Bookstores are more than books. They are places for people to gather in community. Mackenzie Bezos played a role in taking away a safe place for women to gather perhaps by her silent complicity during the lawsuit. Today the ethical thing for the Bezos to do is to give back the Amazon name to the Minneapolis women’s bookstore along with financial restitution. As we all know, the Amazon legacy is to stand up to bullies and fight for the underdogs.
The name Amazon was stolen from Amazon Bookstore a feminist bookstore founded in 1970 in Minneapolis, MN. In 1999 the Amazon Bookstore for-profit collective sued Jeff Bezos for trademark infringement, plus staff time and money lost due to customers and suppliers mistaking their store for the Web retailer.
When Jeff Bezos stole the Amazon name, he encouraged his lawyers to interrogate a store co-owner while she was under oath about her sexual orientation and that of her staff! This week Copperfield’s Book Club hosts Mackenzie Bezos who typed a trite book about four women. I want to know how she feels about the women whose lives and livelihood she helped trample. I also want to know how Paul Jaffe and Barney Brown would feel about a corporation selling books using Copperfields.com. I think these are important musings for small independent bookstore owners and their customers.
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