Monday, October 4, 2010

Big news for ebook royalties

Via Richard Curtis at e-reads, news of a 9th Circuit decision that could very well have a huge impact on ebook royalties. From the
Wall Street Journal

[A] federal appeals court in San Francisco on Friday ruled that songs downloaded from Apple Inc.’s iTunes store are not actually purchased, but are rather “licensed” by the ostensible buyer.

The distinction is hardly academic. Under most recording contracts, artists are entitled to 50% of revenue from licensed uses of their music. That usually means soundtracks for movies, TV shows and ads. Sales, on the other hand generate royalties for the artist at a much lower rate—generally in the low teens, and rarely more than 20%.

If Amazon (and Apple) can remove books from devices with the excuse that they're 'only licenced, not bought' then authors can demand more money from publishers. This could get interesting.

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