Bookseller Restrictions About Competition, Not Culture

Eight years ago, the federal government faced a hot-button cultural policy issue as online retail giant, which was already selling millions of dollars of books to Canadians from its U.S.-based site, sought entry into the Canadian market.  Canadian investment regulations posed a significant barrier, however, since the law required government approval for foreign investment in the book publishing and distribution sectors.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Amazon was ultimately granted a form of non-entry entry.  The company established, but did not set up shop in Canada.  Instead, it outsourced distribution to Canada Post, enabling the government to rule that the company’s plans fell outside the book distribution restrictions. is now well-entrenched in the Canadian e-commerce landscape and seeks to create its own Canadian distribution channel.  The plan requires government approval, which recently led to predictable outcries from the Canadian Booksellers Association.  The CBA wrote to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore – who must decide the issue – to urge him to reject Amazon’s application.  

It argued that Amazon’s entry would "detrimentally affect independent businesses and would raise serious concerns over the protection of our cultural industries. Individual Canadian booksellers have traditionally played a key role in ensuring the promotion of Canadian authors and Canadian culture. These are values that no American retailer could ever purport to understand or promote."

The CBA’s attempt to cloak the issue as a matter of Canadian culture is unsurprising, but Moore should recognize this for what it is – a transparent attempt to hamstring a tough competitor that ultimately hurts the Canadian culture sector.

Evidence of the benefits of major retailers to Canadian culture comes directly from a 2007 Turner-Riggs report commissioned by Canadian Heritage on the Canadian book retail sector.  It pointed to a Quill & Quire study that found that consumers were far more likely to find Canadian titles in the large chains than in smaller independent stores.  

Moreover, a second study of sales from eleven small Canadian literary presses found that online sellers represented the largest source of sales growth, while both chain and independent booksellers experienced relatively static sales.

Neither of these findings should come as much of a surprise.  The scarcity of space in brick and mortar bookstores has long been a key concern for Canadian authors and publishers, who fear that their titles might get squeezed off the shelves.  

Big chain retailers alleviated those concerns to some degree by offering up far more space for titles of all origins (though at a cost of greater reliance on those chains and a weaker bargaining position on commercial terms). Online sellers such as Amazon removed the scarcity concerns altogether, since the number of books the company can offer is unlimited.  

That undoubtedly means more competition, yet it also ensures that fears consumers will be unable to access Canadian titles have disappeared.  Indeed, the report concludes "the visibility of Canadian titles – and Canadians' access to them – in online book retail rose significantly with the launch of and its considerable selection of Canadian- sourced inventory."

In 2000, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage conducted hearings on the Canadian book market.  The resulting report – The Challenge of Change: A Consideration of the Canadian Book Industry – recommended that the government "ensure that no foreign investor is allowed to take over a Canadian firm in the book industry unless credible assurances are made that the investment will increase the availability of Canadian-authored books."

The experience of the past decade has demonstrated that greater retail competition does increase the availability of Canadian books. While the book industry may still require support to bring Canadian books to market, restrictions on who may sell or distribute those books represent a harmful barrier from a bygone era.


  1. If you look deeper into the copyright issues at play in most of the debate around reform, you need to also look at the same issue around competition. It’s not just a simple matter of balancing law. There is a lot of spin on a lot of the issues relating to reform, that don’t necessarily reflect what’s happening on the ground accurately which you well know. The question is why? “Why” needs to be asked and answered in this reform process over and over again.

  2. Discount books
    It would be interesting to know how much book companies are being paid by the different sellers, and how much of that is passed on to authors, and what authors think of this.

    I don’t see anywhere (and I didn’t hear yesterday) your thoughts on the potential effects on small booksellers. Is this just not an issue for you? Taking your position to a severe conclusion, would it be fine if I could get every Canadian book ever written through an online distributer but the only jobs in the industry were in huge warehouses?

  3. David Penney says:

    I heard your interview in Q yesterday and completely agree. I am all for protecting what we can of Canadian culture while providing avenues to have that culture brought into our homes. I agree that the arguments against Amazon in this case are being misrepresented as a culture debate. Amazon is already here and I have been able to purchase Canadian authors when local booksellers have been unwilling. Amazon having a distribution network in Canada does not impact our culture. In fact, as you pointed out in the interview, that argument is almost 10 years old. It also demonstrates an example of a foreign company setting up in Canada and working within the Culture regulations. I do regret any loss to local ‘small shop’ booksellers (and I go out of my way to accommodate them when I can) but I encourage the healthy competition with Chapters/Indigo.

