Amazon Hopes You’ll Pay to Read Blogs


By Neal Comment‘s new e-book reader, the Kindle, “looks like a nice toy,” says John Scalzi:

“But I look at it this way: I can pay $400 for an e-book reader, and then pay $7.99 for an electronic copy of a book, or I can just pay $7.99 for the actual book, which requires no expensive intermediary equipment to enjoy, and use that extra $400 to buy 50 more books. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Also: paying for a monthly subscription for newspapers and blogs you can read on the Web for free? That earns a fairly large WTF? from me. But, you know. Whatever makes people happy.”

Scalzi’s not the only one mystified by Amazon’s attempt to charge people for what basically amounts to subscribing to an RSS feed. “Isn’t Kindle‘s blog pricing scheme a violation of copyright?” an anonymous reader asked yesterday, when he noticed that GalleyCat‘s one of the blogs for sale. “Do you get a cut? And if not, isn’t that pretty much the equivalent of reselling your content?” I’m certainly not getting anything from Amazon—I’ve got no stake here beyond my freelance checks—and if is, it hasn’t said anything to the bloggers (other mb blogs like UnBeige and FishbowlNY are also Kindle store offerings). But, yes, even if somebody at Jupitermedia did sign off on this, it does strike me as a case of reselling somebody else’s content—and I’d be very interested to see whether or not any blogs with non-commercial Creative Commons licenses slipped into the Kindle offerings.