. Judges may decide what a statute means and how to apply it, but in general they don't make it up whole cloth (there are exceptions).

There are some aspects of US law which is common law (tort law as an example), and yes US judges do looks at precedents to decide what a law means. However, it is also common for the legislature to clarify the law when a judge interprets the law in a, shall we say, unexpected manner.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:16 AM   #49
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One of the things that the publishers may be ignoring is the fact that library ebook usage is larger now because of the increase in baby boomers who are retiring. They have endless patience because of a lifetime of practice after raising kids. This change isn't going to drive them to the ebookstore given that their funds are reduced. I know quite a few people older than me that have stopped buying books and gone to the library instead because the cost of living for a retired person is pretty high.

Last edited by Tarana; 07-29-2019 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:19 PM   #50
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One of the things that the publishers may be ignoring is the fact that library ebook usage is larger now because of the increase in baby boomers who are retiring. They have endless patience because of a lifetime of practice after raising kids. This change isn't going to drive them to the ebookstore given that their funds are reduced.
Endless patience and fixed income. More time than money.
To those folks, waiting three to four months is an easy trade off against $13.
Especially when BAEN ebooks run $5, indie SF ebooks run $3-5, and Kindle Unlimited or Scribd run $10 a month. One read vs 3-10? Hmmm...
(Or pay for a month of Netflix or Hulu or Prime. Better TV options also depress book buying.)

There is more to the decision than just library pricing. Squeezing libraries into not stocking their ebooks won't suddenly make people spend money they don't have or have better uses for.

You can't eat your cake and have it too; you either go high price/low volume or low price/high volume.

At a time when video, gaming, and ebook subscriptions are drastically dropping the cost of enter (typically around $10) fighting for high prices while complaining of reduced volumes is ignoring reality. If you want high prices, accept the consequences.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:16 PM   #51
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Not a fan of this "windowing" technique.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/e-books...?mod=flipboard


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The article is behind a paywall for me (now.). It wasn't before and I thought I read that MacMillan was going to let libraries buy as many 2 year licenses for $60 but could only buy 1 license that lasts "forever"?

Seems as though this may work for smaller libraries initially: they could band together and some libraries could buy the $30 license and allow other libraries to borrow them?
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:52 PM   #52
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There is more to the decision than just library pricing. Squeezing libraries into not stocking their ebooks won't suddenly make people spend money they don't have or have better uses for.

You can't eat your cake and have it too; you either go high price/low volume or low price/high volume.
That's the rub, yes? There is a relationship between price and consumption. So many seem to think these publishers have no clue about this reality.

Given the success of ebooks at the "new book" price of $14.99....hasn't brought about the collapse of the Big 5 that some folks here thought would happen.

I too used to be a non-book buyer, but very much a book consumer. As a kid, all the books I read came from the library or used books. Occassionally I would be able to buy a paperback....never ever did I buy a "new book" priced hard back.

But just because I didn't....there were many millions of such books sold. All the while, even back then, folks had options to read much cheaper options than the new release price.

Amazon wanted to set the new book price at $9.99. Well, of COURSE that was a popular idea for most anyone except the publishers. After the shakeout...the publishers have set the new book price at $14.99 for the ebook version and $17.99 (or thereabouts) for the hard back. It's still cheaper than the original "new book window" price. This notion that nobody is going to pay $14.99 when they used to pay $20-$25 is silly.

As it relates to libraries...the new difficulty for the publishers is that it's now "frictionless" to borrow an ebook. So frictionless that people who BEFORE would buy a book now borrow it from the library. This is in addition to all the library using folks who were never paying the new book price.

Just as the publishers weren't going to let Amazon devalue the new book price, they aren't going to allow libraries to set the value to zero.

Libraries will adjust.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:13 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
...

Amazon wanted to set the new book price at $9.99. Well, of COURSE that was a popular idea for most anyone except the publishers. After the shakeout...the publishers have set the new book price at $14.99 for the ebook version and $17.99 (or thereabouts) for the hard back. It's still cheaper than the original "new book window" price. This notion that nobody is going to pay $14.99 when they used to pay $20-$25 is silly.