  4. Hm
    There are some fairly big Chapters stores around here in Ottawa, and yet everytime I go I fail to find the books I am looking for. Today, I decided to check out – and lo and behold, there they are ! (Canadian written as well – Jack Whyte)

    I fail to see how amazon does not promote Canadians authors, or doesn’t do it as much as the local stores do – when amazon seems to have more Canadian content then the stores themselves.

    And in any case, I don’t see book stores going out of style just because online book shopping comes into play. People like to “window shop”, that’s just the way it is. I myself would only ever resort to online shopping if the local bookstores failed to provide the books I’m looking for – those shipping costs are good incentive to avoid.

  5. strunk&white says:

    Tricky one — does provide “access” to Canadian authored and published books, and can certainly undercut price and shipping costs of any independent based on their long-established scale-efficiency advantage. They even sponsor a popular First Novel Award for Canadian authors. So it looks good on the surface for consumers and authors.

    I’m not sure all of that adds up to a clear incentive to allow Amazon unfettered access to the Canadian market. There’s more to bookselling’s partnership with culture than access and delivery. There is the very active promotion of Canadian cultural business that a true partnership promotes. The Canadian-owned Indigo model, while being outwardly very rah rah on Canada has many harsh critics in the Canadian publising industry because of their deep discounting, high returns and linked promo demands, all of which can be disastrous for tiny Canadian literary operations.

    I think it’s premature to dismiss Canadian bookseller worries over an Amazon branch plant in Canada. As Roy MacSkimming pointed out in the Globe, it could set a cultural avalanche rolling down the mountain.

  6. Books are what Computer parts are nowdays
    Years ago, you had to go to a local shop to get quality computer parts. Now days you can get them anywhere around the world and have them shipped to you, most often for cheaper. Now I just go to the local shops for small parts that I need in a pinch. Looking at the same state that every other physical media is in they have to compete. I go to Chapters and such and buy a lot of books but if something isn’t on the shelves I will order it from where I can. If I am traveling I will order it onlin and have it shipped home. Both distribution methods meet the need but have to be competitive. Personally, I find more books just browsing in Chapters then going to a targets buy at amazon so, I would buy more…

    Anyway, my 2c

  7. StompinObasans says:

    Noncommercial Filesharing and Noncommercial Filesharing link sites declared legal in Spain
    i thought you people would like to look into this :

    “P2P networks are mere conduits for the transmission of data between Internet users, and on this basis they do not infringe rights protected by Intellectual Property laws,” judge declared. Therefore, if an individual uses P2P networks like eDonkey or BitTorrent to obtain copyright material for non-profit reasons, the act is completely legal.

  8. I’m not an Amazon fan but Amazon is a business. If Canadians like to buy Canadian authors then Amazon will promote them with “top selling Canadian” lists on their main page.

    If the government wants to promote Canadian culture they need to figure out what it is first. If they want to help out new Canadian authors they should be setting up annual competitions and promote the winners. It’s exposure that authors need.

  9. @Brenton: no disrespect intended, but if the small booksellers go out of business (the few that remain anyway, given the prevalence of “big box” booksellers such as Chapters) because they don’t adapt to the changing environment, is that a bad thing? There are things that they can do, for instance deal more in niche markets, to adjust to the downturn in the sales of (what I’ll refer to as “pop” books). The difference is they’ll need to adapt not just in the books that they carry, but in the footprint of the customer base. This may in fact mean doing like Amazon and using the Internet as a sales tool.

    @Strunk&White: they way you describe it (and I have no reason to doubt you) is the same as the impact of Walmart on small business in an area and the music industry. But, why should Canadian booksellers be exempt from competition, simply because they are dealing in culture? To my mind, this would imply that Walmart should be prevented from selling books and music in Canada. Business loves to claim that the way to make things better for the consumer is through competition rather than government regulation. Why should businesses that happen to deal in “cultural” works be any different?

  10. strunk&white says:

    A serious question gets a serious answer — you have stated it exactly as I might, though I suspect we still disagree. Culture is not cheap toys at WalMart. Culture is, as has been described in this debate by both booksellers and Dr. Geist, a delicate eco-system, and therefore cultural businesses need a little more regulation to make sure they are not inadvertently destroyed.

    I agree that independent booksellers have work to do to adapt to a changing marketplace. What is being requested is a bit of protection to allow them to adapt and compete. WalMart has long been criticized for predatory, anti-competitive attempts to destroy local businesses — severe discounting not to honour the customer, but to drive competition into the dirt.

