If you're unfamiliar with the Commodities market, it covers all the items one needs to live. What occurs in the market is that if you want to live a long, healthy, productive life, then prices for these commodities will go up. If you want to suffer and die in pain and horror, then prices also go up.
Commodities cover your basic resources such as iron ore, crude oil, coal, salt, sugar, coffee beans, soybeans, aluminum, copper, rice, wheat, gold, silver, palladium, platinum, cotton, orange juice, cocoa, sugar, wheat, corn, barley, pork bellies, milk, feedstuffs, fruits, vegetables, other grains, other beans, hay, other livestock, meats, poultry, and eggs.
Commodities are basically a way for the rich to profit from consumer demand. Unlike getting a Nickelback tee-shirt on clearance because nobody wanted to buy it at regular price, the price of cotton goes up simply because the shirt was produced. Damn you, Nickelback! (I don't know anything about Nickelback; I've just heard that you, the internet, don't like them. -- Okay, I just did a search and I have heard of them.. I've heard the song Never Again.)
So long as the population on the planet grows, demand will increase, and prices will rise. You don't really need to understand more than that.
So is it any surprise that Random House is attempting to also make ebooks into a commodity?
"We believe that pricing to libraries must account for the higher value... Therefore, Random House believes it has greater value, and should be priced accordingly."
And this, "We are requesting data that libraries can share about their patrons’ borrowing patterns that over time will better enable us to establish mutually workable pricing levels that will best serve the overall e-book ecosystem.”
(click for source)
That sounds to me like Random House wants to price ebooks according to demand and not based on the average price of an ebook or what it costs to produce it. In fact, in every other instance of retail sales, increased demand sparks greater discounts. The latest bestsellers get up to 40% off, DVDs are on sale the week they come out, etc.
Ebooks are not Gold, but Random House seems to think they should be.
And they expect libraries to tell them which books we want them to charge us the most for... They're pretty much saying that they know that $100 for an ebook is too much, and they want libraries to turn over all the lending data so they can reduce the price to $79.99. And thus, make libraries a partner in our anal savaging when we should just tell them to go fuck themselves with their own unabridged dictionary. Sideways.
You can argue about library relevance and how ebooks are the New Messiah, and how we'll all be saved if we just accept ebooks into our hearts, but you're a crazy person, anyway, and nobody likes you. We still live in a world where most of the people are illiterate, or functionally literate. And if you thought about it for more than five seconds, you'd understand what the real purpose of the library should be. And it ain't about getting a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey for those thirty horny women who just asked for it because think they might like some S&M, but would scream out loud if you were making out and accidentally leaned on their hair.
Oh, God, have you read any of this book? Fifty Shades of Grey? Read this and tell me it wasn't written by a sixteen-year-old girl:
“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?”Well, duh. Does anyone fuck soft? We all fuck hard. But seriously, even librarians fuck hard. Just look on the internets for fuck videos. Everyone is banging away like they're trying to frighten the dog. If I were Anastasia, I wouldn't be so impressed by how hard Christian fucks, but for how long. "Anastasia, I fuck hard... for eight seconds. Then I grunt, fart and fall asleep."
“No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard."
Shit. Where was I? Oh, right. Fuck you, Random House.