French National Assembly Approves Anti-Amazon Bill

The French National Assembly has approved a bill that aims to protect independent book stores from the competition offered by companies like Amazon by banning the combination of five percent reductions and free shipping. 

From the BBC:

France's new bill supporting independent bookstores against competition from web-based retailers introduces "discrimination against online consumers", said Amazon.

Companies like Amazon are restricted from offering combined 5% reductions and free deliveries under the new laws.

Amazon said the measures would "reduce French people's spending power".

The country's 3,000 independent bookshops had complained they can't compete with cut-price offers online.

The opposition right-wing party UMP proposed the bill, but it also has the support of the left.

It has been approved by the lower house and will now be sent to the Senate.

The BBC goes on to report the following:

France is known for being proud of its local stores, considering them essential to bring culture to small villages.

I guess some people in France rank better prices and free delivery higher than culture and local pride. Thank goodness lawmakers are stepping in to stop this, right?

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  • anon||

    The French National Assembly has approved a bill that aims to protect independent book stores from the competition offered by companies like Amazon by banning the combination of five percent reductions and free shipping.

    Well, at least American politicians aren't as fucking retarded as French politicians.

    Yet.

  • Libertymike||

    The nerve of those Frenchies!

    Don't they know my love of tall & strong women?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I guess some people in France rank better prices and free delivery higher than culture and local pride.

    WRECKERS! SABOTEURS! AMERICANS!

  • WTF||

    What better way to protect the culture than to force people to pay more for things?

  • Long Range Boredom||

    Saboteurs is right. Just keep throwing those shoes in the mechanized loom France, I'm sure it will work.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    In other news, the French pass the Anti Dog Eat Dog act in hopes of protecting carriage makers and blacksmiths from the competition posed by the automobile industry.

  • anon||

    You jest, but my crystal ball tells me that's not as far in the future as we'd hope.

  • Jose Chung||

    How do you pronounce "Wesley Mouch" in French?

  • Sevo||

    Merde, accent on the first E

  • Adam330||

    Is this really going to be that hard to get around? How about 6% reductions? Or free delivery and a 5% credit toward a future purchase.

  • John Thacker||

    6% reductions are already completely banned.

  • Doctor Whom||

    You make it sound as though there were ever such things as unintended consequences.

  • Ron||

    I don't know about France but if you order something in my town it never arrives or the store owner never calls you to let you know it arrived. So I have to order things online and since the French are supposedly even lazier than American's how does anybody get anything in France. I guess thats one way of saving money.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    If French people are smart, they will still buy books online to save time and avoid spending hours browsing in dingy smelling bookstores with cats running around.

  • ||

    But cats and dinge are how the French experience culture!

  • Invisible Finger||

    The dingy smell is to mask the stench of the French people.

  • Killazontherun||

    So I have to order things online and since the French are supposedly even lazier than American's

    Americans are the most productive work force on the planet. One friend, reminds me I haven't got in touch with him in awhile, went to work for Sony in Japan on their in house PS3 sdk. His illusions of the productivity of the Japanese were shattered. He liked to stick to a work flow with solid daily accomplishments and leave in the early evening to have a little semblance of life outside. Not the Japanese. They preferred fucking off during regular work hours, and fucking off on site at the workplace on their own time, as to them, it was the center of their social culture more than a place to get a job accomplished.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The opposition right-wing party UMP proposed the bill, but it also has the support of the left.

    That's never a good sign.

    The country's 3,000 independent bookshops had complained they can't compete with cut-price offers online.

    Really? Imagine my surprise. It couldn't be that your business model is obsolete.

    France is known for being proud of its local stores, considering them essential to bring culture to small villages.

    I should have thought that something like Amazon would be the best vehicle for bringing culture to small villages, but perhaps Queen Carlotta has proclaimed backwards day in France.

  • anon||

    France is known for being proud of its local stores, considering them essential to bring culture to small villages.

    Who knew French considered sipping latte's while reading a book their "culture."

    I thought that was called a hipster.

  • PD Scott||

    They're so hipster they were hipster before it was cool.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's pronounced "eep-stare" in France.

  • Loki||

    "Regardez-moi cette putain hipster!"

  • Bryan C||

    This can only mean one thing. France has seized control of coffeeshops nationwide.