    Have a look at some recent Amazon news. Look familar?

    This is a blog that is quick to demand better corporate citizenship from cultural industries. Why not in this instance?

  11. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    Canadians are quite capable of competing internationally.
    This is indeed a thorny topic. If the Canadian government wants to promote culture fine. There are ways to do that as suggested by RJWitmer. Regulation is something else entirely.

    Bookselling is a business. The thing that must be remembered is that business exists to make money, not promote culture. Supporting Canadian business does not ensure that said business will support Canadian culture. The way the biggest Canadian bookseller deliberately sabotaged the Canadian Encyclopedia is a prime example. Business exists to beget business, not culture.

    I myself am not going to cry in my milk over the fate of Canadian booksellers. The good ones will survive because they will serve their market. I love books. As a reader I will continue to support my local bookseller, who is perfectly able to order books they don’t stock for me. What I find Amazon and ABE invaluable for is getting out-of-print books. Books I thought I would never be able to find much less read in my lifetime. I prefer because it certainly seems like anything I buy through is more expensive than if I were to buy it from What’s up with that? Government fingerprints?

    Canadians are a very talented lot. From what I’ve seen, attempts at cultural regulation – interventions like Canadian Content laws — have done Canadian culture more harm than good by forcing many of our most talented to leave Canada. Canadian government regulation has been very good for American culture. Just start adding up the ex-pat Canadian achievements in Hollywood. If the government wants to help Canadian culture, the BEST thing they can do is NOT try to regulate it.

    If governments can manage to keep their paws off the internet, the Canadian Cultural revolution that is happening RIGHT NOW will continue. Because the Internet levels the playing field and makes it possible for independents to dispense with the big media companies. The Internet MUST remain free. Ensuring real Net Neutrality (that is to say NOT President Obama’s doublespeak ACTA version) is the very best thing that the Canadian government can do for Canadian culture.

  12. Michael Geist says:

    Ok John, It ain’t so…
    The Amazon grant was money that came via a court order through a class action settlement. It was used to establish the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic in 2003. Being part of a Cy Pres Fund, Amazon did not oversee or make the award. A court did. There is no conflict and nothing hidden. In fact, look back at my earlier columns criticizing them for the Kindle to see how much influence they have over what I say. None.


  13. Walmart as a business model?
    @Anon-K: Is Walmart the model to follow? That’s distressing.

  14. strunk&white says:

    if that’s good enough for you
    … then I guess it has to be good enough for the rest of us.

    I was under the impression you held folks to a much higher standard in terms of disclosing funding, to avoid even the suggestion of covert influence. Otherwise there’s just too much focus on those kind of cheap politics rather than on the real issues, isn’t there? You might want to be more up-front about that Amazon grant in the future, so no-one starts thinking of you as a lobbyist for an American corporation or something. THAT would be confusing.

    And who is this “John” you are addressing. I don’t remember ever signing off as “John.” Are you perhaps trying to intimidate this John character rather than engage with the issue at hand? Also confusing.

  15. Captain Hook says:

    “And who is this “John” you are addressing. I don’t remember ever signing off as “John.” Are you perhaps trying to intimidate this John character rather than engage with the issue at hand? Also confusing.”

    Teh he. Well duh, of course he is trying to intimidate you whitey. He’s a smart smart fellow, and wants to let you know that he knows who you really are, without telling everybody else… you know…. who you are.

    He’s figuring that the only reason you don’t use your real name is because you don’t want people trolling on your blog the way you troll on this one. The implied threat of course being that he’ll out you.

    Probably not something he’d do to just anybody, which I guess makes you special around here in an odd way. I think it is understandable. I mean come on. You come around here and all you is dig up his property and throw around a lot dirt. I’d get pretty angry at that behaviour too, as I suspect would you, which is why you don’t want anyone to know where you live.

  16. RE: stunk&white
    “I was under the impression you held folks to a much higher standard in terms of disclosing funding, to avoid even the suggestion of covert influence. Otherwise there’s just too much focus on those kind of cheap politics rather than on the real issues, isn’t there? You might want to be more up-front about that Amazon grant in the future, so no-one starts thinking of you as a lobbyist for an American corporation or something. THAT would be confusing”

    This coming from an anonymous troll (though not so anonymous now, Johnny). Hilarious.

  17. strunk&white says:

    I’m not anonymous. I’m pseudonymous, for a good private reason. When that becomes against the rules here, I’ll go away. Until that time, I reserve the right to say what I feel here. Truth to power — it’s all about democracy, isn’t it?

