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Old 03-18-2009, 04:25 PM   #1
verbose
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More advice needed by Canadian Re: Kindle

I wrote earlier, mentioning that I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of a
Kindle from my sister-in-law who lives in the US. I am in Canada and
am completely ignorant as to how Canadians are "working around" the
system to be able to enjoy their Kindle.

Today, I received a letter from my relative, returning my Money Order, with
the explanation that her husband didn't feel right about ordering
the Kindle, as he felt it was unethical, from what he has read on Amazon.

In view of all the bad things happening in the world, I realize this news
is insignificant. However, I am so darned disappointed.

I would order a Kindle 1 or 2 from e-bay or elsewhere in a second, if I knew for certain what to do when I receive it. There have been tips from many folks how to go about this. Some have suggested that I go to Sumas, Washington to get a US address, while others say somehow my Visa can show both Canadian and US addresses. There is also the problem of registering it. Again, there have been many possibilities mentioned, but none that I fully understand. I can't see there is any way around having a US
credit card.

If any non US folks have actually bought a Kindle from e-bay or elsewhere and successfully got through the registration process and are able to buy and
download books, I would love to hear from you and if you have the time,
I would appreciate a 1, 2, 3, 4 list of what I should do once I have it in hand.

If no sure-fire answer to this situation exists, so be it. I feel silly writing
this letter, but had to give it one more try. Thanks for listening.

My e-mail address is jennyhat@shaw.ca
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
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Ok, I'm sure there are several ways to do it, this is how umm... a friend of mine did
Don't know if it's allowed to post a 1,2,3 guide so to speak but let's just say that Amazon does not require a US credit card to purchase a Kindle, you only need an US postal adress and an account with funds on it. US adress can be bought online through a mail forwarding services. Funds can be arranged with Amazon giftcards.

For specifics you can PM me for my email adress.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:36 AM   #3
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Thank you kindly. I think I finally understand.

Your friend is very clever.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbose View Post
I would order a Kindle 1 or 2 from e-bay or elsewhere in a second, if I knew for certain what to do when I receive it.
If we ignore *how* you acquire a Kindle -- and I do know several people who live outside of the USA who received Kindles as gifts from family members who happen to live in the USA -- then we can talk about what happens next.

1 - You could use the Kindle as a generic reader for books in Mobipocket format. This would include the thousands of free books available here at MobileRead, those at Feedbooks, and ManyBooks, and Munsey's. There are many, many DRM-free books available at Fictionwise and at Baen/Webscriptions. All you need to do is charge the battery on your Kindle, download books to your PC or Mac from the various sites, then transfer to your Kindle using the supplied USB cable. You can also convert many file types to Mobipocket using readily-available (and free) software.

2 - You can register the Kindle at Amazon.com -- but only if you have an account with a US mailing address and a credit card on a US bank. Once the account is set up, as long as you have a credit balance from gift cards and gift certificates, the credit card will not be charged. Some people who live outside the US have an account with Amazon in their own country and then purchase gift cards from this account to fund the Kindle account.


The big problem with #2 is that you place yourself and Amazon in a position where they are selling (electronic) books in a country where they may not own distribution rights. At this point no one is sure exactly why Amazon hasn't offered the Kindle in Canada, England, Germany, and other countries where Amazon has a normal on-line presence. There is speculation that the problem is due to inability to secure contracts with the telephone companies so that the Kindle's "whispernet" feature would work. But it could also be an issue of distribution rights. And, since Amazon hasn't given any explanation, I can see why your relative was uncomfortable ordering the Kindle for you.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:17 AM   #5
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Short clarification for #2, you do not need a CC with a US billing address, just giftcards and a US address is fine. With that said you should ofcourse not use this to circumvent any publishing distribution rights.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
At this point no one is sure exactly why Amazon hasn't offered the Kindle in Canada, England, Germany, and other countries where Amazon has a normal on-line presence. There is speculation that the problem is due to inability to secure contracts with the telephone companies so that the Kindle's "whispernet" feature would work. But it could also be an issue of distribution rights. And, since Amazon hasn't given any explanation, I can see why your relative was uncomfortable ordering the Kindle for you.

Amazon, at least UK Amazon, has stated that they'd like to roll out the Kindle, but until the number of ebooks available from UK publishers reaches critical mass (in the US it was like 90K when they rolled out K1) it won't happen.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:21 PM   #7
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I don't see what the big deal is - Amazon doesn't sell the Kindle outside the US - but it's not illegal to purchase one...

