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Old 10-25-2010, 07:40 AM   #1
AprilHare
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Waterstones.com no longer selling eBooks outside of the UK and Eire

Received the following from Waterstones:

"Dear Customer,

We see from our records that you have previously purchased an eBook from Waterstones.com whilst having a registered address outside of the UK and Ireland.

We regret that as of 20th October 2010, we are no longer able to sell eBooks to customers placing an order from anywhere outside of the UK and Ireland. We have had to take this action to comply with the legal demands of publishers regarding the territories into which we can sell eBooks.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Please note: Your previously purchased eBooks are not affected by this and will still be available in your ‘Digital order history’ in your online account.

Kind regards,

Waterstones.com Customer Service"

Last edited by AprilHare; 10-25-2010 at 06:57 PM. Reason: munged the title!
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:07 AM   #2
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It should be noted that the email was dated the 20th of October. Strange it took so long to get to me?
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:07 AM   #3
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I too have received this email and dated the 25th. I responded indicating it was their loss and I can spend my money elsewhere. I am a little put out as often they would be the only place selling some book I wanted.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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I'm guessing they held out against the publishers for as long as they possibly could.

A bit like holding out against the Mafia protection racket for as long as you can.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:42 AM   #5
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One Amazon to rule them all, one Amazon to unbind them,
One Amazon to download them all, and on the eink display them
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:44 AM   #6
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Umf !

This really sucks. I recived no such mail. Maybe france being in europe, is still in the "allowed" list.
I want to read american and English authors in English, not badly translated french.

Amazon really ? They are geo-restictiing me kinda badly.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:45 AM   #7
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I was thinking about this issue last night after reading the Publisher complaints on TheBookseller.com that Amazon geographic restrictions are easily circumvented.

1. Exactly how much time, effort and money do Publishers feel retailers should have to burden themselves with in order to protect an antiquated business model that does not fit into modern internet driven commerce?

Refusing a sale because somebody lives in Argentina rather than Canada these days makes about as much sense as saying "No you can't buy this because your last name starts with the letter K. We only sell to A - G."

Is it any wonder that customers are giving this whole thing a big WTF?

2. Is there any other product out there where the Producer sits around complaining that a retailer is selling it? I mean, other than things like alcohol/wine or porn were there are understandable legal reasons not to sell to under-aged buyers?

Its not like people from Australia should be prevented from buying a book because they aren't mature enough to handle the responsibility.

3. And finally, will we ever reach the point where some of the major retailers just say - "Hey you know what? This is not working for us. Figure out your contracts so that we can sell to anybody with a credit card who clicks buy, or just go list your books somewhere else. We have 700,000 other books to sell if you don't want to sell yours."
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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It is nonsensical. Going to absurd lengths to stop people buying something while moaning and bitching about piracy and theft is just stupid.

They do seem to be getting agitated here in the UK though about regional restrictions, even to the point where you can only download ebooks from your library while physically in the library and they only have 1 electronic copy. If someone else has it you have to wait.

Amazon are holding out on pricing front, but not necessarily for long. Clear your wishlist while you can!
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:24 AM   #9
shanghaichica
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Their books are really over-priced anyway.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:37 AM   #10
EowynCarter
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Yeah, yeah, overprice or not, at least they didn't geo-restrict me.

US publishers don't want us, UK publishers don't want us either. Where are we supposed to buy our e-books ???

Quote:
It is nonsensical. Going to absurd lengths to stop people buying something while moaning and bitching about piracy and theft is just stupid.
Indeed !
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:39 AM   #11
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It is just so stupid the way publishers are going out of their way to make it more difficult for people to actually give them money for their product, some people will persist and try to find the right place to buy, but many will just give up and look for less legal options instead since they are so much less hassle.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:43 AM   #12
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Ouch, whsmith will not allow select other country but UK either.
Oh dear, that's trouble !
Guess we need to do illegal stuff to get e-book (either lying on our billing address, or go to the darknet...). Ain't it wonderful ?

Last edited by EowynCarter; 10-25-2010 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:47 PM   #13
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Look on the bright side - if the publishers have finally noticed that ebooks were being sold outside of the prescribed territories, then it means there must be a profitable market out there. Why else would they try to restrict sales?
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #14
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It is reminents of a now obsolete system. Same as region code on DVDs. When you needed to manufacture and ship the product, it made sense to have regional sublicences. For digital products this is no longer an added value and in fact a negative value. However it is entrenched in many media forms. Since it is now a negative value it will die out over time, but while it is dieing , its death throws will be felt. At best, for digital products it makes sense to licence out the translations to specific languages, it no longer makes sense or adds value to do it by regions.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:03 PM   #15
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Unfortunately, it's a contractual problem.

Book publishing rights are still allocated geographically - i.e. a publisher buys the rights from the author to publish a book in a particular region, such as North America or Europe. The reason the publishers are up in arms is that if someone in the UK buys an ebook from Amazon.com.us, then the holder of the UK rights loses a sale.

In the days of print and small publishers, this made sense. A publisher in the US might not have the facilities to sell books overseas, so those rights would be sold to publishers in other countries.

But yes, the model is now broken.

Keep complaining. The only way it's going to get fixed is if enough people raise a big enough stink.

It's not the retailers' fault. There's not a retailer on Earth or the US (hah) who doesn't want to sell you things. That's how they make their livings, after all. So don't get mad at Waterstones or Amazon or whomever. But do complain to them so they can pass the complaints along. Just do so politely, please.
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