Tuesday, July 08, 2008

SPAN Supports Booklocker Lawsuit Against Amazon

The Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), a national trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of independent publishers, launched a campaign to generate support for the class action lawsuit Booklocker.com, Inc. vs. Amazon.com, Inc. The SPAN board recently voted to publicly support the lawsuit.

Booklocker.com, Inc., initiated the class action antitrust lawsuit to challenge the legality of Amazon’s new policy requiring print on demand (POD) publishers using the company’s distribution services to print their books using Amazon’s subsidiary BookSurge. The lawsuit states that Amazon is illegally tying the BookSurge printing to Amazon’s distribution services. According to antitrust law, companies generally cannot require a customer to buy one product in order to have access to another distinct product.

Through its campaign, SPAN aims to generate significant public pressure to compel Amazon to reverse its new policy. The campaign is built on two objectives: To collect 10,000 signatures on a petition that will be sent to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and to unite 100+ writer and publisher organizations in opposing the policy and supporting the lawsuit

“From the public outcry over the announcement of Amazon’s new POD policy, we have an army of enthusiastic writers and publishers ready for the next step in getting Amazon to change its policy,” said SPAN Executive Director Scott Flora. “This campaign is the next step.”

SPAN’s campaign is creating support in five primary ways: uniting voices through the petition; writing letters to Amazon; recruiting other organizations; generating press coverage; and passing the word along friends and colleagues.