Welcome to the Audiblegate Legal Fund. This is a true heroic David and Goliath story, a fight for justice and livelihoods, an uprising against a corporation in the Amazon empire mistreatment of authors and narrators.
The Equitable Rights Movement, Inc. (TERM) is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation created to manage and promote awareness of the Audiblegate campaign and defend against the misuse of rights holders’ intellectual property and the financial and moral abuse by Amazon’s Audible.
Kanter Law Group is lending its expertise as we bring Audible’s egregious actions to the attention of U.S. regulators and enforcers. We are creating an in-depth memorandum outlining Audible's illegal behaviors and predation in the publishing industry. This memorandum is a first step in engaging enforcers to investigate Audible’s monopolistic practices.
This memo will also help us move forward with a class action which all authors can join to recover damages (not just those using ACX). Audible's monopoly as a seller (and monopsony as a buyer of audiobook products) enables it to set exorbitant sales fees for sellers, ranging between 60% to 87% of the sales price. This compared to the 15% sellers on Amazon Marketplace pay. Nor can sellers even choose their own pricing. Meanwhile, since Audible controls list-pricing on its own platform and Amazon, they secretly penalize customers too.
Why is this legal fight so important?
Audiblegate reveals why monopolies are so dangerous, not just to livelihoods but to culture. Audible now has an unassailable position in the market; they own the sales platform, overcharge rights holders for access, and favor their own studios’ products. Brilliance Audio, Audible Studios, and Audible Originals all enjoy a far greater in-platform marketing advantage than other audiobook producers on Amazon's and Audible's sales page.
No company should be both a producer, a seller and the sales platform on which all other producers must vie for attention.
If we do nothing, Audible's stranglehold on the industry will only tighten, funded in part by overcharging authors to participate in its shell game and to take the hit for Audible's fraudulent Returns scheme. Such an opportunity to overthrow the abuses of a big-tech monopoly may never come again.
This is content creators saying, "no more" to unfair big corporation tactics against little guys who have no voice. Your support will give us the volume we need to create change and rewrite our story in the future.
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Read more: Audiblegate.com
Listen to Episode 7 of our Audiblegate podcast
where Susan May explains why this campaign is so important.
- Search Audiblegate on your podcast app of choice, Apple or Android
- Listen on YouTube https://youtu.be/J5ehtWeDddY
What TERM has achieved already:
In less than three months, in 2020, the small team behind TERM gained valuable concessions.
- A 5% bonus payment in December 2020 sales.
- Returns after seven days no longer charged to authors.
- Revision of the seven-year exclusivity term to 90 days.
What does TERM want to achieve in the future?
- The promised amendments to incomplete reporting that remain opaque.
- Sales returns and data prior to January 2021 supplied and returns paid back to authors.
- Only true returns (less than 25% listened) debited to authors.
Our goal is to raise $70,000 to cover legal expenses, incorporation of the company and ancillary expenses, such as the website. Volunteers, including company directors, will not receive compensation. Every penny will go toward the fight. Our wonderful volunteers freely give their time to fight for all of us; all you need do is donate to protect our future. TERM is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.
- The equivalent of your December 5% bonus.
- A percentage of your increased income from the extra sales you now receive.
- A monthly amount.
We only need 700 authors to donate $100 each or 50 career authors to donate $1,500 and we will succeed.