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Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-retailer-to-rule-them-all dept.
trazom28 writes: Hachette books aren't the only products that are now harder to order on Amazon — the online retailer is going after movies, too. Amazon has turned off the preorder function for DVDs of prominent Warner Bros. films as it seeks to raise pressure on the company during negotiations. The Lego Movie, for example, is listed as "currently unavailable" on Amazon. Set for release in the home video marketplace on June 17, there is no option to place a preorder."
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Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order

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  • Now wait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:25PM (#47215689)

    To be fair, WB is the one who put amazon in a crap situation in this one. They had a pre-order for a blue ray, for like $25....The move did exceptionally better than they anticipated, so WB decided NOT to produce the cheaper blu ray, and then put out a new $40 one. Amazon then had to cancel all the other cheaper pre orders, and deal with the legitimately pissed off customers. Amazon is doing some shady things, but they certainly aren't alone in it.

    • To be fair, WB is the one who put amazon in a crap situation in this one. They had a pre-order for a blue ray, for like $25....The move did exceptionally better than they anticipated, so WB decided NOT to produce the cheaper blu ray, and then put out a new $40 one. Amazon then had to cancel all the other cheaper pre orders, and deal with the legitimately pissed off customers. Amazon is doing some shady things, but they certainly aren't alone in it.

      Is there a link to that story. Not finding anything in Google.

      • To be fair, WB is the one who put amazon in a crap situation in this one. They had a pre-order for a blue ray, for like $25....The move did exceptionally better than they anticipated, so WB decided NOT to produce the cheaper blu ray, and then put out a new $40 one. Amazon then had to cancel all the other cheaper pre orders, and deal with the legitimately pissed off customers. Amazon is doing some shady things, but they certainly aren't alone in it.

        ...Good to know. Hey WB, if you have canceled my Amazon pre order of TLM just to hike the price, I'm not reordering it. I just going to STEAL it online. Fuck you.

    • Re:Now wait (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:45PM (#47215933) Journal

      There is nothing shady about managing your suppliers. Every well run business does it. The only thing different is Amazon's suppliers are used to having monopoly power and getting any terms they want. Amazon is pushing back! Its a good for the consumer and I think ultimately will be good for the talent.

      On the book side the job publishers actually do is shrinking (doubly so if we are talking e-books). Everyone I know that has ever had anything published or tried recently, tells me they are expected to provide manuscript in very very specific formats, already largely edited. At that point the only value adds pretty much come down to bundling it into the e-book container (they could do that themselves but for DRM signing etc) and access to the distribution channel (which Amazon could pretty easily provide them with directly), and some fancy name with authority behind it to slap on the work.

      Amazon thinks they don't deserve such a big cut for all that lack of actual work; and I agree. The publishing industry does not have to be the gatekeepers anymore unless you want a large run of dead tree, where someone needs to put up real capital. A quick look at interest rates these days ought to give you an idea of what the real value of that is too.

      The movie world is still a little different, the talent isn't in a position to produce a feature film, although that isn't necessarily the case with an animated work like "Lego Movie"; and if you look the gulf between what really talented folks can do in their basement vs. what Hollywood cranks out is for the most part narrowing too. So value the 'Studios' are providing is declining not matter what fantastic sums of money they manage to blow on the production. I am all for Amazon putting the squeeze on these guys too.

      Amazon *IS* the market, the market should set prices. If Amazons history is any guide at all they will use any cost to compete, so as consumers we cant expect to see some of it passed on to use in the form of lower prices. I also can't think of well anything other than Amazon's own products Kindle etc, that are exclusive to them, so I am not worried about Amazon being a monopoly yet; someday it might be a concern but not now.

      • Re:Now wait (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:59PM (#47216119)

        Largely I think publishers just don't give a fuck about quality anymore. If I judged publishers solely by the piss-poor print-to-e-book conversion jobs they've been doing I have to say they're fucking worthless. I'm reading one book right now on my kindle that makes it painfully clear no one at Bantam bothered to even edit the e-book format. There are so many word fuckups from the OCR process it's not even funny.

        I've actually had similar experiences with Dune. It's just sad that they don't even bother checking the content after running it through OCR software and then they have the gaul to charge nearly $10 for what amounts to a fucking PDF.

        Pisses me off to no end.

        • by rsborg (111459)

          Largely I think publishers just don't give a fuck about quality anymore. If I judged publishers solely by the piss-poor print-to-e-book conversion jobs they've been doing I have to say they're fucking worthless. I'm reading one book right now on my kindle that makes it painfully clear no one at Bantam bothered to even edit the e-book format. There are so many word fuckups from the OCR process it's not even funny.

