Things That Make Me Love France #1: Fixed Prices on Books
In France, books have fixed prices, meaning publishers work in conjunction with book merchants to set a standard price for each title. This price is upheld for an agreed amount of time, i.e. no less than 5% of the published price until the paperback edition comes out, or the seasonal sales kick in, etc. Such equitable regime allows for mom and pop shops to compete with giants like Amazon.com or hypermarchés like Auchan and to sustain their livelihood.
This law, commonly known as the Lang Law, was put into effect on August 10, 1981 and was named after Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture at the time.
Towards the end of last year, the current Minister of Culture Fréderic Mitterand (yes, the nephew of that Mitterand) pushed for a fixed price legislation on e-book prices and was successful in passing it through the French parliament.
Photo Credit: via SL Emerick on Flickr.