It’s Almost Time To Throw Out Your Books

Fascinating how subscription model for books might lead to further adoption of more open Creative Common’s licenses for books.

TechCrunch

The near-unthinkable has happened. The dinosaurs are finally evolving. The publishing industry’s long war against technology, the future, and its customers may finally be coming to a close.

This week Amazon introduced Kindle MatchBook, “an innovative new program which enables you to offer your Kindle book at a discount when readers purchase your print book,” to quote its email sent to authors. About time, too; but we expect a certain amount of innovation from Amazon. The truly astonishing thing happened on Thursday, when Oyster, a “Netflix for books,” launched — complete with the participation of HarperCollins.

You may not appreciate how epochal this is. HarperCollins is one of the “Big Five” publishers, all of whom until now have fought subscription model tooth and nail. Granted, they’re only making a subset of their titles available, mostly backlist as far as I can tell; but it’s…

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