  • np||

    The opposition right-wing party UMP proposed the bill

    That reminds me of this Reason article: Australians Elect a Libertarian Senator... who belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party.

  • Zeb||

    Er, you do realize that the names of parties don't mean much and that what sounds like the progressive liberal party in one country might be something quite different in another, don't you? Some goes for right/left designations. It is all relative.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    WHAAA!
    Are you saying the Democratic Party doesn't support democracy?
    Or the Radical Party doesn't support radicalism?

  • Wizard4169||

    Ah, but the small shops bring the right kind of culture. Amazon might bring in anything, even disgusting, mass-produced American so-called culture. Can't have that, now.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    So, the French haven't heard of the Kindle then?

    Who even buys physical books anymore?

    I cleaned off all my shelves and got rid of the pulp fiction. My only hard copies are ones a really love. I now buy everything on Kindle.

  • anon||

    Who even buys physical books anymore?

    My fiancee buys the $2-3 trash romance novels specifically so that she can throw them away, and because they can cost twice as much for the kindle versions.

  • Jordan||

    Why does your fiancee hate the planet?

    /Algore

  • anon||

    Having been with her for 11 years now, I can tell you her answer is quite literally "fuck you, that's why."

  • Banjos||

    What the hell took you so long to get a ring on her?

  • pan fried wylie||

    Why does your fiancee hate the planet?

    It's called carbon sequestration, dummy. Why do you think libraries still exist?

  • sarcasmic||

    My wife has been into J. R. Ward lately. She first read demons and angels smut, now she's reading vampire smut. She read all the 50 Shades books as well. Women.

  • WTF||

    So your wife loves smut. I don't see that as a bad thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wasn't complaining.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Shhh! Now they'll want to ban the Kindle.

  • Tonio||

    No, they'll somehow force e-book purchases to subsidize the local bookstores. A piece of the action, and all that.

  • JW||

    No, yo'll still be able to get e-books, but you'll have to download it at only a local bookstore, and for an additioanl fee.

  • Jordan||

    No kidding.

    Be warned: one of Reason's resident curmudgeons will be along shortly to tell you to get off his lawn with your newfangled gadget.

  • PD Scott||

    (licks thumb, turns page) Hmph.

  • Tonio||

    You turn your own pages? Where are your orphans?

  • Long Range Boredom||

    "Who even buys physical books anymore?"

    *Raises hand*
    But that's only because I hate reading on a tiny screen.

  • Jordan||

    Kindle screens aren't tiny. And you can change the text size.

  • Long Range Boredom||

    Kindle screens are tiny to me, my monitor is huge. I also get headaches reading from screens in general unless I have specific lighting conditions, it's weird.

  • Jordan||

    You can't read physical books on a monitor...

    You might find the Kindle screen doesn't give you headaches, since it is not a backlit LCD.

  • Long Range Boredom||

    I had a Kindle for about two months. Worked better than most monitors but I still got headaches when I tried to read it on the bus. I do most of my 'book reading' while in transit so I'm stuck with paper (which I don't mind at all).

  • Nephilium||

    I'm one of those who prefer buying physical books. I prefer reading on printed material, enjoy the look of walls covered in books, and the paperback versions of books were usually cheaper then the eBooks.

  • JW||

    You're not the only one.

    I completely get the utility of a Kindle, but I just don't see me giving up (new) physical books until I have no choice.

  • Nephilium||

    I've got an eReader too... I picked up a Kobo while Borders was going out of business. I then hit up the Gutenberg Project and the Mises Institute to pull down a bunch of free ebooks. Even with all of that, I use it more of a backup to physical books while traveling. I haven't bought a single ebook since I've had it. On the other hand, I've picked up a pile of physical books in that same time period.

  • pan fried wylie||

    enjoy the look of walls covered in books

    Where else are you supposed to put the hidden staircase/firepole to your dungeon/batcave?

  • sarcasmic||

    Who even buys physical books anymore?

    Me. My wife is buying stuff from Thrift Books dot com all the time. My mother received a Kindle as a gift and has yet to use it.

  • anon||

    Thrift Books dot com

    See, buying shit online is ruining French culture.

    Fucking xenophobe!

  • np||

    I still buy either physical books, or other non-Kindle ebooks. I'm avoid Kindle because of DRM and the fact Amazon can remove your books at any time. This has occurred in a few instances over offensive content (when someone complains) or the lost or expiration of publishing rights, or region restrictions.

