Kindle Sub-Distributors?

Amazon’s just updated its terms and conditions for the DTP store.  Short version: it just got a little harder to do some things, and they are set to crack down further on infringement in the DTP zone, having first cleansed the Mobipocket ranks–the issue of individuals having one account for resale of Gutenberg titles, and another for unauthorized Harry Potter or whatever, has been addressed.

But I like this line:

5.3.2 Customer Prices. We or our sub-distributors have sole and complete discretion to set the retail price at which your Digital Books are sold through the Program. We or our sub-distributors are solely responsible for processing payments, payment collection, requests for refunds and related customer service, and will have sole ownership and control of all data obtained from customers and prospective customers in connection with the Program.

What are those sub-distributors? In theory, Amazon could allow ebook storefronts such as BoB, Fictionwise, et al to sell Kindle titles to their customers.  Or, perhaps, Random House could just the Kindle feed for its specific books, much like Mobipocket used to let you do.

But I can’t see Amazon doing that… until three minutes or so after Google Editions finally launches.   If Kindle-everywhere does happen, we’re talking final nail in the retail-selling coffin of that stunning success, Epub/Adobe Mobile.

This gets more interesting if Amazon is somewhat selective in deciding which firms get to license their Kindle books.  For example, Amazon could easily reject all the existing players who’ve perpetuated the myth of Epub “openness” in favor of an exclusive deal with an upstart library ebook vendor.

About dmoynihan

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