Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear DOJ For The Last Time

Several of my correspondents asked me where they could find the Complaint and Request For Relief upon which the public has until June 25th to mail or email comments.

I am transcribing from pages 34 and 35 of the .pdf "e-books_complaint.pdf (49 pages)"


104. To remedy these illegal acts, the United States requests that the Court:

a.     Adjudge and decree that Defendants entered into an unlawful contract, combination, or conspiracy in unreasonable restraint of interstate trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.  (squiggle that I don't have on my keyboard) 1;

b.     Enjoin the Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys and their successors and all other persons acting or claiming to act in active concert or participation with one of more of them, from continuing, maintaining, or renewing in any manner, directly or indirectly, the conduct alleged herein or from engaging in any other conduct, combination, conspiracy, agreement, understanding, plan, program, or other arrangement having the same effect as the alleged violation or that otherwise violates Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. (squiggle that I don't have on my keyboard) 1, through fixing the method and manner in with they sell e-books, or otherwise agreeing to set the price or release date for e-books, or collective negotiation of e-book agreements, or otherwise collectively restraining retail price competition for e-books;

c.      Prohibit the collusive setting of price tiers that can de facto fix prices;

d.      Declare null and void the Apple Agency Agreements and any agreement between a Publisher Defendant and an e-book retailer that restricts, limits, or impedes the e-book retailer's ability to set, alter, or reduce the retail price of any e-book or to offer price or other promotions to encourage consumers to purchase any e-book, or contains a retail price MFB;

e.       Reform the agreements between Apple and Publisher Defendants to strike the retail price MFN clauses as void and unenforceable; and

f.        Award to Plaintiff its costs of this action and such other and further relief as may be appropriate and as the Court may deem just and proper.

In my opinion, every author in America ought to peruse this "Request" and ask himself/herself whether this "relief" punishes the CEOs, or whether it punishes authors.... including authors who were not in a position to benefit from the Agency Pricing during the period covered by the Complaint.

Moreover, authors should ask themselves whether the DOJ is setting a precedent that undermines any copyright owner's right to set the price for their work, and also to exercise or refrain from exercising any aspect of their copyright.

If any aspect of this "REQUEST FOR RELIEF" troubles you, you have until June 25th to write to:

John Read
Chief Litigation III Section
Antitrust Division
US Department of Justice
450 5th Street, NW
Suite 4000
Washington DC 20530
The rights of the copyright holder also permit him/her to not use or exploit their copyright, for some or all of the term."

Extremely interesting old piece about the precedent for copyright that would be set with the Google Book Settlement.

1 comment:

  1. I really agree with the point that you have shared in this article. A interesting and useful article always makes me benefit and get a lot thinking.Bookmark it and recommend to my friends.