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Old 09-19-2010, 11:30 PM   #31
MrPLD
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Sabredog,

There's a bit of truth in what you've said there - "piracy" is their convenient enemy on which they can pin a lot of blame. It's simply too good a scapegoat to kill it.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:04 AM   #32
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As a fellow kiwi like the OP, I too am getting so frustrated. I used to buy ebooks through Book Depository but now that source too seems to have been turned off. Every ebook I search says "Out of stock" - including the ones I have already purchased. I have flicked off an email to their support desk to find out why (although I think I already know). The bizarre thing is that I can buy the same paperback from them and they send it FREE OF SHIPPING to New Zealand - which must cost a fortune!

Waterstones seems to also have reduced their selection - I am looking at Hatchette books, one of the main publishing culprits (Alexander McCall Smith is the author). They are no longer on the site for me, yet I have also purchased here before.

We are not in the dark ages anymore, why is this getting so hard? It's enough to turn me back to paper books - which seems so wrong now I'm addicted to my reader.

Whitcoulls selection is still bad - or in my opinion it is - and their prices are significantly higher.

Thank goodness for the Philadelphia Library - even if their waiting lists are long.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:44 AM   #33
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It does make you wonder if the agency 5 publishing houses actually realise that geographic restrictions would certainly contribute more to the increase in ebook piracy than DRM ever has.

Or maybe they do and simply do not care. Preferring to cry "foul" and "woe is us" when they discuss piracy issues without trying to make the changes needed to an anachronistic distribution and rights model.

When you attempt to buy an ebook from an Australian author and you are an Australian resident and cannot, something is clearly not right.
The agency 5 are no different in any way than the big music labels or the movie houses or any of the big corporate power groups. They're stuck in an old model that's "comfortable" to them, and they utterly refuse to change, because to them, change is frightening.

We've been seeing this exact situation happening in a lot of other industries as well. Being a formerly high ranking member of the FOSS community, and a top ranking tech journalist, has given me an interesting view of everything going on in that little part of the world, what with the battle going on for media freedom, software freedom, and so much more, its allowed me to see a lot of things I wouldn't otherwise see or know about.

What you are seeing with the agency 5 is only the beginning. If they continue following the same path as everyone else has, we're in for some pretty scary times ahead for the next 20-30 years. I say this because the book industry seems to be anywhere from 5-20 years behind other industries as far as major changes go. Being part of the "media" industry, they will undergo many of the same upheavals and changes as the others, but at a much delayed pace. I think that will scare them even more, and may result in some rather nasty kickbacks and throws of terror as they watch the other branches of the media industry get battered about in the storms of change, and then realize that those same storms are coming their way as well, and are totally unavoidable.

So in the end, while I'm not entirely certain what all will happen to the publishing industry, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will mirror what's happening to other industries in quite a few ways. And until these vain attempts at forestalling the inevitable come to an end, things are going to get messy.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:48 AM   #34
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Being a formerly high ranking member of the FOSS community, and a top ranking tech journalist, has given me an interesting view of everything going on in that little part of the world,
For my own interest, can you give me some more background on this? Only asking because I'm a rather active FOSS participant from the early 1990's on.

Paul.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:57 AM   #35
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Now I can finally understand the ACTA and all other efforts to combat piracy. It's a lot easier for them to take actions against the "pirates" than to address the problems with publisher-author contracts/global internet purchases/geo restrictions. And they can also make themselves look like saints in the process, even possibly make money in the courts from lawsuits that are in some cases possible because of their own actions. What a wonderful business model.
Whether it is serendipity or a deliberate decision, there are a few entertainment products that have made more money through court action than they did through traditional sales. Porn companies are particularly litigious, but more mainstream entertainment companies are at it too now.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:26 AM   #36
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For my own interest, can you give me some more background on this? Only asking because I'm a rather active FOSS participant from the early 1990's on.

Paul.
Well, I wasn't as famous or well known as a the likes of Linus Torvalds, but I was quite well known in the journalistic circles and those who write about all things FOSS. I used to run Raiden's Realm (www.raiden.net) and worked at getting newbies into the Linux/FOSS world. By the sounds of it, you may not have heard of me, being far more advanced skill and experience wise than I typically worked with. But if you were out working with newbies a lot, you likely should have run into me. The guys at Tuxmachines, Linux Today, and some of the other bigger news sites quite often posted my articles, which in turn found their way into the FOSS world.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:25 AM   #37
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I should go back over my old archives and look for your articles. I only ever posted one article in LinuxJournal back in the late 90's when I was working in Africa.

Still it's good to bump into people who were working on things from back then - back when slashdot and freshmeat were about the two most important sites in a Linux geek's life

Paul.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:58 PM   #38
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And they wonder why people pirate digital media!
There is only one reason why international restrictions are placed on media by the publishers: money.
If I tried and failed to buy a book legitemately, I'd get straight on bittorrent and be done with it.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:21 AM   #39
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I don't think it's about money, even free books have restrictions on who is allowed to read them. It's more about trying to make an old sales model fit the new age.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:49 AM   #40
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I don't think it's about money, even free books have restrictions on who is allowed to read them. It's more about trying to make an old sales model fit the new age.
Trying to make an old sales model fit the new age has everything to do with money.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:23 AM   #41
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I don't think it's about money, even free books have restrictions on who is allowed to read them. It's more about trying to make an old sales model fit the new age.
I think it's about money, though not in the way most people think: I think it's more about making sure a foreign publisher doesn't get any money from someone living in your territory than directly getting money oneself.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:30 PM   #42
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I think it's about money, though not in the way most people think: I think it's more about making sure a foreign publisher doesn't get any money from someone living in your territory than directly getting money oneself.
The solution to that would be for writers to sell global rights to one publisher (assuming they see any need for a publisher). But surely it would be better to "rob" money from a foreign publisher in that way than to just send people to torrent sites?
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