In the past some pieces of electronics and software have been restricted for sale outside the US due to export and security concerns - but that's not the issue with the Kindle. As we all know it's simply because Whispernet doesn't work outside the US...

If you go around Amazon's selling controls to get the device you're not breaking the law. Those controls aren't there as copy protection so the DMCA (or the Canadian version) doesn't apply.

I don't understand why your relative would be concerned or why discussing purchasing one would be verboten here...
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:45 PM   #8
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There are two issues: harware and distribution rights.

I bought the Kindle because of Whispernet. Whispernet is through Sprint's cell phone service so it only works where Sprint phones work. Sprint phones work in Canada so that part is an Amazon licensing issue. Europe would need different hardware inside the Kindle. Amazon probably does not pay Canadian or Mexican Sprint providers for Whispernet service so the service is not likely to be available even if you have a Kindle. Even with a Kindle you will probably have downlload books to your computer

If you don't have Whispernet service there may be readers better than Kindle.

Amazon has distribution rights for certain electronic books in the US, possibly even limited to the Kindle format. Do Canadian companies offer books you like in electronic format?

Overall there are workarounds but the Kindle in Canada may not be better than other ebook readers.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:21 AM   #9
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Whispernet is through Sprint's cell phone service so it only works where Sprint phones work. Sprint phones work in Canada so that part is an Amazon licensing issue.
I think you're a little off the mark here. Yes, technologically the Sprint radio in the Kindle will work in Canada, but I don't think it's a licensing issue so much a roaming issue. International data roaming fees are extremely expensive - it's probably not a licensing issues so much as a data roaming issue.

That's not to say that Amazon couldn't ink a deal with Telus or Bell so that Amazon couldn't offer a Canadian version of the Kindle... They just would have to be willing to allow a device with unlimited data access to their network... Even one with such limited capability as a Kindle.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:10 AM   #10
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Your sister in laws husband is a weird one. Considering Amazon is a corporation and not constrained by ethics, he still feels it is unethical to buy a product from the corporation and violate it's terms of use. Has he never taped a ball game off the TV, downloaded a movie, recorded a song in a tape player?

Depending upon how expensive obtaining a US postal address is, I would look at EBay. It's generally pretty safe if you only use sellers with high reputation.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:29 PM   #11
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I think you're a little off the mark here. Yes, technologically the Sprint radio in the Kindle will work in Canada, but I don't think it's a licensing issue so much a roaming issue. International data roaming fees are extremely expensive - it's probably not a licensing issues so much as a data roaming issue.

That's not to say that Amazon couldn't ink a deal with Telus or Bell so that Amazon couldn't offer a Canadian version of the Kindle... They just would have to be willing to allow a device with unlimited data access to their network... Even one with such limited capability as a Kindle.
I am a US user of a Sprint phone. Sprint service (roaming) in Canada is not even noticeable on my phone bill; it is cheap. In my opinion Amazon chooses not to set up roaming for the Kindle because they are not licensed to sell the books in Canada. I could be wrong. Do any US Kindle owners have Whispernet service while in Canada?
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #12
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accepted credit card

I'm not from USA ( nor from canada ), I'm planning to buy a kindle 2 in ebay, or in Amazon and get it shipped to a friend in USA.

I would like to know, if I should have a Credit card with a USA billing address to be able to purchase and download ebooks ?

Actually, I have a Credit card issued from an american bank, but with a non-usa billing address.

Please anyone can help ?

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by karatchov View Post
would like to know, if I should have a Credit card with a USA billing address to be able to purchase and download ebooks ?
The short answer is: use gift cards instead. The long answer is in Buying Kindle books for the iPhone in Australia - a success story (the Amazon part applies equally to a Kindle, except you download to your PC and then to the Kindle via USB) and Kindle in Australia.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 713Alan View Post
I am a US user of a Sprint phone. Sprint service (roaming) in Canada is not even noticeable on my phone bill; it is cheap. In my opinion Amazon chooses not to set up roaming for the Kindle because they are not licensed to sell the books in Canada. I could be wrong. Do any US Kindle owners have Whispernet service while in Canada?
There has to be more to that than just Amazon not being licensed.
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