I don’t see how the Big Six (OK, Five; Random is still the holdout) of print book publishing think they can get away with the Agency Model they have forced upon everybody.
I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve seen enough government actions growing up (thank you, Ralph Nader!) to see that this entire thing stinks.
It stinks of Restraint of Trade, Price Fixing, and, if stretched — which the Feds really love to do at times — RICO Act violations.
Aside from falling under the purview of the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, since all of this is done by wire and is interstate, I also wonder if the Interstate Commerce Commision would want a piece of this? And doesn’t wire fraud come under the jurisdiction of the FBI and also possibly the US Postal Service?
I know if I had been one of the pioneers in eBook selling and was suddenly told that my agreements were null, void, and would henceforth be told that I couldn’t set my own prices and offer my own discounts to my loyal customers, I’d be screaming bloody murder to the Feds.
And maybe to some State Attorneys General too.
Who will man up and start complaining first?
The question in the headline of this post means you should keep very careful record of eBook purchases, according to Big Six publisher. If any of them fall into the jaws of the law and has to cough up rebates, you’ll be able to prove your place in line.