  • anon||

    I'm avoid Kindle because of DRM and the fact Amazon can remove your books at any time.

    The few times it has happened there was a -huge- fuss about it.

    Plus, if they do, you can just go download the torrent anyways.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    If they came up with a way to flip through Kindle books the way I can with a large reference text, I'd convert fully too. I'm having a hard time describing it, and maybe it's just that I'm more used to manipulating a paper book. It's sort of the way you can stick your thumb in where you're reading and flip to the index, or two chapters back, or something and jump around easily. I know Kindles have bookmarks, and the word search function is very much a killer app there, but something about paper just feels natural where Kindle feels cumbersome.

    This isn't Luddism, at worst it's just a failure to adapt. But to me it feels like a real difference in function. I do like Kindles for novels; but for reference or textbooks it just doesn't work for me.

  • Jordan||

    Agreed. I won't buy reference books on Kindle either. I think the latest one may have improved on this, but it's probably not on par yet.

  • np||

    I feel the same way. eBooks are fine for novels and comics. But for reference or technical books, I find the physical form easier to use. It is the ability to view a whole two pages at once, quickly flip to and browse through and scan sections, which is easier to do eyeballing two pages, harder to do by scrolling pages on screen.

  • Zeb||

    Same thing with printed catalogs versus searchable websites. If you know what you want to find, electronic is obviously superior. But you really can't browse in the same way. There have been many times when I can't come up with the right search term to find what I am looking for, but looking through a paper catalog I can find it quickly.

  • Quinn||

    I love Amazon because I can have both. Often I order reference books or cheaper books off their site (and will get free 2 day shipping if lucky) Or use my kindle to get it if I want to pay slightly more for the convenience.

    Except if it's new, in which case kindle is cheaper and I can get it immediately.

  • Zeb||

    I won't buy anything that I can't resell.

  • ||

    I assume the French also have laws protecting buggy whip makers and typewriter manufacturers.

  • anon||

  • Long Range Boredom||

  • Voros McCracken||

    It amazes me how craven something like this is. The folks in charge of implementing this know damned well it's idiotic. They don't care. It plays well to their voting base and that's all that matters.

    And _that_ is a counter argument to Friedman's democracy fetish.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Va te faire foutre, voilà pourquoi.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Je vois ce que vous avez fait là.

  • anon||

    I'm going to assume that says "fuck you, that's why."

  • Enough About Palin||

    Quand vous assumez, vous faites un cul de u et moi.

  • anon||

    Man, english idioms really suck in french.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    BAGUETTE!. uuoohh uuooohuh uuoohuh BAAGGUUEETTEE!

  • BakedPenguin||

    I thought that was "baise-toi, c'est pourquoi."

  • Paul.||

    The French National Assembly has approved a bill that aims to protect independent book stores from the competition offered by companies like Amazon by banning the combination of five percent reductions and free shipping.

    So... a kind of Maginot line against capitalism. I say it's a good plan.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    France is known for being proud of its local stores, considering them essential to bring culture to small villages.

    Inefficiency and futility are as French as the 30-hour work week, the croissant, and surrendering to Germans.

  • pan fried wylie||

    I misread this at first and asked myself "what's inefficient or futile about the croissant?"

    Then I tried again.

  • Brian||

    The French National Assembly has approved a bill that aims to protect independent book stores from the competition offered by companies like Amazon by banning the combination of five percent reductions and free shipping.

    I'm glad the government is here to protect citizens from 5% off and free shipping.

    It reminds me of microsoft being punished for giving windows customers free browsers.

    Why do anti-trust measures always look like making customers pay more for their stuff?

  • anon||

    I feel like they took the candlemaker's petition a bit too seriously.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why do anti-trust measures always look like making customers pay more for their stuff?

    Because that's what they are. But you're looking at it from the wrong point of view. You're thinking that the point of production is consumption, and that artificially inflating prices makes everyone poorer.

    The point of production is employment, so artificially inflating prices helps producers which leads to more employment.

    Concentrate on the seen. Ignore the unseen. See?

  • anon||

    Concentrate on the seen. Ignore the unseen. See?

    And the worst fucking part?

    It works.

    Every single motherfucking time.

