Category: Online Reading

Why keep the VAT for e-books high?

Lately, France and Luxembourg pegged the Value-Added Tax (same as the GST in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and similar to the sales tax levied by US states) for e-books at the lower rate used for printed books.
Just lately the European Commission rapped them over the knuckles for daring to do this because they think that the “electronic hard copy” is a luxury and should be taxed the higher rate compared to the printed hard copy. I support France and Luxembourg for valuing the idea that the electronic hard copy of a book is as of the same value as the printed hard copy.  As well it is considered to be an important distribution channel for the book or magazine. For example, a lot of women like the strong romance novels in this format because others don’t notice they are reading these steamy stories on the train or bus – they just notice the Kindle, iPad or Nexus 7. Similarly this format suits serialised content more than the printed book. As well, the NAS could work as the electronic library on the home network.
Personally, I would like to see a situation where copyright and tax issues for artistic and similar works are treated the same no matter the publishing format or the distribution channel.

The first of the “netvertibles” or convertible netbooks – a possible challenge to the Apple iPad perhaps

News article

Acer launches 11.6-inch Aspire Timeline 1825PT netvertible – Engadget

My comments

This computer is becoming one of the first netbook-class notebook computers to have a multi-touch screen. The main problem with these machines is that consumers will forget about them because they are so entranced by Apple’s iPad.

If you want to make this class of netbook come up very well with consumers, you will have to provide touch-enabled book-reading applications for the main e-book and online-comic platforms to work with Windows and other “freely-programmable” operating systems. As well, machines like this Acer should use a “tilt-sensor” to determine the display orientation in order to provide a “broadsheet” or “tabloid” view.

As well, anyone who provides an “online newspaper” platform will need to make sure that people can subscribe to their papers from any platform as long as the appropriate reading software is in place and the software should be ported to many platforms like Windows, MacOS X and Android.

Then they could effectively challenge the iPad in providing an online reading platform for books or newspapers.