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November 28, 2008


King Rat

You would think they would give you a cut too.


Ridiculously overpriced. Not that I don't think your blog entries are worth paying for, but I can read them on my cell phone for free. Plus they are more in the nature of a public good.

Really the whole point of blog feeds is that you keep an eye on maybe 30-40 headlines and read the ones that grab your fancy on your commute to work, or in those spare moments on the couch or a coffee shop.
To charge 99cents for the privilige of reading each feed separately is ridiculous.

Sure "it costs them something to send the stuff over their wireless network," but I can't imagine it costs anywhere near 99 cents a month to deliver a few paragraphs of text. Not even 0.99 cents. For reference Amazon S3 services charges about 0.10 cents to move 1 gigabyte of data to their servers and 0.15 cents a month to keep it there. I'd be surprised if the text from ALL of your posts since the beginning of this blog filled up even 1 MB (1/1000th of a gigabyte) particularly as you rarely include graphics.

Way to make yourselves irrelevant Amazon Kindle. Trying to profit like that by gating Dani Rodrik's contribution to the public sphere is a disgrace. Who was the genius in the Sales department who came up with this pricing strategy, and does he even know what an RSS feed is?

No more Amazon Kindle under the tree for me this Xmas season. If you are going to try to pull of pricing strategies like this I can't trust you to find ways to tax me in other ways ex-post.


I'm not an IP lawyer, but for me the question becomes, under what legal scheme is Amazon allowed to profit from your work without giving you compensation? Surely this blog is considered, in some form, to be "public domain" for purposes of citation and reference. But doesn't that change when someone else starts charging people for it?


There is a chance that they are violating your copyright on the material. Current law makes material automatically copyright when created. You don't have to register it as used to be the case.

You do have to register it if you want to pursue a legal claim against a violator or you won't find a lawyer to take the case, but that is for practical, not legal reasons.

"Fair use" probably doesn't cover Amazon's use since they are making a profit off your blog. This is unauthorized commercial use and the law is fairly clear on this.

A note to their legal department stating that you only will allow for free access should produce an interesting reaction.

Lawrence Lessig has a new book out, "Remix", where he discusses the way current copyright law has evolved to do the opposite of what was originally intended.


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Dani, looks like you're getting spammed by a few people (Christine, Young Edward, Rita An).

Incidentally, the copyright note is an interesting one - I wonder if they have a way around it by saying that its a service charge for any RSS feed, rather than specifically tied to your blog? Sending a note along to their legal department if it bothers you (it would bother me) is probably a good idea.


"Way to make yourselves irrelevant Amazon Kindle. Trying to profit like that by gating Dani Rodrik's contribution to the public sphere is a disgrace."



You can publish your book on Kindle at dtp.amazon.com if you hold the digital rights.


Take advantage of THEM by peppering your blogs with ads for AUTOGRAPHED books--exclusively through your website, AND offer 'free' promotional gimmicks (maybe an 'EXCLUSIVE Dani Rodrik official Turkish coffee mug'). Then set up your own distribution network by contracting with hand-picked vendors--bypassing Amazon completely. Throw in a line of 'Signature' Dani Rodrik boxers for the men, and some skimpy lingerie for the ladies (& vice versa, of course, since you wouldn't want to appear sexist). Next you move on to entire lines of 'Dani Designer(tm)' clothing and accesories for both men and women, avoiding sweatshops, of course, since by this point you'll be commanding top dollar for everything you touch. From here on it's cake: skyscrapers, professional ball teams, cable networks, oil tankers, gold and diamond mines--what the heck: buy Stanford and rename it after your kid! In a couple of years, when the depression REALLY sets in, you'll be walking around in top hat and tails like Rockefellar handing out dimes! And, oh, be sure to hand a couple to those BUMS AT AMAZON WHO RIPPED YOU OFF!

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nice discussion, i agree that it is unethical for Amazon to charge people to read your blog on their kindle. I think you wrote a great blog and it is a subject of appreciation, not the less

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I like the Kindle a lot too, but my only complaint is that it's way too expensive. For the Price of $360, I can buy like 35 books!


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