Here's a round-up of what other insiders are saying about the Amazon/Macmillan dust-up. (Almost all ellipses are mine):
They're both playing hardball. That said, I think this particular negotiating tactic of Amazon's makes it look worse than Macmillan in the short term, and certainly will make other Amazon partner wary in the long term.Also, Scalzi explains why Amazon threw the switch on a Friday:
As the White House across several administrations knows, Friday is the day to do or say anything you don't want heavily reported in the traditional media or heavily read by traditional media consumers, including on traditional media Web sites ...
Tobias Buckell explains about how books are produced and how ebooks are sold:
Let's take a look at how this particular sausage is made. ... A book is a group undertaking.
... Just like a pill requires research to bring to market, or a jacket requires artists, designers and invention, professionally published books that look slick and readable use the services of a number of different people. ...
C. E. Petit explains how the law affects this (for lo, he is an attorney):
Macmillan's position depends fundamentally on assuming full ownership and control of not just the rights actually transferred in publishing agreements with the authors, but of a full, unrestricted ownership interest in Macmillan's packaging of the author's intellectual property for market. Crucially, Macmillan could not maintain this position without having oligopoly power to exert — and we'll be returning to that shortly. Nonetheless, most of the blame here goes to Amazon. It's actually fallout from a bad Supreme Court decision a couple of years ago regarding ladies' leather accessories ...
Andrew Wheeler (an Editor And A Gentleman) notices a disturbing parallel:
I haven't seen anyone yet note that this is the second time that Amazon has applied the big hammer of delisting an entire publisher; they tried the same thing to Hachette in the UK almost two years ago. In that case, Amazon was the aggressor — they were attempting to demand higher discounts from Hachette (and their other suppliers) and pursued the delisting to get the publishers to agree to its new, and much more favorable to Amazon, terms.
Your eyes are probably glazing over by now, so I will stop flogging the deceased equine for now, until there's some concrete news to report. Normal LOLcat video service will be resumed shortly.