  • sarcasmic||

    Of course it does. It plays off emotion. Understanding opportunity cost and such requires thought. Thoughts are hard. Emotions are easy.

  • Paul.||

    It reminds me of microsoft being punished for giving windows customers free browsers.

    Aaahhh, it takes me back to the heady days when policymakers thought that the television show as about what TV you watched it on.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    "Capitalism...is the only way. It's what makes America great. And England OK. And France terrible"

    -A great man

  • Quinn||

    I value the pride of my slide rule, if only the government banned calculators back in the day.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I own an abacus story. Tell me about it.

  • Brett L||

    I have a round slide rule that was my wife's grandfathers. Just got it two weeks ago, planning on learning to use it this weekend.

  • Zeb||

    So, if book stores are good because they bring culture to small villages, isn't access to Amazon.com even better because it brings even more culture to small villages? I think the real intention is quite the opposite. What France really seems to want is to keep the small villages only exposed to the right culture so that they can continue to turn their country into a museum.

  • Paul.||

    What France really seems to want is to keep the small villages only exposed to the right culture so that they can continue to turn their country into a museum.

    If you know anything about the French, or experienced Quebec, this is self-evident.

  • Long Range Boredom||

    Dear God man don't get me started on the Parti Quebecois. Just don't.

  • ||

    It's not that they bring culture to small villages, it's that they bring socialist bullshit to isolated leftists that live in small villages. Those people can't live without a constant IV drip of anti-capitalist propaganda. And they need constant interaction with other similarly minded retards to help reinforce their identity. I'd hate to see what would happen to one of them if you cut them off and forced them to live among rednecks for a few years.

  • ||

    Wait. Did I say "hate"? I meant "like".

  • Paul.||

    But you can get anti-capitalist propaganda from Amazon, with super-saver shipping!

  • ||

    It needs to be injected in the correct environmental context. Namely, next to an espresso machine at a sidewalk cafe.

  • Sevo||

    "The country's 3,000 independent bookshops had complained they can't compete with cut-price offers online."

    'm sure they are so "independent" that they each sent a letter.

  • ||

    They're so independent that they can't survive without a government subsidy.

    That's independence for you!

  • ||

    Holy God, my interminably stupid progressive sister was on the "independent bookstore" bandwagon back in 1996 when the feared capitalist opposition was Borders.

    Has anyone noticed that most so-called "independent" bookstores seem to exist solely to offer "alternative" literature that consists largely of polemical non-fiction by obscure leftish academics? Copies of Z magazine and diatribes about the patriarchy abound. Don't miss the collected works of Noam Chomsky on audio tape! Stop here to stock up on PETA pamphlets and find out where the next Occupy townhall is set to occur.

    These days she traipses around talking about how she's going to go to France and take classes in Japanese Pottery from a real Japanese master. Apparently, she had to give away the beehive when she moved into an apartment.

    I take it from this that France is the new favorite destination for globetrotting protard couch-surfers.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm fine if they all go to France voluntarily.

    It's the ones that won't leave voluntarily that are a problem.

  • Paul.||

    Apparently, she had to give away the beehive when she moved into an apartment.

    Apropos of this, I read somewhere that animal shelters around the country are having a huge influx of chickens. Apparently, hipsters want to do urban farming, then quickly realize that farming sucks and dump their chickens off at the animal shelter.

  • ||

    I have a backyard garden so I can relate actually.

    First year was awesome. Second year the animals and the insects and diseases figured out where the food was. I'm developing a strong sense of empathy for Elmer Fudd.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Why would you bring your chicken to the shelter rather than the butcher? Or just wring its neck yourself.

  • Paul.||

    Hipsters... HIPSTERS.

  • NL_||

    Umm, so are there no French libraries? Is the government letting people read books for free at the same time it chides Amazon for giving 5% discounts?

  • ||

    The libraries don't sell a limited selection of only correct socialist literature.

  • Paul.||

    Exactly. Why does France even have internet when they've got MiniTel?

  • pan fried wylie||

    Last time I checked, I don't have to pay for shipping when I shop at a brick&mortar;.

    So prohibiting Amazon from offering free shipping puts Amazon at a competitive DIS-advantage, rather than eliminating an alleged advantage, nes pas?

  • Len Bias||

    Yes, that's the whole point!

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