    Or among all the transparency and openness talk around here, are we actually harbouring some secret wish that certain of us did not have freedom of expression?

  18. strunk&white says:

    oh, hook
    Such tough talk from a cowardly pirate. I notice no-one chides you for hiding your brilliant alter-ego. More of that patented fair and balanced treatment one expects over here, clearly.

    It’s amusing that even when you think you have some sort of advantage over me, you can’t manage to get the facts straight. I get idiotic comments at “my place” quite often. Used to get quite a few more of them, but I found that actually ignoring them and being honest about moderation does wonders. I don’t call people trolls or creeps, and I don’t allow others to either, so if you come over, keep it clean. Oh, and try to make sense. I prefer that.

    But please, don’t mistake this for a kindly invitation. I’ve talked to you enough to know for certain that you can add nothing of substance to the understanding of anyone who might visit “my place,”other than to remind them that sloppy rhetoric does indeed continue to exist.

    But wait, wait, on topic please… you have nothing to say about Geist and Amazon. Surely you want to jump to the defence. By the way, I didn’t dig up any dirt — that link is to a magazine, which got it’s information from someone’s blog. Someone who is not me.

    Scary, I know. It’s like I’m everywhere.

  19. Captain Hook says:

    Hey whitey, its not against the rules to be anonymous, but it’s not against the rules for anyone else to remove that cloak either.

    I guess the question is would you be embarrassed if someone removed that dirty snowsuit of yours to reveal who has really been throwing all the mud around here? I’m thinking perhaps you would be. I mean, I’ve seen what you write on your own blog and it is generally a lot less juvenile then what you write here.

  20. Captain Hook says:

    “Such tough talk from a cowardly pirate. I notice no-one chides you for hiding your brilliant alter-ego. More of that patented fair and balanced treatment one expects over here, clearly.”

    LOL, actually to be honest, I’ve been busy all day and haven’t had a chance to follow the link yet, but don’t worry I will.

    And I’ll have you know that I keep this pirate outfit around just for you. I have my regular clothes which you will see me in around here at times. But when you show up I know there is going to be a mess. This outfit is made of 0 teflon, guaranteed to protect the wearer from the mess kicked up by any troll.

  21. strunk&white says:

    Hook — here’s what’s going to happen. You do whatever you want. Clearly you, like Geist, think there’s some sort of intimidation factor involved in threatening to reveal who I am. I couldn’t care less.

    I’ve said before, I keep a pseudonym here for my own private reasons. Tell the world who you think I am am, and I will continue to keep that pseudonym for the same private reasons. I know subtle reasoning is hard for you to follow, but my pseudonym has nothing to do with protecting me from you or anyone else. It’s to avoid confusion between public and private persona.

    Respect that or don’t respect it. As I’ve said — I don’t care what you do. Your choices really only reflect onto you, just as Geist’s failed intimidation didn’t do a whole lot on the respect-o-meter for me.

    You want to argue with strunk&white, have at. You want to argue with who you think strunk&white is good luck. I think it won’t get you very far.

  22. strunk&white says:

    and yikes
    …being called juvenile by a guy in a pirate suit. That just stings.

  23. Captain Hook says:

    strunk&white & mud puddles
    “But wait, wait, on topic please… you have nothing to say about Geist and Amazon. Surely you want to jump to the defence. By the way, I didn’t dig up any dirt — that link is to a magazine, which got it’s information from someone’s blog. Someone who is not me.”

    OK, so now I’ve read it.

    Sure it’s dirt whitey. Someone else may have made it, but you are doing your best to spread it.

    Here is a quote for you from

    “Cy pres (noun) from the French “Cy pres comme possible,” meaning “as near as possible.” Cy pres funds typically result from class action lawsuits when it is either impossible or impractical to distribute the funds directly to the individuals who were injured. In those situations, the court may order that the funds be used for grants to benefit the class members indirectly or as nearly as possible in order to remedy or compensate for the harm to the class members.”

    In this context, how could anyone other than a troll, think that there was any sort of relationship between Amazon and Geist? And what did he not disclose? The CIPPIC website is quite clear about where the money came from. While you might be forgiven for your initial post on the matter, (Though I am sure you search far and wide for any dirt you can lay hand on) The fact that you persist in suggesting there is substance to it demonstrates that you are a troll.

    At least Gannon had the decency to admit he was wrong. You on the other hand continue to sit in that mud puddle throwing dirt bombs.

