December 13th, 2011 / 9:59 am

“The law has long been clear that stores do not invite the public in for all purposes. A retailer is not expected to serve as a warming station for the homeless or a site for band practice. So it’s worth wondering whether it’s lawful for Amazon to encourage people to enter a store for the purpose of gathering pricing information for Amazon and buying from the Internet giant, rather than the retailer. Lawful or not, it’s an example of Amazon’s bare-knuckles approach.”

-And with this quote from a NYTimes article, Scott Turow is finally tagged at HTMLGiant.


  1. alexisorgera

      I don’t invite ChristianMingleDating to send me emails. But they do it anyway. And, yeah, that Amazon Remembers feature on my iphone is pretty enticing. What if you only buy from the used marketplace? Is that doing some kind of harm? Yeah, I guess it is.

  2. alan

      where are the homeless supposed to go to get warm?
      that seems to me the more pressing issue here

  3. NLY

      On the subject of unfair business practices, such as selling at a loss to compete not with other industry businesses but the market as a whole, I am unilaterally opposed to them. I believe they are deliberately, knowingly monopolistic techniques and an America of a different time would have long ago nipped them from our midst. As for customer poaching, digital or otherwise, welcome to the (rightly) unlegislated realm of dirty business practices. This wouldn’t mean anything if they couldn’t really guarantee, through the former, much nastier means, that 99.9 percent of the time their prices would be lower. In a closer market, that guarantee would be improbable, if not impossible.

      As for the broader issue as a whole, I’ve been mulling over it for some time, like most of us probably have. I use Amazon and I use bookstores. I’ve been using bookstores for a long time, and I don’t want them to go away, but then again I’m much more worried about libraries, and no one much seems to give a damn about them disappearing. Wrong end of history, on that count, I suppose. And I guess I remain skeptical that people really care all that much about these bookstores. Of course the writers do, and they’re primarily where you see most of the fuss raised, along with a certain sizable portion of the reading public who will express their dismay in passing, but I’m not convinced of two basic premises: 1. That bookstores are being eradicated, or 2. That there ever was such a thing as a book economy which was capable of servicing the full literate public of these United States in the past. I can understand, and fiercely sympathize with, a despair over a book store culture which is both familiar and immensely central to several full generations, now, of the American intellectual world–an intellectual world that prior to these few generations was sustained almost entirely on the backs of public and private libraries. Personal book ownership of the kind that would require a mass of healthy, maintained bookstores is a very recent, very middle class phenomenon, and it will no doubt be a difficult adjustment for these stores, but the reality is that the market was always going to evolve beyond them–always. Added in with the righteous response to virulent business climates, there is an element of nostalgia and unrealistic perspectives on the forces at work. The fact is, most of the country has never had an intimate relationship with the idea of the bookshop, and most of it never will. As the literate public expands–or, perhaps more accurately, the readerly public–the market will accommodate it.

  4. Hank

      If you’re in New York you can presumably panhandle fifteen dollars to take a Chinatown bus from there to Richmond, VA and then once in Richmond panhandle a few more bucks for a Chinatown to I think Key West, Florida or something like that.  Pretty sure it’s warm down there.  Spring comes, take the Chinatown back north again.