The recent end of the US Department of Justice’s anti-trust case against publishers and Apple has ensured that the issue of e-book price fixing and, by extension, the question of fixed book prices a regular spot in the headlines.
The arguments on both sides are forceful. Those against price fixing maintain that if the hallmark of a free market economy is that the price of a product or service is set by demand why should books get special treatment? On the other hand, those against argue that fixed prices are an essential part of ensuring the health of a complex business in which the people who take on the risk of creating, publishing and distributing new books all deserve a decent cut of the money.
This week Publishing Perspectives is soliciting the view of its readers on just this issue. It wants to know whether publishing professionals really are in favour of fixed prices enforced by law, if they oppose them or would rather see a “hybrid system that limits the period of protection”.
It’s an interesting debate which shows all the signs of running on and on. How will you vote?
Publishing Perspectives – Do you favor or oppose fixed book prices?