“EBooks violate the fundamental promise of the Internet”

EBooks violate the fundamental promise of the Internet. Anyone can publish a website. Anyone can offer content for free or sell whatever they want from a website. Small commissions to payment processors and web hosting costs notwithstanding, the Internet empowers a seller to engage directly with a buyer. Ebooks break this promise; the writer should be able to engage directly with the reader. The writer should be able to sell directly to the reader. Imagine if you had to pay your web hosting company 30% of your gross every time you sold an item on your website—that’s exactly what eBookstores do. […] The fact that paper books have traditionally been sold in bookstores does not mean that an “online bookstore” is the only legitimate place to sell eBooks. In fact, an online bookstore is no different than any other e-commerce company that displays and sells the products in its database. Downloading and installing book software should be no different than downloading and installing any other software. To be accurate, publishers can produce and distribute their own ePub eBook files but these still rely on dedicated eReader software or hardware. But you’re reading this article in a web browser. Why should reading a book require a special device, application, or intermediary service?

Dave Bricker, Why Ebooks Belong in the Web Browser, April 21 2013