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View Poll Results: Would you circumvent geographical restrictions SOLELY to save money?
Yes 121 66.48%
No 50 27.47%
Other (explain in thread, please) 11 6.04%
Voters: 182. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:53 PM   #31
K. Molen
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Originally Posted by BearMountainBooks View Post
Would the author make less? Not necessarily. Depends on her contract. Sometimes authors get a bigger percentage just for selling foreign rights.
Thank you for this. It cuts to the core of my own thoughts on this topic. As I touched on in my opening post, my primary concern and the primary reason I'm pondering the morality of this behaviour, is the risk of cheating an author off their earnings. I'm glad to read that it's not necessarily a black and white issue.

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Originally Posted by Istvan diVega View Post
The heading asks about the morality of circumventing georestrictions, while the poll asks whether you actually do it. Not the same thing, so the poll is likely entirely useless.
I don't quite see why it would be useless. I didn't ask a question in the heading, merely stated the topic of the thread. Then I attached a poll related to the topic, because I was curious if people would (not if they do).

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:58 PM   #32
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A few people have brought up the idea that it's not the person that's circumventing geographical restrictions in order to buy cheaper books that's immoral, but rather the practice of having different prices for different locations.

I can see this point, it seems discriminatory to a certain extent. I can see the publishers' point too, though... they're simply charging what the market will bare, standard capitalist practice. I think perhaps it's the nature of the internet and the eradication of traditional commerce borders that's making this not very clear cut, at least to my mind.

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Old 09-07-2013, 06:33 PM   #33
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Sorry, I should've been more clear. I'm referring to ebooks, and the pricing example above is for the ebook. I've edited my post to clarify.
I've taken the liberty of changing the title of the thread slightly too. (book->ebook)
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:39 PM   #34
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on Amazon.com, the Kindle book of Maddaddam is $11.76, NOT $17.
Since we are talking about the morality of things: Atwood is a Candian born author who currently resides in Canada. Her book is 30% more expensive than in the US and slightly moreso when compared to the price in India. In other words, it is cheaper to reimport her work than it is to buy it where it was written.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K. Molen View Post
Thank you for this. It cuts to the core of my own thoughts on this topic. As I touched on in my opening post, my primary concern and the primary reason I'm pondering the morality of this behaviour, is the risk of cheating an author off their earnings. I'm glad to read that it's not necessarily a black and white issue.

You can buy a book two or three places in the US and the author might get a different cut. For example, if it sells at Walmart versus Amazon or B&N. Walmart works special deals with publishers and the author agrees to various deals beforehand. Book subscription type things also pay authors at a different rate--and this is all domestic sales.

Stephen King gets better commissions than does Joe Nobody Author. Some debut authors get better deals than others.

In short, there is almost no way for you the buyer to know what the author is going to receive. Buying "new" direct from a publisher site is your best bet for supporting most traditionally published authors; hardback and audio tend to pay the largest cuts. So, for example, I buy Frank Tuttle's books direct from his publisher site. I *think* he gets a larger cut of the sale, but again, it could be different for each contract/book (not just each author).

Indie authors are a different bag and most likely buying direct from their blog/website yields them the most monetary gain; however there are rankings and visibility yields when buyers buy from any retailer (the main retailers anyway--B&N, Amazon wherever, Kobobooks, etc).

But when you say it isn't cut and dried, you have the right of it! No wait, you said black and white.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:42 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by K. Molen View Post
I don't quite see why it would be useless. I didn't ask a question in the heading, merely stated the topic of the thread. Then I attached a poll related to the topic, because I was curious if people would (not if they do).
It will be useless because a significant proportion of respondents will link the morality aspect found in the heading with the actual question posed in the poll. It is basically a textbook example of how not to set things up if you want a reliable answer.

That said, it's an informal poll on an internet forum, not a questionnaire to be used as a basis for scientific research, so it's hardly a big deal.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #37
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As another Canadian, I buy Kobo and Amazon ebooks at the approved store and don't muss with success. I know there are some books cheaper at Amazon US but if it's really that much, I just wait and buy something else. However, Nook is not sold in Canada and those titles work perfectly well on my e-reader; I have been known to buy a few titles there. I don't find that practice immoral.

I also have been known to buy physical books and goods from Amazon UK or even occasionally DE, as well as US and Canada. There is no funny representations going on there: the goods are shipped to Canada. Often there are bargains, even with shipping. I don't find that immoral, either.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:04 PM   #38
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Just wondering: Are there actually geographical restrictions for ebooks?
I have three Amazon accounts, US, UK and DE, without any problems and without giving any fake addresses - my billing address is always to my one and only Austrian credit card.

My Kindle account is at amazon.us (as you can only have one), and I don't remember ever being told that I can't download ebooks because of my location. That only happens only with videos and apps, as far as I noticed.

