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Old 10-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #136
Elfwreck
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Originally Posted by koland View Post
the publisher has only been granted rights to publish in a specific country (and for ebooks, distribution = end user location).
Has this been established by law or court ruling, rather than corporate fiat?

As far as I've been able to sort out, this isn't true--especially since "end user location" is often declared to be the location of their home *bank*, not wherever the end user physically resides at the moment. If they're vacationing in another country, they can buy pbooks only distributed in that country; they can't buy ebooks only available in that country.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:52 PM   #137
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #138
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Has this been established by law or court ruling, rather than corporate fiat?
At least as far as taxation goes, point of sale for eBooks is where the retailer resides, not the customer. That is why Amazon can charge only 3.5% VAT when selling to UK customers, where the VAT rate is 20%, by basing themselves in Luxemburg.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:48 PM   #139
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At least as far as taxation goes, point of sale for eBooks is where the retailer resides, not the customer. That is why Amazon can charge only 3.5% VAT when selling to UK customers, where the VAT rate is 20%, by basing themselves in Luxemburg.
But not in the US, where it is the home residence of the customer (and nothing to do with the retailer or the bank/credit card).

Outside of taxation, the laws pretty much uniformly (with some exceptions, I'm sure) put the point of sale of ebooks at the theoretical customer location.

As to the granting of publication rights by authors, other than various copyright law establishing that it resides with the author upon creation and can be disposed of as they wish, their contracts with publishers generally are not something subject to EU laws on what you can purchase.

Obviously, when price protection laws exist, they trump the right to purchase anything you want from anywhere you want (otherwise, they would not protect prices, at all). Also, you are 'protected' from purchasing various items not from the "authentic" region (which generally raises your prices, whether or not it assures quality). At least a pint of beer there is still a pint (and not as little as 10.5 oz, as here).
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:08 PM   #140
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At least as far as taxation goes, point of sale for eBooks is where the retailer resides, not the customer. That is why Amazon can charge only 3.5% VAT when selling to UK customers, where the VAT rate is 20%, by basing themselves in Luxemburg.
That does bring up the question of, if it's sold "from Luxemburg," how is it bought "in the UK?" Why aren't all UK (and possibly EU?) ebooks sold under the terms of "must be available to sell in Luxemburg," with no other countries' sales rights being relevant?

And, of course, that has nothing to do with the US point-of-sale, which AFAIK has not been legally established. Publishers and ebook stores have decided that the location of the sale is some odd combination of the home address of the bank associated with the buyer's credit card, the buyer's address-of-record according to that credit card, AND the buyer's current IP address, with no connection whatsoever to either the seller's business location, the location of the various servers involved, nor, of course, the actual physical location of the buyer at time of sale.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:13 AM   #141
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That does bring up the question of, if it's sold "from Luxemburg," how is it bought "in the UK?" Why aren't all UK (and possibly EU?) ebooks sold under the terms of "must be available to sell in Luxemburg," with no other countries' sales rights being relevant?

And, of course, that has nothing to do with the US point-of-sale, which AFAIK has not been legally established. Publishers and ebook stores have decided that the location of the sale is some odd combination of the home address of the bank associated with the buyer's credit card, the buyer's address-of-record according to that credit card, AND the buyer's current IP address, with no connection whatsoever to either the seller's business location, the location of the various servers involved, nor, of course, the actual physical location of the buyer at time of sale.
I'm not sure why your bank would be relevant - other than processing the payment; can't you have a bank in any EU country and pay your bills the same as any other?

In the US, taxes are by state - yet nearly all the credit card companies are located in South Dakota (or another friendly banking state), which has no effect whatsoever on taxes charged.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:26 AM   #142
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This is why the current consumer group demands being put forth to Valve's Steam Digital Videogame Store are so important. As societies, we need the courts to recognize that a digital purchase, IE, a license to consume a piece of media must retain the same characteristics as a physical purchase.

This means that any purchased licenses must be entitled to:
1) Resale
2) Permanent ownership apart from any EULA or TOS
3) Reasonable notice given to owner if the parent account is to be closed to enable timely downloading/archival.

I have just recently gotten into ebooks via my Kobo Touch, and this makes me glad I stayed away from Amazon. The gall of a company to REMOVE paid for product is appalling.

