Sunday, August 2, 2009

Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and Jeff Bezos walk into a bar. and good news for Print.

What a week! Some bonehead lawyer stampedes my people to do what they could do not what they should do. And nobody thought to call me! Now I have to deal with this bs instead of focusing on KindleX and reinventing college textbooks.

Tell me about it. Years of meetings and meetings with the music publishers. The writing was on the wall and all they knew how to do was call the lawyers and sue kids. What is their problem? There are so many better ways to make money then charging for words.

I'm so glad we're not in the selling words business. Getting down in the mud with IP protectors is such a time sink. We took a run at last year. What a mess!

Can't wait to go live with Android for the phone screen, Chrome OS for the computer and if the printers can calm down, we'll have the paper piece in place. The engineers are putting the final touches on delivering those non IP books in college libraries. And the printers have their big show in Chicago in October. I'm hearing all kinds of interesting stuff about marginal costs per page and delivery times.

Jeff: I know what you mean. My folks are working overtime on scaling the contextual advertising machine for books. The faster we get to that, the faster we can get books for free-to-the-user.

Eric: Yup. That's been working for us on the web. I can't see why it wouldn't work in Print. Jeff, I 'm sorry we had to steal the guy who did the patent application for you. But you know what they say about love/war.

Jeff: No problem. Besides I know more about books and words in print then you do. Plus my recommendation engine at the site can get into the market faster than you. It should be an interesting game.

Steve: So how long do you think it's going to take to get to Ap Store for content? Those newspaper people are so stressed. And the printers? Yikes. Their are still lots of them thinking the sky is falling. There's a lot of people out there who need this to happen sooner, rather than later.

Jeff: It should be pretty soon. But the publishers are driving me nuts. I can't wait until I get to critical mass of writers/ journalists/academics. The folks at Flat World Knowledge seem to have it close to right for college textbooks. But, I still haven't seen a K -12 textbook model I can trust.

Eric and Steve: Good luck!
As they finish up the buyer from WalMart drops by.

Ms WalMart buyer: Hi guys. I'm still waiting to test testing the revenue per square foot for books on demand and hyper local versioned clickable newspapers.
A crowd starts gathering. Starbucks, Costco, Staples are in the lead, followed close behind by school board members, followed close behind by public health officials and local community start ups.

All: Me too!
Commotion ensues.

Yes. It is true that America is a litigious culture.
On the other hand, Amazon has little choice when selling IP protected words. IP is only defensible by the skill of various lawyers and the depth of available pockets

My bet this whole kerfuffle started with lawyers in the first place. The decision to resolve it at Amazon was probably made by lawyers and IT people. Jeff probably didn't find out about it until after the fact. When he did, he immediately said it was "stupid and thoughtless."

"Stupid and thoughtless" is the ever present danger to every CEO in the world. Consider the recent flap in Boston with Gates and the cop.

Maybe Bezos will invite the kid to a local Starbucks, give him a lifetime pass to buy books at Amazon. The drama might pass and Amazon could turn a lemon into lemonade.

Meanwhile, the ensuing blablabla can only help printers, so bad for Jeff Bezos may be good for Print.

Amazon in court over Orwell Kindle deletions
"A Michigan high school student has demanded recompense for Amazon's sudden snatch-back of his copy of George Orwell's 1984.

The US District Court suit said: 'With an uncanny knack for irony, Amazon recently remotely deleted any traces of certain electronic copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from customers' Kindles and iPhones, thereby sending these books down Orwell's so-called 'memory hole.'

The student, Justin Gawronski, said his notes on the electronic copy of 1984 were now useless as they referred to different sections in other copies of the book.

Real books
His lawsuit drew comparisons with 'real' books, saying: 'Amazon has no more right to delete e-books from consumers' Kindles and iPhones than it does to retrieve from its customers' homes paper books it sells and ships to consumers.'

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has already apologised for the move, calling it 'stupid and thoughtless.'"

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