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Old 10-25-2010, 01:05 PM   #16
abookreader
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Well sure it is a Publishing Contractual problem. But since neither the retailer nor the customer have anything to do with those Publishing Contracts, asking us to care about that is ridiculous.

The big difference being - Waterstones is "allowed" to sell me (a US resident) the UK Print version of a book if that's what I want. In fact they frequently do. As long as I'm willing to pay the shipping cost, they do it with a smile and send me thank you emails.

Publishers do not try to restrict the retail sale of printed books, even though they all claim this unworkable mode of digital book business is based off the traditional print model of offering distribution via geographic areas.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:14 PM   #17
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It's not just the dinosaurs in the publishing industry, it's also the legal definition of point of sale:
- If you buy a printed book from Waterstones UK & have it shipped to the USA, the pos is deemed to be the UK - therefore it's OK to sell a UK territory book to you;
- If you buy the same title in digital form from Waterstones UK, the pos is deemed to be your computer, in the USA - therefore it's not OK to sell a UK territory book to you.

Of course, if the publisher in whatever territory your computer is in hasn't extracted their finger and got an ebook published, then the author has lost a sale, and you *may* be tempted by the darknet...

(I want a "smiley" for gnashing teeth & emitting steam from ears)
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:56 PM   #18
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Rats! Well at least I got Bernard Cornwell's Arthur series before the door got slammed. Just wish I'd managed to pick up more of the books I can't get in the USA before it happened.

Ah well, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of publishers? The Darknet knows ...
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
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.
So my question is, *IF* an author were to go out and try to locate a publisher to publish their new eBook is there a publisher currently in existence who publishes for all of terra firma?

Or is there some kind of relationship that I don't know about which has to exist? Like the publishers each have a back room filled with lawyers versed in European Copyright Law and not North American Copyright law nor Australian Copyright Law, etc. etc.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:11 PM   #20
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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.
That is not the important reason for having different regions. The idea is that a local publisher know the market better and can sell more books. So from the authors perspective it is optimal to sell to different publishers in different regions.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:42 PM   #21
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So my question is, *IF* an author were to go out and try to locate a publisher to publish their new eBook is there a publisher currently in existence who publishes for all of terra firma?

Or is there some kind of relationship that I don't know about which has to exist? Like the publishers each have a back room filled with lawyers versed in European Copyright Law and not North American Copyright law nor Australian Copyright Law, etc. etc.

I would expect in the future that as ebooks become a larger piece of the pie, that ebook rights will be a pretty contentious issue. Will any regional publisher be happy with p-book rights if they can't have ebook rights, too?

Sure, logistically pretty much anyone could become an ebook distributor. I could, you could. But could we award a publishing contract and advances to professional authors? I don't think the publishing houses are going to negotiate solely for pbook rights and let the ebook rights go elsewhere if they can help it.

So, unfortunately, it's probably only going to get worse before it gets better.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:55 PM   #22
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I am in New Zealand and buy from Waterstones. I haven't yet received the email, but I'm sure I will. That only leaves Book Depository.....I wonder how long they will hold out. Where will we buy our books?
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:14 PM   #23
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The hypocracy of the whole geo restrictions issue is that publishers refuse to even consider that their own restrictive business models contribute to the increased numbers of frustrated ebook purchasers turning elsewhere to obtain an ebook they want to buy, are happy to buy but cannot. Then they gripe about piracy being an issue?

I cannot even buy ebooks from a certain Australian SF author even though I reside in Australia, due to geographic restrictions. I have purchased all his ebooks to date via convoluted means to defeat the restrictions at least ensuring he got some royalties from me.

Diesel did tell me that they agree with their customers but must abide by the agency 5 demands.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:21 AM   #24
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Agency 5 demands?
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:25 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
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.
Last time I checked, the UK was in Europe. Why can't I buy from the UK then? No Dutch publisher publishes English language books. I'm not allowed to buy it in the US, I'm not allowed to buy it in the UK...
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:39 AM   #26
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Agency 5 demands?
Pretty much the usual

Crackdown on geographic location of purchasers so to ensure non sales if the ebook is restricted. Additional titles to be geo restricted including books within series that were previously not restricted.

Increased pricing

There were a couple of others but I cannot remember them all. The top two were the stand outs.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:44 AM   #27
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From everything I've heard, English has become somewhat a lingua franca for the Dutch. - Not that there's anything wrong with the local languages - it's nice though when a whole country can speak the same language and if English can provide that, it is commendable.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:50 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
The hypocracy of the whole geo restrictions issue is that publishers refuse to even consider that their own restrictive business models contribute to the increased numbers of frustrated ebook purchasers turning elsewhere to obtain an ebook they want to buy, are happy to buy but cannot. Then they gripe about piracy being an issue?

I cannot even buy ebooks from a certain Australian SF author even though I reside in Australia, due to geographic restrictions. I have purchased all his ebooks to date via convoluted means to defeat the restrictions at least ensuring he got some royalties from me.

Diesel did tell me that they agree with their customers but must abide by the agency 5 demands.
Yeah, this can get fairly hilarious.

Get book from library here, no problem.
Buy book here, no problem except for paying 15 dollars extra or whatever.. (So US publisher and UK publishers and retailers lose a sale).
Buy UK version of book from Book Depository in UK (US and Australian publishers and retailers lose sale)
Buy US version of book from Book Depository in UK (UK and Australian publishers and US retailer lose a sale).
Buy UK version of book from Amazon (US and Australian publishers and Australian and UK retailers lose sale)
Buy US version of book from Amazon (UK and Australian publishers and retailers lose a sale).

Buy ebook from UK? Nope.
Buy ebook from US? Nope.

Both the last two of course are identical to two of the above scenarios as to who the losers are. Except of course for the percentage of people that say 'screw you, I'll get it for free'.

Then everybody above loses.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:16 AM   #29
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Hm, I have yet to get that message from Waterstone's and just this weekend I was over on the WHSmith site and noticed that they no longer carry those little flags saying that the e-books are only available to UK residents.

Went into my Waterstone's account to see if there was anything there about the change in policy, but nothing so far and nothing on the "e-book help" section of the website. I wonder if it has anything to do with my using my UK credit card for purchases from them? (Billing address is NOT in the UK.)

P.S. Oh poop! Guess what just turned up in my e-mail about 15 minutes after I first posted this!

Last edited by bevdeforges; 10-26-2010 at 07:43 AM. Reason: just got "the letter"
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:07 AM   #30
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Waterstones Locks Us Out

I just had this note through from Waterstones two minutes ago. And note that the ban is backdated to six days before this letter was sent out. Unbloodybelievable!

I use a Sony in France. Outside the US, I can't access the Sony Store, so I've always been re-directed to B&N and Waterstones. Now Waterstones is slamming the door on ebook readers outside the UK and Eire. The reason, they claim, complex georestrictions. What utter bollox!

Is the industry determined to drive 'double-foreigners' (neither US nor UK residents ... or Irishmen, come to that) to 'alternative' means of acquisition?

Neil.


From: info [mailto:info@waterstones.com]
Sent: 26 October 2010 12:54
To: info
Subject: eBooks from Waterstones.com

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
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