          Is it the case that the original publisher is also doing the e-book? I know sometimes authors retain rights to the e-book that the publisher doesn't get, and they may have chosen a bad e-book publishing model.

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            Is it the case that the original publisher is also doing the e-book? I know sometimes authors retain rights to the e-book that the publisher doesn't get, and they may have chosen a bad e-book publishing model.

            Most of the really badly fomatted ebooks I've seen come from trade publishers just OCR-ing the paper book and uploading it without further editing. I've seen a few badly formatted backlist ebooks from authors, but most take a lot more pride in their books than their publisher would.

          • They can't afford it any more.

            Quality staff and full time editors cost money.

            Be nice if we could crowd-source corrections tho.

        • by CODiNE (27417)

          When you have a Gauls working for you... you charge whatever you want.

          • by rvw (755107)

            When you have a Gauls working for you... you charge whatever you want.

            Relax - he OCRd his answer. Nothing wrong with that!

        • Bought a Kindle book that was terribly formatted. There were no spaces between paragraphs so it was confusing as hell. Complained and Amazon refunded me immediately. +1 to Amazon.
        • Have you examined the pattern of misprints? Maybe they're there to uniquely identify your copy of the e-book. That way, if the text pops up on a torrent stream, you can expect a knockin'-at-the-door.
          • Have you examined the pattern of misprints? Maybe they're there to uniquely identify your copy of the e-book.

            I think mostly people are talking about obvious OCR errors. Like a lower case L (l) turning into a numeral one (1) or an exclaimation point (!)

            More interesting to me are the questions "If you purchase an eBook and what you receive is not a faithful representaion of the printed copy, what exactly have you purchased?" "Was that money well spent?"

            I believe I would ask for my money back if my KIng James Bible eBook quoted God as saying "Let there be light: and there was blight."

            • by mindwhip (894744)

              So you aren't a 7th day advent hopist then?

              "Faith, Hop and Charity, and the greatest of these is Hop."

        • Largely I think publishers just don't give a fuck about quality anymore.

          It's not just the ebook conversion. Book publishers and packagers have been cutting down on editors and the whole revision for the last couple of decades. "Fuck it," they say, "nobody will notice. And even if they do, they already bought the book. What are they gonna do, buy the next 'Shades of Gray' from another publisher next time?"

        • I'm just curious, why have such publishers chosen to OCR the already printed book rather convert the electronic document used in the editing/layout of the book (I'm assuming the publisher is using equipment more sophisticated than a typewriter and letter press). Any modern book should have gone through some electronic process even those whose original manuscripts are written in longhand. Conversion from those electronic formats should be a bit more flawless than brute-force OCR.

      • Re:Now wait (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fistfullast33l (819270) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @04:09PM (#47216247) Homepage Journal

        While I agree in principle that publisher's are a bit superfluous to the publishing equation, acting solely as a middle man, you did leave out one major point regarding their value add. They provide substantial marketing muscle that it's not clear Amazon would provide to an individual author alone. They arrange book and media tours as well, especially for up and coming authors. Established authors obviously have their own agents or PR people who could help with this, but new authors have neither the resources nor the experience to participate in this critical marketing tool.

        As a corollary - look at the Apple or Android app stores. Obviously the larger apps have marketing muscle behind them (in the form of publishers, of course), but the day that the individual could make a lot of money is few and far between. I would argue that the window for indie developer success lasted about 6 months after the app store launched. After that, you were just one person shouting in a crowd and had no chance to break even without marketing saavy or dumb luck.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          While I agree in principle that publisher's are a bit superfluous to the publishing equation, acting solely as a middle man, you did leave out one major point regarding their value add. They provide substantial marketing muscle that it's not clear Amazon would provide to an individual author alone.

          Sure, if you're Stephen King. Not if you're Joe Newbie who just sold them his new book for a $5,000 advance.

          How much marketing do you think they're going to throw at a book if they're only willing to pay the author $5,000?

          • "How much marketing do you think they're going to throw at a book if they're only willing to pay the author $5,000?"

            More than the author is capable of on his own if he was willing to accept a $5,000 advance..

            • by 0123456 (636235)

              More than the author is capable of on his own if he was willing to accept a $5,000 advance..

              So, where are the TV ads for Joe Newbie's book? Where are the newspaper ads? Where are the billboards?

              They're not there, because the publisher won't spend a cent advertising his book to readers, if they think it's only going to make $5,000.

              • The same place as the TV ad, newspaper ads, and billboards are for Joe Self-published's book: in your fevered imagination.

      • by meustrus (1588597)
        The old, big content publishers may be stagnant and evil, but that doesn't mean Amazon will be any better. I for one do not welcome our new hipster overlords.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I think Amazon is getting arrogant and stupid, and think they own the market and have no competition. My books aren't affected, they're available at Amazon. But they're cheaper from Barnes & Noble, and B&N listed them in their catalog two days before Amazon did (I'm my own publisher, no hatchets are war nerd brothers).

