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LIVE from the NYPL: Amazon: Business As Usual?

LIVE from the NYPL & WME present "Amazon: Business As Usual?"

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In April 2014, Amazon and Hachette locked horns in what has become a very public, and still ongoing, battle over contract negotiations. After the online retailer removed the pre-order option, imposed shipping delays, and slashed discounts on the book publisher's titles, the reaction against Amazon was swift and fierce. But the story of the Amazon-Hachette dispute is anything but simple, and raises critical questions about the future of the book publishing industry. What is really at stake for the companies, authors and readers? What larger issues of free-market capitalism and free speech are at play? And what does the Amazon-Hachette dispute reveal about the future of the publishing industry in the age of e-books?  

Authors, agents, and publishers take to the LIVE from the NYPL stage to tackle these urgent questions in a conversation moderated by Tina Bennett, literary agent at WME. Guests include: best-selling author James Patterson; Morgan Entrekin, publisher and president of Grove Atlantic; Bob Kohn, attorney and founder of; Tim Wu, law professor and theorist of “net neutrality;” Danielle Allen, political theorist, author of a new book on the Declaration of Independence and elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board; and David Vandagriff, intellectual property lawyer. 

Co-presented by WME.

Danielle Allen, the UPS Foundation Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. She was recently named chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, the first African American woman to hold this position, and was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship in 2002.   She works on issues of citizenship in the digital age and political equality. Her new book, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, will be published in July.

Tina Bennett is a literary agent and partner at WME, where she specializes in narrative nonfiction, idea books, politics, history, current affairs, memoir, and academic crossover titles.  She joined Janklow & Nesbit Associates as a literary agent in 1994, working there for 18 years before joining WME as a partner in the literary department.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities, and serves on the board of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

Morgan Entrekin started the Morgan Entrekin Books imprint with Atlantic Monthly Press in 1984, where he published books by P.J. O’Rourke, Richard Preston, Ron Chernow and Francisco Goldman. He acquired Atlantic Monthly Press in 1991 and in 1993 he merged AMP with Grove Press - the publisher of Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Jorge Luis Borges, and Harold Pinter, among others.

Bob Kohn is an attorney, entrepreneur and high tech investor. He was the founder of (formerly NASDAQ: EMUS), the pioneering music download service, and RoyaltyShare, which provides digital revenue and royalty processing services to record companies, music publishers, and book publishers. He is also the author of Kohn On Music Licensing, an 1,800-page legal treatise which USA Today called "the bible on legal issues in the music world." He is participating as a "friend-of-the-court" in the government's recent litigation against Apple and the major book publishers, and a summary of his position was published by the New York Times in an op-ed piece entitled, “How Book Publishers Can Beat Amazon."

James Patterson has been hailed by the New York Times Magazine as having "transformed book publishing," and by Time Magazine as "The Man Who Can't Miss." In 2011, it was estimated that one-in-four of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson.  He is the first author to achieve ten million ebook sales and holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. For the past decade, Patterson has devoted much of his time to championing books and reading.

Tim Wu is an author, policy advocate, and professor at Columbia Law School.  He is also a fellow at the New America Foundation, and a contributing editor at The New Republic. Wu is best known for popularizing the concept of network neutrality, and has also made significant contributions to wireless communications policy, most notably with his "Carterfone" proposal. His book The Master Switch was named among the best books of 2010 by the New Yorker magazine, Fortune magazine, Publishers Weekly, and other publications. He is a current candidate for lieutenant governor of New York.

David Vandagriff is an intellectual property attorney who represents authors, publishers, agents and technology companies. He has also negotiated contracts with major investment banks in New York City and with Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and Disney, among many other organizations. In addition to his law practice, David has been an executive with several technology companies and has started and managed an intellectual property investment company that engages in patent litigation.

LIVE from the NYPL is made possible with generous support from Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.

A note to our patrons: LIVE from the NYPL programs begin promptly at 7p.m. We recommend arriving twenty minutes before the scheduled start time to get to your seats. In order to minimize disturbances to other audience members, we are unable to provide late seating.

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