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February 15, 2011

Format wars

Was reading a typically interesting piece in The Observer by Will Hutton about a new book by Tyler Cowen. Now Cowen is somebody who writes about the economics of the arts, whether globalization is destroying individual cultures etc etc, so this seemed a natural thing to buy for Library stock. Then I see

"The Great Stagnation is a short e-book available only on Kindle."

Oh great - so I could read this on my Kindle, but I can't get a copy for students & staff to read. I wonder if Cowen was aware of the implications when he signed this publishing deal, whether the publishers are happy to limit their potential market to one platform, and whether the book will eventually end up freely available elsewhere. I thought e-books were meant to open up availability, not limit it.

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