        I think it's dumb, B&N will eat their lunch. Want a WB movie or Hatchette book? B&N. And probably a hundred other places.

        • Re:Now wait (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @05:28PM (#47217065)

          I think Amazon is getting arrogant and stupid, and think they own the market and have no competition. My books aren't affected, they're available at Amazon. But they're cheaper from Barnes & Noble, and B&N listed them in their catalog two days before Amazon did (I'm my own publisher, no hatchets are war nerd brothers).

          I think it's dumb, B&N will eat their lunch. Want a WB movie or Hatchette book? B&N. And probably a hundred other places.

          Amazon DOES own the market. The first place most people go to for a book or movie or any other thing online? Amazon. I know people who rarely spend a dollar outside of Amazon as Amazon has practically everything in one place. (Or if it's not available from Amazon, they send a nasty letter to the manufacturer asking them why it's not on Amazon).

          B&N is a poor comparison - they are circling the drain. So they have to lower prices to compete. But few people shop at B&N, and even fewer have ebooks there (I've run across many that are Amazon only, annoyingly).

          And with the DoJ putting the smackdown on the Apple Agency model of selling e-books, coupled with Amazon's practical monopoly over ebooks, well, Amazon will soon be the only place. Nook's in trouble, too. When the DoJ as part of the Apple thing hacked up all the contracts, well, Amazon picked up the pieces and benefitted, while everyone else started dying. Other than Nook, there's no real other source of ebooks, and Nook's in trouble.

          Basically, Amazon's become the Wal-Mart of the online world.

      • The only reservaton I have is the idea that one gigantic business is somehow going to treat me better than another gigantic business. Giant Douche versus Shit Sandwich comes to mind...

        • Re:Now wait (Score:4, Insightful)

          by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @06:19PM (#47217469)

          The only reservaton I have is the idea that one gigantic business is somehow going to treat me better than another gigantic business. Giant Douche versus Shit Sandwich comes to mind...

          Except Amazon has great customer service, while Big Movie regards customers as an annoyance.

          That might change, but, right now, I'll take Amazon over any big movie company any day.

      • by houghi (78078)

        You know you as a custiomer have lost when you need to choose between Amazon and the MPAA partners.

        What you are saying that Amazon is the better choice is like saying they can cut of your left pinky, because you are right handed.

      • by Lennie (16154)

        "Amazon *IS* the market, the market should set prices."

        That is a great idea, until Amazon really is the only supplier.

        Then they will really set their prices (read: high)

    • Re:Now wait (Score:4, Informative)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @06:43PM (#47217667)

      To be fair, WB is the one who put amazon in a crap situation in this one. They had a pre-order for a blue ray, for like $25....The move did exceptionally better than they anticipated, so WB decided NOT to produce the cheaper blu ray, and then put out a new $40 one. Amazon then had to cancel all the other cheaper pre orders, and deal with the legitimately pissed off customers. Amazon is doing some shady things, but they certainly aren't alone in it.

      They aren't to blame for the Hatchet fiasco either. Hatchet was found guity of price fixing against Amazon.There is nothing wrong with Amazon putting the screws to them.

    • Talk about first world problems, people can buy it on release day if they're so impatient

  • by Sven-Erik (177541) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:27PM (#47215701)
    I see that I can preorder The Lego Movie in the Amazon UK website, with a release date on July 21, so looks like this is limited to the US market.
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:28PM (#47215717) Homepage
    For both books and movies.

    Just saying....

    ;-)

    • by Z00L00K (682162) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:30PM (#47215735) Homepage

      This Amazon circus just shows us the dangers with a monopoly where one player dictates what can be purchased and sold.

      • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:34PM (#47215777) Homepage
        So you are saying "Fight the Power, Buy a Nook"?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bwcbwc (601780)

        Walmart used to do (and probably still does) this to their suppliers. The only difference is the consumer never knew their was a coercive price negotiation going on because the product simply never appeared on store shelves, and usually there was a substitute from another vendor.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        This Amazon circus just shows us the dangers with a monopoly where one player dictates what can be purchased and sold.

        I would question the characterization of one company deciding not to allow pre-orders being equivalent to "one player dictates what can be purchased and sold."

        You can still buy the movie.
        Sellers can still sell the movie.
        Just not on Amazon until it is available in retail channels.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        Which monopoly does Amazon have again?

        • Pretty much all of them. Star Wars Monopoly, Battlestar Galactica Monopoly, My First Monopoly....

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Except in this case, they're terms are being dictated to WB; and the customer will win.

