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There's another bit that nobody has brought up: no author ever ends up owning the entirety of his or her work. If I write a book for Harper Collins, I am not allowed to reproduce or distribute that content via any channel not approved by them, and they give much worse than a 70/30 cut.

As hackers, we are debating these books as if they are software, but remember that they are products at the intersection of two industries, and publishers have had authors in restrictive and less-than-lucrative contracts for a long time.

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