From Ink, Bits & Pixels:
While readers are flocking to subscription ebook services in droves, the concept is facing increased legal opposition in France.
In December Fleur Pellerin, the French Minister of Culture, called for the legality of subscription ebook services to be investigated, and now a group of French publishers are taking the position that it is illegal.
The Syndicat National de l’Edition (SNE) released a statement today which reads (translated by Google):
After careful consideration and legal analysis, the Office of SNE is concluded last December that the subscription offers whose prices are not set by the publishers are not legal, and except as specified by the 2011 Law on the price of digital books, namely the collective use offers proposed for vocational purposes, higher education or research. In these sectors, in fact, multi-subscription offers publishers have long been at the initiative of the publishers themselves, and correspond to the specific characteristics of their business models. In contrast, the market for “mainstream”, the law does not allow multi-vendor subscription offers only subscription offers consist of one editor, who control the price.
. . . .
In letting users read as many books as they want for a flat monthly fee of 10 euros, Amazon is in effect setting the price itself, and SNE believes this is illegal. And they could well be correct, although we will need to wait for the French government to finish its investigation before we know for sure.
Link to the rest at Ink, Bits & Pixels