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Old 10-08-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
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Publishers continue to live in the past

From The BookSeller: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/99...le-launch.html

Quote:
UK publishers assured over territoriality following Kindle launch

Graeme Neill and Catherine Neilan

Publishers have been assured by Amazon.com that territoriality will be respected following the international launch of its Kindle e-book reader this week.

Amazon has put safeguards in place to ensure that territorial rights are respected, with more than 280,000 e-books to be made available in the UK from publishers including Hachette, HarperCollins, Atlantic, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Faber and Wiley, and with customers in more than 100 countries able to buy the device.

Publishers Association chief executive Simon Juden said: “Publishers worked very closely with Amazon.com on this issue. They have made sure consumers will buy works appropriate to the country they are in.”

Profile m.d. Andrew Franklin said: “It’s extremely important that territoriality is respected [but] Amazon’s ability to deal with territorial issues has been very encouraging.”

Amazon said a safeguard has been put in place to respect territorial rights. A spokesman added: “When a customer first buys Kindle content, they identify their region or country. In order to simplify their browsing experience, we then display the appropriate catalogue for the customer. When they travel, the content available to a customer is determined by their home country, not by the country they are travelling in.”

One notable omission from the pub*lishers which signed up was Random House. A UK spokesperson for the publisher said: “discussions with Amazon about this opportunity are ongoing, productive and private”. One well-placed source said: “Amazon felt it had enough publishers to launch the device without them. It’s a temporary impasse in negotiations.”

Macmillan and Oxford University Press were other absences. One source said that some publishers were still working to resolve territoriality issues. Another publisher not included said: “[The launch] was just as big a surprise to us as it was to you, in terms of timing. Now it’s a matter of tying up territorial issues – internal ones, like making sure we have UK pricing and UK ISBNs – and making sure their systems are improving in that area."
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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I just want to buy the books...
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Okay, in which one is it? Then I can find a proxy service and so on and so forth

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Old 10-08-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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And *I* want to buy books published in the UK. I mean, after all, the US edition of the first Harry Potter book even has a bastardized title.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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I despair.
I had hoped that the publishers were getting together to resolve this issue, not reinforce it!
Some hope!
Out of interest (and one of our authors or publishers may be able to answer this) what is to stop an author negotiating with a single publisher and selling it the worldwide rights to a book, the whole shebang? Why do the rights packages have to be arranged in regional sections? As I understand it, a UK author sells the UK/EU rights to say, Random House then will seperately sell the US/Can rights to a US publisher and so on for other regions. I know that different countries have differing copyright rules and that requires governments to act but, surely the publishers must realise that all media is now global and these restrictions will hurt them in the long run??
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dickon25 View Post
Out of interest (and one of our authors or publishers may be able to answer this) what is to stop an author negotiating with a single publisher and selling it the worldwide rights to a book, the whole shebang?
I hear that's the standard clause in Baen contracts - they ask for worldwide, non-exclusive ebook rights. That's why you don't see any country options on Webscriptions.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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So, in theory, the muscle for change is with the authors. Of course, it's difficult enough to sell your work without restricting oneself to a niche publisher like Baen!
Three cheers for Baen
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
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so let me see if I got this right...

you can circumvent regional restrictions by using a proxy and register as US as home base the first time. however, that would mean that each time you use the wireless you will be charged 1.99.

or

you can register in your home country but will have restrictions on certain books. but have wireless...

catch 22...
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickon25 View Post
I despair.
I had hoped that the publishers were getting together to resolve this issue, not reinforce it!
Some hope!
Out of interest (and one of our authors or publishers may be able to answer this) what is to stop an author negotiating with a single publisher and selling it the worldwide rights to a book, the whole shebang? Why do the rights packages have to be arranged in regional sections? As I understand it, a UK author sells the UK/EU rights to say, Random House then will seperately sell the US/Can rights to a US publisher and so on for other regions. I know that different countries have differing copyright rules and that requires governments to act but, surely the publishers must realise that all media is now global and these restrictions will hurt them in the long run??
Actually, in the example you're using the most likely result would be that the UK author would sell Commonwealth/EU rights to Random House (which would include Canada) and then sell the US rights separately excluding Canada.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:27 PM   #11
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Actually, in the example you're using the most likely result would be that the UK author would sell Commonwealth/EU rights to Random House (which would include Canada) and then sell the US rights separately excluding Canada.

So how come on US retailers like Fictionwise, the restrictions are to US/Can only? I thought they were a region to themselves?
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickon25 View Post
Actually, in the example you're using the most likely result would be that the UK author would sell Commonwealth/EU rights to Random House (which would include Canada) and then sell the US rights separately excluding Canada.

So how come on US retailers like Fictionwise, the restrictions are to US/Can only? I thought they were a region to themselves?
Being separate countries with their own publishing industries (doubtless with some overlap), there are instances where the publishing rights in each belong to separate companies.

- Ahi
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickon25 View Post
Actually, in the example you're using the most likely result would be that the UK author would sell Commonwealth/EU rights to Random House (which would include Canada) and then sell the US rights separately excluding Canada.

So how come on US retailers like Fictionwise, the restrictions are to US/Can only? I thought they were a region to themselves?
Because Canada's a special case: they generally get the US editions of US books and the UK editions of UK books. So if the initial sale of rights is to the UK, they'll usually lock down the entire Commonwealth, which includes Canada. US publishers usually grab Canada when they can, too.

US retailers generally say US/Can only because they mostly sell US books, and if the first publication was in the US, they probably bought the Canadian rights. Even so, Canadians do run into a separate set of geographical restrictions at places like FW.

Canadian rights are complicated.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #14
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Canadian rights are complicated.

....and so are all the others! Thanks for the clarification. At least the lawyers will be busy for a few years.......
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:10 PM   #15
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