In one of those pieces I wrote that I had written to my Euro MEP about the problem. I’ve now had a reply and this is it:
“Dear Mr XXXXXXXXXXXX,Unfortunately Catherine bearing also local mandates in Strasbourg, she’s evermore busy during plenary sessions there!However she’s deeply aware of such difficulties, which are indeed related to a fragmented copyright system across Europe, as highlighted by Malcolm. Business models being somewhat different from your “analog” book” to the eBook in terms of which part of the value chain gets what from the price you pay, this is by the way a trickier issue than it may appear, yet of course not unsurmountable. Commission is meant to release legislative proposals soon in 2011, and there are plenty of MEPs willing to make things easier for the European consumers.Kind regards,XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXParliamentary assistant
Bureau parlementaire de Catherine TrautmannAltiero Spinelli 14G20160 rue Wiertz, Bruxelles B-1047Tel +32 (0)2 284 54 25Fax +32 (0)2 284 94 25″
It is reassuring that the European Commission is due to release proposals on this early next year. I will be watching for them and will publicise them here when they do. This letter is also the first time anyone has bothered to tell me that the business model and, in particular, the fact the money I pay for an eBook is allocated in a different way to what happens with a physical book.
One of the retailers who has taken the decision to refuse to sell books to me had the bad manners to write to me offering a deal on an eReader and information about deals on eBooks I cannot buy.
Welcome to the latest eBooks newsletter, XXXXXXX
Until midnight on Sunday 5th December, we have an exclusive online offer on the Elonex 500EB eReader – a real bargain at just £69.99. Get your order in while stocks last. This week we also feature some of this year’s biggest eBooks at great prices, including Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington, and the brilliant Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. There are also great savings on our range of eBooks under £3, and our featured author this week is the fabulous Charlaine Harris.
Happy eReading from Kate at Waterstones.com!”
An email has gone to them pointing out the poor taste they displayed and asking them to remove my name from their mailing list as they refuse to sell eBooks to me.
A Christmas Carol
No, not the Charles Dickens story about Scrooge but the song by the great 1950’s and 1960’s satirist, singer and songwriter Tom Lehrer. (here and wiki) The man who wrote a song about the periodic table and gave it all up to concentrate on teaching mathematics and music theatre.