Fighting the DOJ’s Apple ebook settlement — in comic strip form

With the Department of Justice’s proposed ebook pricing settlement pending, last week U.S. District Judge Denise Cote granted attorney and licensing expert Bob Kohn, who opposes the settlement, permission to file an amicus brief in the case. But she gave him a restriction: It could only be five pages long. Kohn had previously submitted a 55-page brief.

How to get condense 55 pages into five? Kohn went with a comic strip. “He called his daughter, Katie, who is studying for her Ph.D in film studies at Harvard, who connected him with a fellow student, Julia Alekseyeva. After conferring with Ms. Alekseyeva, Mr. Kohn wrote the script and she drew the illustrations,” the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog reports. (Here’s Alekseyeva’s Tumblr.)

The five-page comic strip isn’t on par with “Calvin and Hobbes” or “Doonesbury,” but it draws attention to Kohn’s role as a “friend of the court” and is a catchy way to distill his argument that the DOJ wrongly defines low prices, not efficient prices, as the true goal of antitrust law. And it’s definitely more interesting than “Family Circus.”

Here’s the full brief.

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