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Old 09-11-2007, 07:45 PM   #76
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You can legally purchase from a collection of over 11,000 ebooks for the Reader, you can't for the iLiad. Yeah I know, you try to convince yourself you'll only read PDF's for work, but then you download Teaching the Au Pair to Submit from the Sony Store and your fate is sealed.
Legally I'm not supposed to purchase anything from the Sony Store due to being a non US resident however lying about my location worked fine. So if I want to be legal the iliad is a better option with all the mobipocket books available for download.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:51 PM   #77
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Legally I'm not supposed to purchase anything from the Sony Store due to being a non US resident however lying about my location worked fine. So if I want to be legal the iliad is a better option with all the mobipocket books available for download.
The weird thing about Mobipocket vs Sony Connstore: Why can Mobipocket sell me an ebook from a website in France but Sony can't sell you an ebook if you're not in the US?

I don't get it.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:53 PM   #78
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MobiPocket has international distribution rights and Sony ConnStore doesn't. It's pretty straightforward, actually.

The distribution rights that Mobi does or doesn't have has no effect on the distribution rights that Sony does or doesn't have.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:16 PM   #79
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MobiPocket has international distribution rights and Sony ConnStore doesn't. It's pretty straightforward, actually.

The distribution rights that Mobi does or doesn't have has no effect on the distribution rights that Sony does or doesn't have.
Does Mobipocket actually have such rights? If such rights are available, then why didn't Sony acquire them? Are they mentally deficient?
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:27 PM   #80
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Does Mobipocket actually have such rights? If such rights are available, then why didn't Sony acquire them? Are they mentally deficient?
One would assume that Mobi has them, since they are distributing internationally, and not getting sued.

Think it through for a bit, Nate the great:

The rights are negotiated, usually from the publisher and/or other distributors, I suppose.

Sony's mental acuity, or lack thereof, likely has less to do with it than with whether those who hold the international distribution rights are at liberty to negotiate them (as they may not be if they were, say, locked into some sort of exclusive contract or some such), and their willingness to negotiate an agreement with Sony.

Further complicating the matter is that the distribution rights will be held by multiple (potentially a big multiple) entities.

It's a simple concept, yes, but like so many legal things, the execution is ... not so simple.


Please note that I have no detailed knowledge of the actual processes involved, so that's mostly guesswork -- considered guesswork, but still guesswork.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:03 PM   #81
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Please note that I have no detailed knowledge of the actual processes involved, so that's mostly guesswork -- considered guesswork, but still guesswork.
But it's a really good guess.

It gets even worse when you go back a step before the publisher/distributor agreements. First, there's the negotiation between the author and the publisher. In simple deals, the author sells, say, First North American print rights to the publisher along with a bundle of ancillary rights like world publishing rights and e-rights. Those ancillary rights are usually transferable, and publishers sell them all the time. Scholastic, for example, bought the US rights to the Harry Potter books. Publishers often buy paperback rights, but sell them down the road to a house that is better equipped to handle them. Insane as it seems, e-rights are also being sold on a regional basis these days. Also, said rights might be sold exclusively or non-exclusively.

Now that authors and their agents are getting more savvy, it's not uncommon with hot properties for an agent to sell all the various rights separately; First North American rights to this publisher, First European rights to that one, etc. Or an author may choose to retain the e-rights and use them for promotion, as long as it doesn't conflict with any non-compete clauses included in the other rights sales.

It can get very messy.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:17 PM   #82
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I think I understand the difference. Mobipocket can sell books anywhere because they are not the exclusive publisher of their format in any market (besides possibly France). Any one can publish in their format. Fictionwise, for example, relies on Mibipocket DRM servers, but likely negotiated not with Mobipocket but with the various publishers, agents, authors for the right to sell in the US market.

Sony, on the other hand, is the exclusive publisher of its' format.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:23 PM   #83
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Sony, on the other hand, is the exclusive publisher of its' format.
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."
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:23 PM   #84
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You've almost got it, Nate, I don't believe that the format matters one whit, but otherwise you're pretty much there.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:26 PM   #85
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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.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:15 AM   #86
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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.
I think this goes back to the physical nature of p-books vs. e-books. P-books are difficult to copy, e-books aren't. P-books are difficult to distribute, e-books aren't. When a publisher has regional publishing rights to some content, the physicality of the books makes it difficult for the books to wander across borders. The PITA factor limits things.

Electronic content, on the other hand, has no physical limiting factor. It makes regional rights almost meaningless. For all intents and purposes, New York to Beijing is the same as New York to Boston. The nature of the technology creates situations where the consumer just has to state "I am in country X" to gain access to regionally restricted content (as with the Sony Reader). The movie industry had to gain or force the collusion of DVD player manufacturers to enforce regional restrictions. That added a little bit of the PITA factor back in.

Let's hope the e-book industry never goes down that road.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:15 PM   #87
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It could also just be a case of the legal environment the 2 companies operate in. The laws may not allow restrictive trade practises in France.

It always amazes me the a country like the US which seems to be based o nthe idea of freedom seems to have one of the most restrictive economies
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:19 PM   #88
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I think this goes back to the physical nature of p-books vs. e-books. P-books are difficult to copy, e-books aren't. P-books are difficult to distribute, e-books aren't. When a publisher has regional publishing rights to some content, the physicality of the books makes it difficult for the books to wander across borders. The PITA factor limits things.
thats not quite true about pbooks being difficult to copy Actually they are far easier to copy than ebooks,. All you need is a copier with a document feeder, guillotine the spine off the book and drop the pages in the feeder. Come back in a few minutes and your book is copied. What could be easier. Ok a non DRMed book is easier to copy I'll admit
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