Three independent bookstores are suing Amazon along with Random House, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan, alleging that confidential agreements between the bookseller and the publishers is keeping them from participating fairly in the eBook marketplace.
The Huffington Post has the story: “The bookstores making the complaint are the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, based in Albany, N.Y., Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., and Posman Books of New York City, though the suit states that these stores are suing on behalf of ‘all independent brick-and-mortar bookstores who sell e-books.’”
The bookstores would like to be able to sell “open-source and DRM-free books” that would be accessible on Kindles and other eReaders. Author Cory Doctorow points out that the complaint misunderstands the term DRM. He writes on BoingBoing: “For some reason, they’re using ‘open source’ as a synonym for ‘standardized’ or ‘interoperable.’ Which is to say, these booksellers don’t really care if the books are DRM-free, they just want them locked up using a DRM that the booksellers can also use…There is no such thing as ‘open source’ DRM.”