  24. strunk&white says:

    there’s a good pirate
    I’ve made my point on this, and I stick to it.

    Geist does himself no favours by not being up front about Amazon money in his clinic, however it got there. He wrote a column advocating for Amazon’s business intentions and interests. He absolutely has a right to his opinion, as does everyone else in this and the copyright debate, and if there is no conflict whatsoever with his having founded a clinic using money from, he should have said so. Disclosure, it’s that simple.

    I’m not saying he’s dirty. I’m saying he messed up. And I find more than a hint of irony in the situation considering how quickly everyone over here starts dismissing opponents opinions based on where their money comes from. Geist is entitled to his Amazon money, and to his favourable opinion about Amazon, and the two need not be related. I believe that.

    His explanation of the money that was used to found his clinic was just fine (but thanks for doing that professional legal research for us all). My point is that his explanation about the Amazon money he received would have been more effective at the front of his Law Bytes column, rather than after the fact in the comments section of his blog. It’s pretty standard journalistic practice.

    Anyway, that was my initial point about Michael Geist and previous funding from which was used to found his legal clinic. Thanks for providing me with the opportunity to clear it up in case it wasn’t apparent to you.

    And interestingly, the repeated accusation that someone slings mud is, technically, mud-slinging. It’s one of the great ironies of debate.

  25. James Blair says:

    Your opponent in this debate was nothing short of brutal.

    First, the Colorado example he cites with affiliates was a tax-issue first-and-foremost. Colorado wanted a slice of Amazon’s retail income, so they tried to argue that affiliates (websites that pass traffic to Amazon) are an extension of Amazon arguing therefore that the retailer had a local presence in Colorado (and would thus be subject to collecting and paying tax on products sold). Jeff Bezos, and Amazon overall, has been clear on it’s intent: drive down prices, drive up shipping speeds, and create an ever-growing selection. Clearly having the residents of Colorado be taxed doesn’t help drive down prices — it helps state-government grow revenue. Equally, since all the affiliates are virtual, it’s near-trivial for them to set up entities in another state (Delaware is a no-brainer) and continue business-as-usual.

    Second, I’m not clear how Amazon entering Canada suddenly creates an overnight monopoly. I -am- clear on how keeping competition down -does- create monopolies (or, at least oligopolies). We have plenty of evidence of that — look no further (as Michael does in the debate) to the wireless industry. As a Canadian in the technology industry, I’m embarassed.

    Third, Michael’s opponent asked “if it’s been so successful, why not keep it as is?”. My friend, that’s an easy one — efficiencies. Right now in the US I can order a book a 3pm on a Wednesday and for $0 in shipping it will be at my door Friday morning. Hell, I can order it at 4pm on Thursday and by Friday morning it will arrive for $4. In Canada, it’s more like $15 shipping for 1 week. It’s truly absurd. How has Amazon accomplished this feat? Scale, and location. They have set up several distribution centers in the US, and have grown the product assortment to reach a scale where they can drive down shipping costs. To suggest they wouldn’t pass these savings on to consumers is absurd. They -did- pass these savings along to consumers in a market 10x the size of Canada.

    It’s clear to everyone what’s going on — a cozy industry is protecting it’s turf. It’s acting for the government to be complicit in keeping prices high for consumers. I get it. What I don’t get is why, with all their funds, they couldn’t find someone better to argue their case, and perhaps arm them with some strong arguments.

    My $0.02. Feedback welcome, no, encouraged.

  26. @strunk&white
    I took a fast look at the URL you pasted above. I suggest you and who-ever the author of that blog is dig a little deeper into what and who Chris Castle is (the one described as only a blogger, LOL). How does one put out a story w/o the least bit of checking?

    When you are done pasting garbage and trying to upset the apple-cart for your masters, maybe you can paste to all of us the “Kartel” links to this “self described LA blogger” (and “Son of Texas”), whose purpose (kartel orientated) seems to be only to attack Geist.

    Now don’t pretend you don’t know… After all the simplest of searches will reveal this.

    Lets us know when it is you who is ready to show and tell the truth
    (or better yet for whom and why you are posting propaganda garbage from the “kartels” who pretend to only be “self described bloggers, LOL).

    I hope others reading the garbage I have been seeing here the past couple of days realize who these korporate industry kartel clowns are and why they are on the attack after the Professor.

    Maybe you should phone up Chris Castle (Mr. American music kartel) and ask what your next move should be?

    It’s not the first time Chris Castle or one of his minions graced this blog, as I am sure you are well aware of being one of their puppets.

