One of my colleagues recently noticed that a number of law review articles are available for sale (or rather digital download) at amazon.com An example is here. She asked me if there were any legal problems with this and I replied that I didn't think so because presumably law reviews will not license the articles to amazon unless they have authority to do so under their publication agreements with the individual authors. We continued going back and forth on the issue because my colleague was uneasy that someone might be making money commercially from her work in a manner she had not contemplated. The pricepoint for these downloads from amazon is around $10 per article (or really $9.95 because that sounds so much cheaper). My assumption was that if individual law review articles are priced that way, it's probably due to the request of the publisher and amazon is probably getting a relatively small cut. In other words if this is like other electronic downloads that amazon does, amazon can release kindle books much more cheaply when the paper version publisher does not set a particularly high price (or when there is no paper version publisher and the author is engaging in e-publishing direct through amazon).
So, aside from the fact that very few people are probably buying articles from amazon that they could access from other sources more cheaply (or free), if less conveniently, I would assume that it wouldn't be amazon making huge profits from this. Are the law reviews actually making any money out of it then? And, if so, how does the pricing of an individual article compare to the pricing of an entire volume of the relevant law review? And how are journals deciding whether to release material on amazon and, when they do, are they releasing all of their published articles or just select articles that the editors think may appeal to a more general audience?