Amazon and US publishers dismiss indie DRM lawsuit

Amazon and US publishers dismiss indie DRM lawsuit

Amazon and six US publishers have asked a US court to dismiss a lawsuit by three American independent booksellers which claimed they combined to restrict the sale of e-books through indie stores.

Amazon told the court in filings this week that the true reason the indie booksellers launched the lawsuit was because Amazon was "attracting consumers with low prices and popular products" and that the real target of their case was Amazon, according to Publishers Weekly.

Amazon said: "On its face, the Amended Complaint demonstrates that Amazon’s innovations have both revolutionized the book industry and resulted in undeniable consumer benefits. Because Amazon is not alleged to have done anything apart from engaging in proper, healthy competition, the Amended Complaint must be dismissed."

In February, Fiction Addiction in South Carolina, Posman Books in New York and Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza took action against Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Random House, Macmillan and Amazon claiming that the publishers signed contracts with Amazon to sell e-books with DRM that was "specifically designed to limit the use of digital content" to Kindle devices. Their case, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleged the publishers had not entered into any agreements with independent bricks-and-mortar or independent collectives to sell e-books.

The publishers also asked the US court to dismiss the booksellers’ case, because there was no "agreement between Amazon and any of the Publishers—let alone each of them" where a requirement of "device specific DRM can be plausibly inferred". The publishers also argued that the term "device specific DRM" was "legally meaningless". The publishers also argued that the booksellers could prove no "actual adverse effect on competition as a whole in the relevant market" but drew only "naked conclusions that Amazon’s use of ‘device specific’ DRM technology harms competition".

Replies to the motions are due by 18th April, according to PW.