A vanity POD publisher went after Amazon.  And won.  I think this has ramifications for all of us.

 

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6715696.html?desc=topstory

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I don't think it does because Booklocker didn't really win; there was no judgment in the case. Rather, they settled with Amazon, and in the settlement, which you can read here, Amazon admitted no wrongdoing and is not liable to extend the concessions it made to Booklocker on any other vendor. So Amazon doesn't have to give the same deal to any other POD publisher.

The way I see it, then, is that this settlement really was about money, contrary to what Booklocker's spokeswoman said. If it was all about proving a point and "busting" a trust, then Booklocker should have pushed the suit through to a judgment. If a judge determined that Amazon really was breaking anti-trust laws, then there really could have been ramifications for all of us. But since the suit was settled, and was solely between Amazon and Booklocker, only Booklocker is affected. So either Booklocker thought they would lose and wanted a way to get out and get there massive legal fees paid for, or they were only interested in getting their own books available on Amazon without using Amazon's POD service.

Amazon settled before the suit got out of hand and kept its underlying business structure intact. If Booklocker really cared about anti-trust laws, then settling wouldn't have been acceptable since Amazon is still able to continue forcing booksellers to POD through them.
When Amazon agrees to pay Booklocker $300,000 legal fees and promises not to withdraw Booklocker's books--or force them to publishe thru Amazon's publishing arm, I'd say Booklocker won.

Booklocker was the named POD publisher on the law suit--they are the ones who took Amazon to court--but they were not the only ones taking Amazon to court. So whatever agreements submitted by Amazon to Booklocker will have to be equally submitted to the other POD publishers.
So whatever agreements submitted by Amazon to Booklocker will have to be equally submitted to the other POD publishers.

No it won't. Why would it? A judge never ruled on the case. Amazon's actions were never deemed at fault, and Amazon does not claim nor is liable to any fault, as the settlement states.

From the settlement: "Amazon denies the allegations in the Amended Complaint and has not conceded or admitted any liability or the applicability of any of the statutes cited therein, and has asserted defenses to Plaintiff's claims."

Also: "Nothing in this agreement, however, shall restrict Amazon from negotiating in good faith the terms on which it purchases books for resale from any vendor, including Booklocker."

This is a settlement, not a court ruling. Amazon only has to do what it agreed to do in the settlement. Nowhere in the settlement does Amazon agree to stop their practices; they only made concessions to Booklocker. So yeah, Booklocker did win, in as much as they got to keep their books on Amazon without going through Createspace to do it, and they got $300,000 of legal fees paid, but they didn't win the case. They settled it.

Also, from Booklocker's website:

"UPDATE – QUESTIONS FROM READERS, AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS:

What about the ones who caved? Do you think they’ll renegotiate? – Nan

Unfortunately, since the case had not yet been certified as class-action, the POD publishers who caved must ask their own attorneys what they can do. Had they joined us as lead plaintiffs in the beginning (many publishers were afraid to publicly confront Amazon), they would have been covered by any settlement as well. I admit this was a very bitter part of the story for me. We were basically thrown to the wolves, and had to publicly fight on our own, with many publishers whispering to us in the background, but not publicly joining us on the front lines. I may write about that in the future. For now, we are enjoying the victory."
Amazon's POD printer, BookSurge, is basically being folded into the CreateSpace thing that Amazon's got, which in a way negates the thing Amazon was doing in trying to force publishers to print their POD books through BookSurge. (This is via my publisher, who posted about it a few weeks ago on the company's author loop. He sees the demise of BookSurge as Amazon's way of admitting they screwed up without actually admitting they screwed up.) This may have some bearing on why Booklocker settled the case--the threat to small presses and other POD printers is dropping away, so there was no longer a need for the lawsuit.
Relax authors and keep writing

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