...
It's always hard to quote pricing (I assume you live in the U.S.), but looking at NY times best seller list (hardbacks), the hard backs are all priced at <$14 (I stopped looking after the top 4), and the ebooks are more expensive than the hardbacks (prices are from Amazon).
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:39 PM   #54
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Amazon wanted to set the new book price at $9.99. Well, of COURSE that was a popular idea for most anyone except the publishers. After the shakeout...the publishers have set the new book price at $14.99 for the ebook version and $17.99 (or thereabouts) for the hard back. It's still cheaper than the original "new book window" price. This notion that nobody is going to pay $14.99 when they used to pay $20-$25 is silly.
Yes, the publishers colluded with Apple to raise the price of eBooks, even though eBooks are much, much cheaper to produce and distribute. And, when paperback books come out, eBooks don't drop in price. So, at the urging of Apple the publishers conspired to raise their profit margins through collusion. That's Apple's modus operandi, higher net profits per unit. But, as Apple has also found with iPad and iPhone sales, higher net profit margins don't guarantee higher sales or a larger chunk of the market share. And, apparently, some of the publishers have figured this out and are lowering their eBook prices (in addition to putting limits on selling of eBooks to libraries) in an attempt to curtail borrowing. In other words, their original greed has turned around and bit them on their hind-ends.

Also they've managed to create more independent competition and, what is probably more frightening to the big publishers, big authors are now starting to leave their fold. See the thread about Koontz (and others) moving to Amazon Publishing.

Again, the big publishers could have kept both high sales and high profit margins (and kept their established authors). But they allowed to Apple lure them with dreams of higher levels of net profit. And now one of the costs is that more and more people are borrowing new releases (instead of buying them).

Gee, nobody could see that coming. Well, at least no one not short-circuited by greed.
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:39 PM   #55
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Given the success of ebooks at the "new book" price of $14.99....hasn't brought about the collapse of the Big 5 that some folks here thought would happen.
Well, the trade book portion of the market has grown steadily, though not spectacularly, since Agency Part Deux while the BPHs have in aggregate stayed at around 1% a year, before adjusting for inflation. After factoring in inflation they are declining just a bit more each year.

It's not exactly high praise that they're not dead yet.
They're not exactly prospering, either.

As for the libraries they should say no.
Save the money going to MacMillan for other publishers or services.

There is no law saying MacMillan has to sell anything to libraries nor are libraries required to carry their books at all. If they (either side) feel so abused, just walk away.

Making a big noise just to cave in at the end is demeaning.

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-29-2019 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:02 PM   #56
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As for the libraries they should say no.
Save the money going to MacMillan for other publishers or services.

There is no law saying MacMillan has to sell anything to libraries nor are libraries required to carry their books at all. If they (either side) feel so abused, just walk away.

Making a big noise just to cave in at the end is demeaning.
Could be part of their thought process is to make noise in the hopes that their visitors will be more likely to blame the publishers when the library doesn't have the products they want.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:20 PM   #57
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As for the libraries they should say no.
Save the money going to MacMillan for other publishers or services.
They're probably stuck between the demands of publishers and the demands of patrons.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:21 PM   #58
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I'm all for windowing if it lessens the financial burdens on libraries. I'm reading books from years ago so if a book isn't available at a library for 3 months or so then that's fine with me.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:47 PM   #59
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No idea what definition of common law you are using, but the definition of common law that I'm familiar with is

"the part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. Often contrasted with statutory law."

The US is for the most part a statutory law country, i.e. the law is defined by the legislature, not a common law, i.e. the law is defined by custom and judicial precedent. Judges may decide what a statute means and how to apply it, but in general they don't make it up whole cloth (there are exceptions).

There are some aspects of US law which is common law (tort law as an example), and yes US judges do looks at precedents to decide what a law means. However, it is also common for the legislature to clarify the law when a judge interprets the law in a, shall we say, unexpected manner.
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...784f4/download
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:13 PM   #60
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Raise the price? It was Amazon that artificially lowered the price below wholesale. All book sellers put books on sale to bring in traffic. Amazon put the entire NYT's best seller list on permanent below wholesale sale. It was SUCH a deal that it was worth paying $400 for the Kindle reading devices.

The publishers SHOULD have launched a lawsuit. As such, Amazon's actions have merely gone without judgement.
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