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Kindle e-book readers rebel

By / April 7, 2009



Can you stage a virtual protest? About 250 readers of e-books seem to have a found a way to do so.

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In their own version of the Boston Tea Party, instead of dumping merchandise over board, a group of e-book readers are slapping on "boycott" tags on every book offered by Amazon for its Kindle electronic reader that is priced over $9.99.

Their argument, according to Wired, is that, "A Kindle book is more restricted in its use than a paper book and therefore should not cost as much."

"It just doesn't seem right," says Crystal O'Brien, a Connecticut librarian told Wired.

However, as David Carnoy points out on CNET News, Amazon is not the bad guy here.

"[T]he unfortunate fact is that it's really the publishers who are behind the pricing," writes Carnoy. "Amazon isn't gouging the consumer and according to my sources, may barely be breaking even on some bestsellers that cost $10. You only need to look at the price of books in the eBook Store from Sony to get a pretty good idea that Amazon's trimmed its margins pretty close to the bone."

Most readers, however, probably don't care who's to blame. They're only looking at the bottom line.

So their rallying cry may be the same as Carnoy's, who suggests, "[W]e really need to get to $7.99. Who's with me?"

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