It was announced today that Barnes & Noble, one of the largest bookstore chains in the world, has decided not to carry O.J. Simpson’s latest book “If I Did It,” in which he discusses the hypothetical way in which he would have murdered his not-hypothetically murdered ex-wife. “Our buyers don’t feel there will be enough of a demand to carry it in our stores,” Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble’s biggest competitor, Borders has declared that they will carry the book, but spokeswoman Ann Binkley said Borders “will not promote or market the book in any way.”
The book’s publisher, somewhat surprisingly, has the perfect outlook on the issue:
“It is Barnes & Noble’s decision, not my decision, and the marketplace will determine whether they are right or not,” Eric Kampmann, the owner and president of Beaufort Books, the new publisher of “If I Did It,” told the AP.
This is a perfect example of the market at work. Many people are “disgusted” and/or “outraged” that such a book is being published at all, but many others can’t wait to read this book.
Our other example is neither as controversial nor as evident…
Nancy Prager, an intellectual property and corporate attorney, wrote an excellent editorial at c|net News warning musicians (and other content creators) about the license agreements they make with sites like youtube and MySpace. In short, in return for them hosting your content, they receive the rights to do pretty much whatever they want with your content. So if you create the next South Park and distribute it through youtube then Google can develop it into a television show or motion picture without further compensation to you.
Another perfect example of the market at work. These companies are providing an incredible (not to mention expensive) service to their users at no charge. In return, they get to set the rules of participation. Anarchy is premised entirely on personal responsibility and contract law. When you click through a website’s Terms & Agreements without reading you’re still agreeing to it. No one’s responsible for you being ripped off except for you.