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Old 09-26-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
tech_au
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Regional restrictions now in the UK

The scourge of the US ebookstores, regional restrictions, has now reared its ugly head in the UK.
I just tried to buy some ebooks from WH Smiths ebook store and upon checkout I received an error message stating that one or more ebooks were not available for purchase in my region. I guess they have just lost a customer if they are going to do this.
I was able to go to Waterstones and buy the offending ebook without any issue, so I wonder how long it will be before Waterstone's employ the same onerous restriction
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech_au View Post
The scourge of the US ebookstores, regional restrictions, has now reared its ugly head in the UK.
I just tried to buy some ebooks from WH Smiths ebook store and upon checkout I received an error message stating that one or more ebooks were not available for purchase in my region. I guess they have just lost a customer if they are going to do this.
I was able to go to Waterstones and buy the offending ebook without any issue, so I wonder how long it will be before Waterstone's employ the same onerous restriction
Download it for free from a file sharing network. If these companies think they can treat the internet and its users as anything but part of 'one country' then they're idiots and don't deserve your money.

Let them and their businesses rot.

Buy independent, share freely, embrace the future.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:58 AM   #3
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Yeah, the geographical restrictions are such a pain. I'm in Scandinavia and buy most of my books (around 40 a month) from Fictionwise, and it feels as if they've started adding more and more "US/CA only" restrictions on their books I wonder if I can buy at WH Smiths or what their region is, I should hope it at least is European Union or somehting, but who knows
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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The same goes for Booksonboard. Really annoying.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech_au View Post
The scourge of the US ebookstores, regional restrictions, has now reared its ugly head in the UK.
I just tried to buy some ebooks from WH Smiths ebook store and upon checkout I received an error message stating that one or more ebooks were not available for purchase in my region. I guess they have just lost a customer if they are going to do this.
I was able to go to Waterstones and buy the offending ebook without any issue, so I wonder how long it will be before Waterstone's employ the same onerous restriction
I discovered the same thing yesterday--including going to Waterstones and being able to buy the ebook there. It teed me off. If I wanted to buy a paperback copy of that book, no one would bat an eye--they'd just charge me out the wazoo for shipping. Why shouldn't it be the same for the ebook???

Looks like I might be using gift vouchers and getting a new account that doesn't identify me as being from the US from now on.

Last edited by wallflower75; 09-26-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech_au View Post
The scourge of the US ebookstores, regional restrictions, has now reared its ugly head in the UK.
I just tried to buy some ebooks from WH Smiths ebook store and upon checkout I received an error message stating that one or more ebooks were not available for purchase in my region. I guess they have just lost a customer if they are going to do this.
I was able to go to Waterstones and buy the offending ebook without any issue, so I wonder how long it will be before Waterstone's employ the same onerous restriction
Sends WH Smiths an e-mail to tell them they're losing a customers and why. Might do noting, buy who tries noting gets noting. (And if enough peaple in yours case act the same, might show some result.)

Quote:
Looks like I might be using gift vouchers and getting a new account that doesn't identify me as being from the US from now on.
I would get the book from somewhere else. Even if that means getting paper instead.

Last edited by EowynCarter; 09-26-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Sends WH Smiths an e-mail to tell them they're losing a customers and why. Might do , noting, buy who tries noting gets noting. (And if enough peaple in yours case act the same, might show some result.)
Very good idea. Also, at least they'd give us some real reason, instead of just shutting people off like that. (At least we could find a workaround, knowing the rules!)
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:27 AM   #8
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this is getting ridiculous ...
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Very good idea. Also, at least they'd give us some real reason, instead of just shutting people off like that. (At least we could find a workaround, knowing the rules!)
The people that run the site for whsmith do seem to respond to feedback quite quickly too, so its definitely worth an email to let them know about this.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:38 AM   #10
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this is getting ridiculous ...
Indeed. Like having different prices for books published in the Euro zone within the Euro zone (i.e. France to Germany, Italy to Spain and so on). Mind you, for some publisher in the North of Italy it's probably cheaper to send them, say, in Austria than in Sicily; and you don't have VAT problems either.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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Regional restrictions wouldn't be so bad if ebooks would be available everywhere. And publishers still find it strange that people will go to the darknet to find a book, because they can't buy it anywhere, even though it is available in ebook format...
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
Download it for free from a file sharing network. If these companies think they can treat the internet and its users as anything but part of 'one country' then they're idiots and don't deserve your money.

Let them and their businesses rot.

Buy independent, share freely, embrace the future.
Nonsense.

What one particular book store chooses to do does not give you the right to rip off the author of the book. Find a store that will sell to you, or don't buy the book, but there is absolutely no excuse for being a thief.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #13
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Nonsense.

What one particular book store chooses to do does not give you the right to rip off the author of the book. Find a store that will sell to you, or don't buy the book, but there is absolutely no excuse for being a thief.

It's not the fault of the store - but that of the publishers who dictate these conditions.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #14
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Regional restrictions wouldn't be so bad if ebooks would be available everywhere. And publishers still find it strange that people will go to the darknet to find a book, because they can't buy it anywhere, even though it is available in ebook format...
Take book x.

1. pbook: I can find it in a bookshop, pay a lot more than I should but I get it, eventually.

2. ebook: I can find it in a shop, but I have to hope there's no busillis for me to pay for it/lie about my state and hope they don't check.

Frankly, this is all too irrational.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:15 PM   #15
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Very good idea. Also, at least they'd give us some real reason, instead of just shutting people off like that. (At least we could find a workaround, knowing the rules!)
Do you think that British publisher complained about USA publishers selling e-books to non American people, now it's in the other way?
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