    Amazing the lengths you… er, um… people… will go to.

    skunk&white, anything else you wish to add today? Or will you bring the next blog topic off-topic again tomorrow? Let it out in all one shot. Or even better, make your own blog and see if anyone cares to read you and your rhetoric kartel propaganda pastings/postings. k?


  27. StompinObasans says:

    yea yea
    yea strunk. instead we should all buy the ‘patent and intellectual property rights’ medieval feudalism, and just accept any medieval social change it brings. like, the seeds monsanto sold to farmers pollinating neighboring farmers’ crops and then monsanto coming claiming intellectual property infringement because their seeds pollinated with monsanto’s and then claiming damages, and suing the farmers to oblivion and taking their lands afterwards.

    excuse me, but to support ANY such thing, one has to be either very very very rotten inside, or, beyond stupid. im neither, and none of those whom you try to deride with your fallacious ‘pirate’ accusations.

    with the logic of your mindset, rebelling against feudal lords in middle ages would also be a huge crime, and everyone should sit back and take their serfdom easy.

    no sir. we have spent 5000 years in this world to get world reach a civilization level in which we would bow to noone. private interests, which constitute a minority in the majority, also fall in ‘the few’ part of ‘needs of the many comes before needs of the few’ statement. i wont remind you whose quote is this.

  28. RE: struck&white
    “I’m not anonymous. I’m pseudonymous, for a good private reason. When that becomes against the rules here, I’ll go away. Until that time, I reserve the right to say what I feel here. Truth to power — it’s all about democracy, isn’t it?

    Or among all the transparency and openness talk around here, are we actually harbouring some secret wish that certain of us did not have freedom of expression?”

    Hey, no one is disputing freedom of speech here. You can belch out anything you want, but we have the right to challenge the nonsense you spew and your non-existant integrity.

  29. strunk&white says:

    shooting the messenger, with really hard-to-understand ammunition
    Thanks for the feverish and frothing attacks on my integrity, or whatever the last three posts were about.

    To be fair Eric L. actually used sentences I could understand, because his main point is what I believe as well. You have the right to challenge me and my methods, just as I have the same rights. In fact, may I suggest that my continued presence here, and most of my comments are for that very reason. I find the reasoning and methods used on this blog to be somewhat shabby and unhelpful to the larger debate. I think it’s cheap and disingenuous to attack a person’s argument with a first shot at who they happen to work for or where some of their funding comes from. The fact that Geist got a bit caught up in the same kind of inquiry is karmacally (?) satisfying to me.

    Have a look back at my reception on this blog — from the very beginning I’ve been accused of being a shill to corporate interests and and the puppet of moneyed masters — as though my personal opinion means less than the opinion of someone else just because I “may” work in the industry in question. It’s an ongoing absurd attempt to muddy the waters and poison the well. “Only a corporate shill or a troll would come on here and say such things…”

    Do you actually think James Gannon and/or Chris Castle and/or Barry Sookman have split personalities? Do you believe they go home at night, take off their expensive suits and suddenly not believe what they spend their entire days researching, writing about and working for? Why are their opinions less valid because of what they do for a living? I assume many of the commenters here work somewhere in software or high-tech, and have had their opinions formed by those experiences. How are you then not a “special interest group” or shills to the corporate interest of Amazon and Google?

    Attack me all you want. My project here is to show you that you are actually attacking yourself. I mirror your methods.

  30. Why ACTA?
    The more leaks I read about, the more I have to ask “Why ACTA?” Wouldn’t everything covered under the ACTA discussions be more appropriate to discuss under the WIPO or WTO umbrella?

  31. Jack Robinson says:

    It’s All in the Fine Print, Folks…
    As a life-long, avid reader whose broad literary tastes are borderless… I can proudly peruse my estimable library and find many Canadian tomes to be treasured… and nearly all purchased, new or mint-used at local independent booksellers.

    That I still lament and rage over the demise several years ago of London’s Wendell Holmes four outlets after seventy years due to their bank creditor’s insistence upon an Indigo/Chapters-style marketing model provides more than just a sinister subtext to this issue…

    It’s Big Box Darwinism at a 15% Discount.

  32. okey dokey says:

    strunk&white said:
    “My project here is to show you…” blah blah blah

    Well, I for one am glad you came out from the wood work to tell everyone you are here on a mission and a project.

    Now I hope everyone see’s you for what you are.

  33. strunk&white says:

    okey dokey
    whatever that means