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Old 11-05-2010, 06:24 AM   #91
gimmeshelter
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I live in France and am happily still downloading books from Books on Board both their American and UK websites. Good selection, cheaper than Waterstones - have a look.

On the subject of Contracts, I totally get point of sale and geo restrictions, but what I really don't get is why a programme could not be written as they are all on-line to apply the necessary contract/point of sale stuff to the address the book is downloaded too. Hope this makes sense, but if I download in France, surely they can simply do that eh? Or is it a case of can't be arsed? Think so. Bah.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:36 AM   #92
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***Or is it a case of can't be arsed? Think so. Bah.***

I have to agree with you, Gimmeshelter. There is nothing to justify this policy of locking out entire nations (even refusing them books from publishers who hold international rights to titles) apart from in-store administrative convenience. I guess they feel there are too few of us ebook-reading ex-pats living in countries where English is not the first language to make it worth the bother. So we're left out in the cold. Neil
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:47 AM   #93
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Probably because for a significant majority of books that they sell they don't have the rights to sell internationally, and for the small number that are left, the effort to confirm that they do have the rights, plus the extra hassle in selling to and supporting users in other countries means that it just isn't worth their time.
They'll be able to find the time to complain about people downloading them for free, though.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:49 AM   #94
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I live in France and am happily still downloading books from Books on Board both their American and UK websites. Good selection, cheaper than Waterstones - have a look.

On the subject of Contracts, I totally get point of sale and geo restrictions, but what I really don't get is why a programme could not be written as they are all on-line to apply the necessary contract/point of sale stuff to the address the book is downloaded too. Hope this makes sense, but if I download in France, surely they can simply do that eh? Or is it a case of can't be arsed? Think so. Bah.
Because the publishing industry is run by people with English degrees and hence have the technical, database and analytical skills of dead fieldmice?
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:24 AM   #95
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They'll be able to find the time to complain about people downloading them for free, though.
Pretty much.

Plenty of new authors and existing authors have been signed onto new contracts over the last 3-4 years. Regional restrictions in the digital age are an anachronism.

Strewth, even last week the retail industry here in Australia are demanding applying GST and higher import taxes on products sent by overseas companies because more people here are buying overseas due to prices being far cheaper and the strong Aussie dollar. Stuff being competitive, just tax the stuffing out of the overseas merchants to stop online buying.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:05 AM   #96
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Yeah, we seem to always get dollar weak, prices rise, dollar strong, no sign of prices going backwards...so people go elsewhere then. Hardly surprising. I reckon the book depository might have had to organise more people to send all the books this way recently....

Free trade is good says the capitalists - except when we don't like it.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:17 AM   #97
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My feeling is that eventually publishing contracts will include non-exclusive world-wide electronic rights and exclusive regional paper rights. Unless a publisher is a global publisher and takes world-wide exclusive rights for both.

But we'll have irritating regional restrictions for a long time, as there are still lots old contract in force.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:33 AM   #98
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Yep, so in the meantime, lots of free books to be downloaded by aussies who have no idea about any of this stuff, and to go along with the movies, tv and music similarly.....
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:38 AM   #99
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*sigh*

The primary issue here is contractual. Namely, the publishers have contracts WITH AUTHORS that restrict where the book can be sold.

If a publisher hauls off and internationally distributes a book without the permission of the author, it's a violation of the contract. Authors, in turn, may not want to fork over international rights to a single publisher, who may not be willing or able to put a lot of work into promoting the book abroad; or the author may want to use "international rights" as a negotiating tool to get a better royalty rate and/or advance.

This problem almost certainly will get resolved, but unless you support wide-spread trampling of author's rights and violations of contracts, it will not happen overnight.

Good to see that y'all support an author's rights and contracts only so long as it doesn't inconvenience you.
Well, I guess we'll see how well author's rights are being protected when either one of two things happen : 1. readers switch off from buying and start freeloading (i.e. what happened when the music industry disrespected their fan base for too long) 2. the publishers find themselves locked into one dominant distributor (i.e. Amazon) with little capability of negotiating decent distribution deals.

