Originally Posted by jasonkchapman
Or exclusive distributor, I don't know. But yes, that would be my guess. Most likely, their contract includes something like "exclusively in the US and solely for use on blah blah blah."
And here is another big difference between e-books and print books. Print books are protected by the Constitution so the government cannot stop you buying them from wherever; the big textbook publishers tried to get an injunction to stop the US sale of textbooks printed for use in Asia which are identical to the US editions except they are much cheaper, so even some campus bookstores order and sell those; they failed.
Legally I can buy a print book from what country I want whatever the "US rights" of the respective book. And not only that, I can make a business out of that, buy in bulk from country x and resell here in the USA.
E-books status is unclear, but as far as I know right now they fall under the software category so their sale can be restricted territorially.