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Old 01-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
umanemo
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Question Overseas Downloads?

I travel extensively throughout Europe in a RV as a full time lifestyle. My wife reads books as her common passtime and has collected and trades dozens of books and has dozens constantly on hand - a storage problem in our abbreviated living space. She needs one of these devices.

We are US citizens and have library access in our former community. We are also on a limited fixed income budget (read: CHEAP) and would like to download as many as possible of the available titles that are free. Therein may lie the glitch to our hopeful solution to the book storage problem.

From Overseas can we download everything or anything? I.E. Library downloads (ILL), Lend-to-read books from family, Retail downloads, etc. I have heard that this is a problem as the servers recognize your location and block downloads under the copyright acts of that country or the EU zone?

Has anyone had any luck with family or friends paying for and downloading titles, free or paid for, to their PC (in the USA) and forwarding those title files by E-Mail to a computer overseas for a USB transfer to a eReader device??? Does this seem to be a viable solution to circumvent the overseas conventions.

What device brands will be most open to all formats that offer free reading material? Which devices would support the transfer scheme outlined above?

OK. So many questions and so little knowledge! Thank you for everyone's help.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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I live in Sweden but am a member of Free Library Philadelphia. I have no problems at all downloading bboks from there to my computer. I also had a chance to play with a Sony T1 and could download library books directly to the device.
I'm also able to purchase books at the Sony store with a US billing address on my credit card, and I can purchase books at Kobo store.
I can download freebies at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony.
All of the above while here in Europe.
I cannot buy books at Barnes and Noble (but, like I said, freebies work well)
I have also shared a couple of purchased books with my daughter. We share an Adobe account, so any DRM items can be used by both of us.
We both have Sony readers, but many other brands would work well too.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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When I lived overseas, I used a VPN client that gave me a US IP address. I used Hotspot Shield, but for a whole list of them, see here. Many of these are free because they are ad driven, but Firefox with AdBlock plus filtered out the ads for me. It's generally best to launch your VPN before you start browsing for a book; some websites, like B&N, look at where you're from when you arrive.

For free books, see Inkmesh for promotional ebooks. If you still have a card and your library offers ebooks, that's a viable source. Some libraries, like Philadelphia's, will sell you a library card for a nominal fee.

The ability of family members to purchase on your behalf depends on the format. ADE books have encryption applied at download. If your family has a different ADE account, their books won't work on your device. I believe that's the same with Kindle; if you're all registered to the same account then you can access them. If you have a US credit card and run a VPN, you should be able to purchase at most sites.

A visit to the Apprentice Alf blog will give you the tools that you need to remove the encryption. With the encryption gone, you can easily convert the book to the format that will work on your reader.

If you haven't picked a reader yet, a visit to the matrix might help. I'd stay far away from the Nooks, as B&N is very stringent about not supporting them overseas, even to the point of not permitting updates.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polly View Post
. I'd stay far away from the Nooks, as B&N is very stringent about not supporting them overseas, even to the point of not permitting updates.
B&N has always allowed registering their devices and downloading updates outside the US. Only the buying of ebooks was restricted to people with an US IP-address (although there was an exception for ".mil" and ".gov" e-mail addresses).
B&N changed this policy a few months ago. If you have a credit card issued by an US bank, you can now buy B&N ebooks (and magazines/newspapers) anywhere in the word. Only apps are still restricted to users with an US IP-address.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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From what I have read here, Amazon has the largest number of free books.

There have been reports from folks who have a US address and credit card and who lived overseas that they have had their purchases questioned by Amazon. SOme folks sent copies of their passports to Amazon and were allowed to continue to purchase books while living over seas.

The VPN blocker is a viable option. As is having a family member in hte US open the account and buy the books for you in the US. All you would have to do is download them and you will probably be able to do that using the WiFI.

In my limited international travel I had no problem buying books overseas using my Kindle. You would be able to access free books that are out of the copyright period where ever you are in the world.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #6
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I've been living outside the US for years. I have an alternative US address and credit card. I buy books and apps from Amazon for my Kindles every day. I have NEVER been questioned. The one thing I can't do is download streaming content. But the workaround on that is a VPN account--this works with most ISPs, though I have problems with Telus, where I have a business account with fixed IPs.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #7
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Definitely use a VPN. I used Hotspot Shield while living overseas and I always recommend it. Also keep a credit/debit card with a US address and you will have no problems.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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I was able to purchase from Amazon without using the VPN, but, in Germany, there was a 2 Euro VAT applied to the free books. I use Inkmesh to find books; sometimes when I followed the link from Inkmesh to Amazon, Amazon informed me that that book wasn't available in my geographic location. My US IP address and credit card fixed that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
B&N has always allowed registering their devices and downloading updates outside the US. Only the buying of ebooks was restricted to people with an US IP-address (although there was an exception for ".mil" and ".gov" e-mail addresses).
B&N changed this policy a few months ago. If you have a credit card issued by an US bank, you can now buy B&N ebooks (and magazines/newspapers) anywhere in the word. Only apps are still restricted to users with an US IP-address.
But will B&N sell Nooks to people overseas or offer warranty support? Until they do, it doesn't sound like good reader for people living overseas.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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Amazon: I registered a new Amazon account using a relative's residential address in the US, and without registering a credit card. I was blocked from downloading certain free books because they detected that I was using an Australian server and wanted me to prove US residency.

Sony: won't allow me into their bookstore at all but not sure whether that's IP-based.

Kobo: uses IP address to determine your region.

I haven't tried B&N.

I have downloaded library books from overseas and using foreign servers. This MAY depend on your library but I haven't heard of anyone having problems. I am not sure if you will need to register for the service with your home library before you can download. You should also check what format your library has available - most use epub predominantly - which is incompatible with Kindle - but some also have mobi titles available, which are compatible with Kindle (but not the other major players eg Sony, Kobo, Nook).
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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If you use a VON blocker you should be fine getting into most sites while in Australia.
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