business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email regarding constitutional challenges to some state "ag-gag" laws:

I live in Idaho, and was ashamed to say so when Idaho’s government passed this law which, was heavily backed by Butch Otter and his cronies.  I think these types of bills are ‘back-woods’ and so out of touch with what the majority of what Idahoan’s wanted.  If there is nothing to hide, why put such a law into place?  I would think that responsible ranchers would welcome scrutiny.

I’m very happy the federal courts are going to look at the law and my fingers are crossed that it will be struck down.

Transparency is the best policy.


On another subject, one MNB user wrote:

Reading about the new companies that are going to offer e-books and how they are going to complete with Amazon made me want to share this with you.

I often borrow E-books from my local library and they have a problem with certain publishers letting them purchase digital books.  These are big name companies who have no problem selling their books digitally, they just don’t want the library to buy them that way.  There have been petitions out in the library asking customers to write the publishers about this.  The library knows that they need to have popular titles available to keep them a viable option.

Now with my local library, they treat e-books the same way they treat traditional books.  They only have so many copies, there is a waiting list for the new titles, and you can only have them for a specific amount of time.   Once that time is up that title is gone from your device.

So the big publishers want to make money. That is their right and it’s their business.  But what is the difference between selling a hardcover copy to the library and selling an e-book copy? 

Makes me wonder what is really going on in the e-book business and how these new companies are going to fare getting product out to their readers.

On a related subject, from another reader:

Again I stand my ground in support of actual BOOKS! I know you will think me old-fashioned but not everyone can AFFORD to buy a Kindle/nook/iPad...something to read  a book off of.  And I know that many libraries now provide "e-books" to patrons and will even loan out "e-readers" but there are many small (if not TINY) little towns and burgs across the U.S. who have only their small traditional library of paper books and no matter how 'behind the times' that little library may be they won't have the funds to get into digital reading materials no matter how popular they are. I get that digital print is an evolution but a book is affordable to most everyone and I do think it's sad that someday there may not BE books anymore.  Gutenberg made books possible for more people to have access to because it went from a few hand printed volumes to 'mass produced' (which many were still too expensive for the common person to buy or obtain).  So though digital is a sign of the times I don't feel it will absolutely eliminate BOOKS in the old-fashioned sense and I would not equate it with Mr. Gutenberg exactly.  At least, I hope not.  Do we really need a world where not a single thing survives that requires more than an on/off button?

I understand your point, but would suggest to you that what makes a book is ideas that are brought to together in words and sentences. It matters not at all whether they come via paper and ink, or via an electronic device.
KC's View: