Monday, August 11, 2014

Amazon Goes Orwellian

In the ongoing pricing battle between Amazon and the book publisher/distributor Hachette…that Disney has joined by the by…the two super giants and landing soft blows. But Amazon came out and played the Orwell card, quoting him that when he spoke of the new paperback format Penguin Publishing Group was  using that  if "publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them." Amazon of course was intimating that Hachette is holding onto the old world against the new ebook format.

However, turns out that, in an amazing piece of actual research journalism by the NYT that they found Amazon misquoted Orwell. What he actually said was this "The Penguin Books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if the other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them."

There is some level of irony here. Amazon is trying to corner a market with low prices and uses the master of 1984…a book about totalitarianism . . . to support there thesis, but to do so they had to misquote him.

Can't quite put my finger on it . . . .


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