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Publishers Versus Device Makers

Left_hand_2.gifAs the book publishing industry looks anxiously towards the transition to digital books with a low price point and free “bestsellers,” the magazine industry is also looking to e-readers for salvation.

Over at FishbowlNY, Drew Grant has a thoughtful essay warning magazine publishers against placing too much hope in e-reading devices. Using support from the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Josh Benton, she reminded publishers that device creators don’t always have the best interest of content producers in mind.

Here’s an excerpt from the essay: “Listen up publishers: while you may think more people buying Kindles will lead to more people paying for your content, you’re lacking the crucial piece of evidence that has made the Internet such a Wild West of copyright law. The majority of people have no interest in ever paying for the news. And e-reader manufacturers don’t care whether people buy a subscription to The Wall Street Journal on their devices as much as they care that consumers buy their reader over another company’s.”

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