I don't know how this works with Amazon India, but if buying elsewhere is a legitimate way, why would it be immoral?
Personally I can't be bothered to go out of my way too much for some price difference, but I don't think it is immoral to buy where you get the best value. Most people do.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #39
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I see no difference buying from a legitimate seller in another country than buying from a legitimate seller in a different store. I'll buy from the place that will (legitimately) sell the product I want for the lowest price. IMO it's a global economy for buyers, not just for sellers. (BTW, what makes you think the author is losing royalties at the lower price? It's possible as the ebooks might come from different publishers, but I think if I were negotiating Indian ebook rights then I'd sell it to the publisher that offered the best royalty-even if that publisher were in the UK.)
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:22 PM   #40
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Just wondering: Are there actually geographical restrictions for ebooks?
I have three Amazon accounts, US, UK and DE, without any problems and without giving any fake addresses - my billing address is always to my one and only Austrian credit card.

My Kindle account is at amazon.us (as you can only have one), and I don't remember ever being told that I can't download ebooks because of my location. That only happens only with videos and apps, as far as I noticed.

I don't know how this works with Amazon India, but if buying elsewhere is a legitimate way, why would it be immoral?
Personally I can't be bothered to go out of my way too much for some price difference, but I don't think it is immoral to buy where you get the best value. Most people do.
Yes, there are some geo-restrictions. I am not supposed to buy the UK version of, say, Patricia Briggs. The book is out in the US, but the funds are controlled by different publishers and so the US version isn't supposed to be sold there and the UK version here. It's stupid, but the UK doesn't want to sacrifice sales dollars by having people buy it here. And so on.

I was given a gift ebook for the UK version. I was "not allowed" to buy it. I exchanged it for cash and applied it to the US version (which was 4 dollars more expensive). The different pricing is annoying and I would not have bought the book in ebook had it not been gifted to me and a favorite author. I would normally have just waited for the a cheaper copy of a used book, but I do try to support authors as much as possible.

Sometimes a book will be on discount in the US, but not other countries. Amazon tries to sell only to the country where you reside so they don't fall afoul of publisher restrictions.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:00 PM   #41
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Would it be immoral too if I buy DVD and Blu-ray discs from legitimate sources in Europe, bring them to America and use a region free Blu-ray player to circumvent the region restriction?
That isn't violating georestrictions, as far as I know. Buying ebooks through some mechanism is.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:43 PM   #42
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I'm shocked at what I perceive to be the immorality of people getting around georestrictions. The poll is showing a large majority of people would do something to get around the restriction.
I am shocked that you are shocked. Other than government imposed taxes, which is seldom the case, why would an ebook be significantly higher in one country than another? I would not go to a lot of trouble to save a dollar but $5 I would.

I lived in Inuvik, a small town in the Canadian North for a few years and stores sold goods of any nature for more than 4 times as much as in the south. Milk was often $16 a litre. photocopy paper was $20 for a package. Past due dates on some products such as bread could be over a year old. Books strangely enough generally sold at cover price. I had a lot of things shipped in at pretty high rates on occasion, and saved more than 50% overall. The Inuit were usually not so lucky to be able to do this and paid through the nose. A sad form of georestriction if I ever saw one.

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Old 09-07-2013, 11:58 PM   #43
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Sometimes the law itself is immoral. It would be one thing if our economy in the US was made up of US employees, US factories, etc. It's not. Corporations now outsource to get the cheapest labor, US employees have lost their jobs, etc. So, if Amazon outsources their helpdesk (and, yes, they do) so they don't have to pay US labor costs, why on earth should I be stuck paying the jacked up US prices if I can find a way around it? I do the same with dvds. I have a region free player and I've often bought UK dvds of UK shows and had them shipped here since they were half the cost of the price here.

Everything we buy these days was made somewhere else and I'm permitted to buy hardcopy books, media, clothing, etc. . . I can import anything I want except a simple ebook file that I'm really only going to read once? I do it and find absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #44
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Sometimes the law itself is immoral. It would be one thing if our economy in the US was made up of US employees, US factories, etc. It's not. Corporations now outsource to get the cheapest labor, US employees have lost their jobs, etc. So, if Amazon outsources their helpdesk (and, yes, they do) so they don't have to pay US labor costs, why on earth should I be stuck paying the jacked up US prices if I can find a way around it? I do the same with dvds. I have a region free player and I've often bought UK dvds of UK shows and had them shipped here since they were half the cost of the price here.

Everything we buy these days was made somewhere else and I'm permitted to buy hardcopy books, media, clothing, etc. . . I can import anything I want except a simple ebook file that I'm really only going to read once? I do it and find absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.
Yes exactly. Corporations are happy to outsource labour to the least expensive country and tell their employees that it's a global economy, sorry about your job. They then set up offshore shell companies to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The same corporations then want to impose artificial geo-restrictions when they sell and price their products. Suddenly it's no longer a global economy.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:23 AM   #45
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Just wondering: Are there actually geographical restrictions for ebooks?
I have three Amazon accounts, US, UK and DE, without any problems and without giving any fake addresses - my billing address is always to my one and only Austrian credit card.
It's mainly a problem for people who actually have a national Amazon store I think, or at least that seems to me to be the crux of the matter. There isn't a Norwegian one and I'm registered with the US, UK, French and German stores and have no trouble buying from any of them.
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