I don't mean to soap box here (well, I kindof do...), but this era we live in, where consumers are already hesitant to switch to digital consumption is the make or break for these content publishers. The videogame industry is lamenting digital piracy, the music industry has been completely warped by it. If the book publishers want the majority of consumers to be "good citizens" and simply browse for their books via wifi instead of a box store, they need to guarantee these kinds of rights for consumers NOW, and that way, hopefully the extra gross profit margin from the savings on production and distribution will make up for the small percentage who will pirate no matter what.

The publishers need to implement consumers rights themselves, though it might seem counterproductive, and that way the market can flourish. If consumers do not trust a market, it will die.

Additionally, the girl who lost her amazon account still has ownership of the licenses to each piece of content removed. IF she so desires, she can download copies of these books through *other* means and not face any charges or civil liabilities.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:52 AM   #143
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I have just recently gotten into ebooks via my Kobo Touch, and this makes me glad I stayed away from Amazon. The gall of a company to REMOVE paid for product is appalling.
You haven't read the whole thread -- the whole thing wasn't true. Amazon did not remove anything from her device. Her device was damaged. Don't go ballistic just because someone makes false accusations to put Amazon in a bad light.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:45 AM   #144
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You haven't read the whole thread -- the whole thing wasn't true. Amazon did not remove anything from her device. Her device was damaged. Don't go ballistic just because someone makes false accusations to put Amazon in a bad light.
I wasn't. The problems inherent in digital purchasing need not wait for manifestation to begin discussions and preventative, activist legislation.

In addition, I love Amazon. I have been dealing with them for physical products for many years, and they have revolutionized what it means to be a global consumer, not bound to the whims of local supply/demand, or the greed of merchants without competition.

But, they are cooking in the same kitchen as Valve, Apple, etc, and thus are part of the discussion, regardless of the facts of this particular case.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:25 AM   #145
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I agree with Anjohl.
When you buy downloaded digital media (from Amazon and most of its competitors), your continued possibility to access such media in the future depends on the vendor's benevolence, and on the efficacy of its fraud-detecting algorithms. (Not considering the continued existence of the company, which cannot be taken for granted.)
This is how things (mostly) are today, and I think it's unacceptable.

Saying "But there are means to circumvent DRM and make your downloads really yours", as many posts in this thread do, is not an acceptable solution. Even where/when this is legal, it requires technical knowledge and tools that the casual user may not possess. Such user, today, is probably not even aware of the existence of this problem: i.e. that she/he bought a license and not a piece of media.

State law should ensure that property rights associated to the property of digital media are the same of physical media. If a media vendor wants to continue selling licenses instead of property rights, that's perfectly OK: but the law should specify that the vendor cannot use the word "buy" anywhere in relation to this transaction, except in the form "buy a license". In this way, even the casual user will be fully aware of what she/he's actually purchasing.

Last edited by BoldlyDubious; 10-26-2012 at 04:26 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:00 AM   #146
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Although the refusal of customer service to provide details is curious...
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Given the reason why the user was asking for details, "sinister" is maybe a better adjective...
I suspect Hanlon's Razor applies in this case:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:48 AM   #147
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This whole case doesn't show Amazon in a good light at all: shutting a legitimate user out of her account, giving snotty answers to her questions and only bothering to look at the matter in any depth once it got viral on the net. A clear demonstration of why you need all of your data stored locally without DRM as well.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:12 AM   #148
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A clear demonstration of why you need all of your data stored locally without DRM as well.
True. And maybe an equally clear demonstration why it is vital to fight monopolies.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:17 AM   #149
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That does bring up the question of, if it's sold "from Luxemburg," how is it bought "in the UK?"
It is defined that way. Nothing strange with that.

On the other hand


http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs...1610_en.htm#a1

says

Quote:
Council Directive 2002/38/EC, in force from 1st July 2003, changes the EU rules for charging Value Added Tax (VAT) on the supply over electronic networks (i.e. digital delivery) of software and computer services generally, plus information and cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar services. From now on, these services will be taxed in the country where the customer resides rather than where the supplier is located.
So I really do not get how Amazon could pay Luxemburg VAT on ebooks.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:47 AM   #150
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So I really do not get how Amazon could pay Luxemburg VAT on ebooks.
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs...s/index_en.htm
Quote:
From 1st January 2015, this Directive also provides that VAT on telecommunications, radio and television broadcasting and electronic services supplied by a supplier established within the Community to non-taxable persons also established within the Community will be charged in the Member State where the customer belongs
Edit: And Amazon isn't paying Luxemburg VAT, it is collecting Luxemburg VAT. The customer is paying it.
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