I support an author's rights... but I support my consumer rights and I expect distributors to sort out their problems with authors instead of just schlepping the problem off on me.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:47 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
***Or is it a case of can't be arsed? Think so. Bah.***

I have to agree with you, Gimmeshelter. There is nothing to justify this policy of locking out entire nations (even refusing them books from publishers who hold international rights to titles) apart from in-store administrative convenience. I guess they feel there are too few of us ebook-reading ex-pats living in countries where English is not the first language to make it worth the bother. So we're left out in the cold. Neil
Do you realise the mess the keep the database for that up to date would be ? Why should the shop bother with it, because pubishers are idiots and don't want to sell worldwide ?
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:18 PM   #101
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Well, I guess we'll see how well author's rights are being protected when either one of two things happen : 1. readers switch off from buying and start freeloading (i.e. what happened when the music industry disrespected their fan base for too long)
Yeah, well. That's just going to happen no matter what. Availability doesn't necessarily reduce piracy, and "the publishers disrespect me" is usually just a thin veneer of a rationalization for piracy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flyblown
2. the publishers find themselves locked into one dominant distributor (i.e. Amazon) with little capability of negotiating decent distribution deals.
That may be a valid concern, but I'm fairly confident that most of the rights issues will be resolved long before that becomes a real issue. Plus, as the market grows, I suspect companies like Waterstones will see a bigger market for foreign sales and may decide it's worth it after all to support that market.

It also doesn't hurt that Amazon, at a high point in terms of power and influence, just lost a major game of chicken over agency pricing. These types of monopolies are much more fluid than we often assume.


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I support an author's rights... but I support my consumer rights and I expect distributors to sort out their problems with authors instead of just schlepping the problem off on me.
H'm. So do your rights as a consumer mean that you are entitled to whatever you want, whenever you want it, no matter where you are, and in whatever form you like? If Scholastic and Bloomsbury can't talk JK Rowling into releasing ebooks in any form, what are they supposed to do about it? And do my rights as a customer mean I get to run my Wii games on a PS3?

Granted, there are legit reasons to be upset about availability issues. They will get resolved -- it simply can't happen like flipping a switch without violating tens of thousands of contracts. Meanwhile, at least some people today are overwhelmed with their own sense of entitlement, a lack of patience, and a failure to comprehend the complexities of running a business (large or small).

It may suck to be on the outs, but perhaps polite feedback combined with a little patience might actually work better than expressions of hostility and demands for instant gratification....
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:36 PM   #102
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Sorry, but 'availability will be resolved' is rubbish, given history.

Expecting patience when that means 'significant percentage of a human lifespan' is also ridiculous. As in - many years. If reading has an older crowd, then a large number of them will literally die waiting at the speed of media.

It hasn't been resolved for music, tv, movies in a lot of cases, why would it be for books?

Except by the darknet of course, where the available collection is much larger, and open to all.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:44 PM   #103
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Sorry, but 'availability will be resolved' is rubbish, given history.

Except by the darknet of course, where the available collection is much larger, and open to all.
Exactly.

Once all the agency 5 machinations settled early this year, many readers discovered ebooks they had previously purchased were region restricted and thus unavailable to them. There were also ebooks within a series that were restricted, but not others within that same series.

Really clever that.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:21 AM   #104
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The daft part is, that WH Smith from whom I also purchased had a really good stand alone website and you could click on the book prior to purchase to see if it was available in your Country. Most books are available in the EEC, so it makes even less sense to me. Very grumpy now!!!
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:26 AM   #105
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Do you realise the mess the keep the database for that up to date would be ? Why should the shop bother with it, because pubishers are idiots and don't want to sell worldwide ?
I understand that, but the books I'm talking about had EEC rights anyway, so it doesn't make any sense to now restrict sales to the UK. Worldwide is a different matter of course, and I get that, but EEC - come on!!
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