Why the protest of authors in the Amazon vs. publishers fight opens a new chapter
August 22, 2014 by ruediger

With the authors stepping into the arena, the current controversy between Amazon and major publishing groups – so far: Hachette and Bonnier – brings into the debate the fundamental quality it deserves. What we are seeing is in fact a watershed moment in the evolution of the digital economy for cultural content.

In an essay, and manifesto, in Perlentaucher (in German), I argue why this is so important, and why 3 lines of action will be needed to maintain a balanced and diverse ecosystem of writing, publishing (plus distribution) and reading:

  • Assure a fair economic context that does NOT play to the advantage of global players against locals (with the new European tax regimes being a good step in the right direction);
  • Reform and adapt copyright to meet today’s cultural consumer practices, by notably introducing a concept of “fair use“, backed up with transparent compensation for authors and other creators of works;
  • Open and encorage not-for-profit environments for the production and dissemination of those works of art and culture that cannot be sustained commercially under today’s circumstances.

A more detailed English summary will follow here.

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