While Molly O’Neill and I work on our final installment of our middle grade conversation (we keep getting derailed by work), I thought I’d take a moment to link you to a debate I participated in on the recent DoJ lawsuit against Apple and five publishers. This is an important case, and one that is going to have a significant impact on book publishing for years to come, considering the terms of the settlement.  Shelf Awareness did what I thought was the best overview of the situation, which you can find here.

Before you read the debate, I want to preface it by saying this: I can’t comment on any of the legal issues surrounding the DOJ’s case against Apple and the Agency 5; I’m not a lawyer.  But as an agent, part of my job is understanding changes in the industry and contextualizing them for my clients.  I’ve been fielding questions from many of them about what the lawsuit and settlement might mean. And if you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve had plenty of thoughts on the issue, so I jumped on the chance when the Huffington Post offered to let me write something on the matter. I do hope I can change some minds.

4 Responses to Justice?

  1. Good debate, Michael, but not commenting on the legal component ignores the single most important aspect of the case. There is nothing wrong with the agency model. What is wrong is that Apple and the Agency 5 CONSPIRED to implement it. Apple and the Agency 5 could’ve created a different model and it still would be illegal because of the collusion. That’s the whole point. If one of the Agency 5 had pursued the model on its own and the others followed suit, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    • Michael says:

      I was only asked to comment on whether or not the lawsuit was good for e-books, so I left the legal issues aside. But here’s a CNET piece about that.


      • I know, Michael, and you did a wonderful job in your commentary and I agreed with what you wrote. It’s simply unfortunate that the Agency 5 went about what they did in an illegal manner because it prevented a beneficial system from being implemented for the next couple of years under the DOJ settlement. The Agency model might rule the day again, but we’ll have to wait.

  2. Kim says:

    Congratulations for changing the most minds. And for providing a good summary of the stakes.

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