In her speech, she [Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda] called for:
- Applying the same tax rate for ebooks that paper books get (ebooks are taxed at a higher rate in most European countries)
- a copyright system that balances the rights of all parties (not just the major media conglomerates)
- greater support for open and common ebook standards...
These a really very sensible wishes on the part of a politician. Not the least the copyright part. It is really only big media conglomerates which have the power to force through changes in copyright, which leads to absurdities like copyright extinction being extended from 50 years to 70 years, magically happening around the time when the earliest Mickey Mouse movies were pushing 50 years after Disney's death...
And of course the Public Good, which copyright limits were really designed to protect (so we wouldn't get into a situation where eventually every idea every used is tied up by copyrights), does not have too much money or power behind it.
And while perhaps great for Amazon, it's unfortunate that the Kindle format, by far the most popular, is proprietary. It's absurd that a Kindle can't read ePub format for example. Thank goodness for the idealism of Tim Berners-Lee, who could have been a multi-billionaire, but instead chose to make the World Wide Web open for all.