        And there can't be a monopoly on digital goods.
        WB could sell it from their own site, as an example.

      • This Amazon circus just shows us the dangers with a monopoly where one player dictates what can be purchased and sold.

        This statement works equally well with either side of the circus being the "one player".

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Very good point. This is why it's important to have competition.

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      Does Barnes and Noble give me free 2-day shipping and a huge library of free streaming movies and TV shows for $40 a year?

      • by PRMan (959735)
        No. But apparently they give you The Lego Movie.
      • by Golddess (1361003)

        Does Barnes and Noble give me free 2-day shipping and a huge library of free streaming movies and TV shows for $40 a year?

        Since TFS is about Amazon, one would expect that the unnamed company you are referring to there would be Amazon. But since Amazon Prime is $99, I have to ask, what other company are you talking about?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        You don't get free 2 day shipping from Amazon.
        You pay 40 dollars a year.

    • Meanwhile, if I forget something past the preorder date, I never really wanted it.

  • by chmilar (211243) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @03:51PM (#47216017)

    Fortunately, torrents are not subject to contract disputes.

    Amazon, Warner, Hachette and others seem determined to drive everyone to torrents.

    • Amazon, Warner, Hachette and others seem determined to drive everyone to torrents.

      What is your complaint about Warner and Hachette in this case?

      • by jxander (2605655)

        They're simply guilty by association.

        Amazon is causing a ruckus with Warner/Hatchette. That ruckus is driving people to alternative (and less legal means)

        Perhaps Warner should be looking into alternative distribution methods. They're a big enough company that if Amazon wants to play hardball, Warner should be able to play right back. Threaten to pull all movies from Amazon, create and promote a new partnership with (for example) Overstock.com or create their own direct distribution branch. Fire off a fe

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          Threaten to pull all movies from Amazon, create and promote a new partnership with (for example) Overstock.com or create their own direct distribution branch.

          Ha-ha. You're funny.

          If WB pull their movies off Amazon, I just stop buying WB movies. Few people are going to set up a separate account for every movie company, they just want to buy all their crap from one site with one account.

    • For the first time in a long time, last night I downloaded a game from the swarm. The last time I made use of torrenting for something other than fully / freely licensed media was probably within the first year of the tech being released.

      I loaded up the game and... Began playing. No account sign in; no unskippable advertising at every boot for the a graphics card manufacturer, the publisher, and everyone else; no DLC to download. It just worked.

      I'm not saying that I'm going to stop buying games, but I mig
  • for the 2 disc blu ray with the Ultraviolet digital copy
    you can even pre-order it but the shipping is a little slower. or just stop by store during lunch or after work

  • ..is for picking up freshly-released movies. Don't have to wait for the postman. Just drive up, park in the mostly empty parking lot, go into the mostly-empty store, pay your monies, go home, stick in player, relax.

    With all that empty, though, I can't think BB will be around much longer..

    • by slinches (1540051)

      That doesn't really make me want to boycott Amazon as a whole. His arguments against avoiding Kindle and other digital "purchases" through Amazon are sound, but otherwise his criticisms are mostly just politically motivated disagreements. Although, some of the criticisms relating to anti-competitive practices may gain more weight if Amazon does eventually become an effective monopoly in book sales.

      • by ikhider (2837593)
        Clearly, you did not read this entry carefully. Many Slashdotters have issues with reading. I do not know why. Too much 'quick-scanning' and not enough comprehension. As if you are looking for a bug in a piece of text instead of trying to figure out the meaning of things. Here is a link Stallman prioritizes: http://www.theguardian.com/tec... [theguardian.com] Do me a favor and please try to cogitate.
  • My life is ruined (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @04:50PM (#47216729)

    Dear God! I can't get in my preorder for the Lego movie? Oh, the humanities!

    The fact that this is a problem says a lot more about our society than it does about either Amazon or Warner Brothers.

     

  • Movies, books, boardgames, etc. are usually 50%-75% off by then. Sometimes more.

    I might pop forward to present time for a very few select items.

    But I stopped buying DVD's every week when they came out back around 2002.

  • Yesss...yesss...feel the power of the Dark Side flowing through you...hate those who would defy you...squeeze your suppliers, force them to cut costs, wages and benefits in order to remain profitable. Make them in turn go to even cheaper sources for low-quality parts and materials. Soon you will join me by my side and together we will rule both retail and online and crush any so-called worldwide labor movement!

    .
  • Seems like we've moved beyond the Wild West days on the net, and now we're in the Robber Barron stage...
  • I welcome this change by Amazon. I was getting sick of the sheer amount of titles I "could" buy in the future instead of offering me recommendations of stuff I can have right now.

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