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Old 03-19-2010, 03:41 AM   #1
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Geo-restrictions not legal?

Industry source says ebook geo-restrictions not legal – suggests we all rort at will

http://bookbee.com.au/index.php/2010...-rort-at-will/

Now why doesn't this surprise me?
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:13 AM   #2
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...I had to look it up (obviously not an Aussie here!).

Quote:
rort, n. 1. An act of fraud or sharp practice; a ‘lurk’.
http://203.166.81.53/and/index.php
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinsky View Post
...I had to look it up (obviously not an Aussie here!).


http://203.166.81.53/and/index.php
Thanks, saves me the trouble



Nice piece of work there! It's also how I think of it: if it's not available for me in my geograhic region, why wouldn't I be able to buy it from another geographic region? Which is why I simply ignore those regions in any way I can...
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:43 AM   #4
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Oops... I didn't realise "rort" wasn't a universal word. I just know I saw a lot of it when I was studing commercial law.

Sorry.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvico View Post
Industry source says ebook geo-restrictions not legal – suggests we all rort at will

http://bookbee.com.au/index.php/2010...-rort-at-will/

Now why doesn't this surprise me?
English is my second language, and I have no idea what 'rort' means...
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:53 AM   #6
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It seems to me that while his source was probably correct that Amazon's decision to impose restrictions was a business decision, not a legal requirement on them, it doesn't follow that I have a right to bypass that decision by fraud.

They ask what law one is breaking - it's payment of local taxes that would concern me. If I tell Amazon.com that I'm in the US, I don't pay VAT, and I suspect that it isn't legal to lie to a retailer so as to avoid VAT payment.

I hate geo restrictions, and wish that I could circumvent them with impunity, but I don't think I can.

Last edited by Ben Thornton; 03-19-2010 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvico View Post
Industry source says ebook geo-restrictions not legal – suggests we all rort at will

http://bookbee.com.au/index.php/2010...-rort-at-will/

Now why doesn't this surprise me?
Thanks for the link to the site; I've bookmarked it and will explore it later.

Regards, Alex
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:55 AM   #8
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English is my second language, and I have no idea what 'rort' means...
Don't worry, English is my first and I have no idea either.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #9
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How's this apply outside of Aus? anyone know?
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:37 AM   #10
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Well, well, well...

A very interesting article, thanks for the link!
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:24 AM   #11
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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not intended as legal advice.

As I understand it, that situation is peculiar to Australia and doesn't apply to most geographic restrictions anyway.

Amazon.com or any other ebook site is legally allowed to sell to almost anyone anywhere in the world (Cuba and North Korea being notable exceptions). The general problem is contractual.

Amazon's sales contract basically states that they can only sell an ebook to people in territories where the publisher has the rights to distribute that book. They can still sell to those people in general, but they have signed a contract saying they won't sell these products to them. That's why you can still order a pbook from Amazon to Australia even when you can't buy the Kindle edition of the same book from the same publisher. The contracts allow one but not the other.

It's the contracts that are the killer here.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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Is there not also a tax issue for Australia if you set up a false US address? Doesn't GST apply to ebooks?
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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No, GST only is applied for items purchased domestically. I buy a lot of items online for my hobby as they are not available here readily in Australia. I have never been asked by the ATO to pay GST on them or been asked to pay customs for that matter either,
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:10 AM   #14
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Fair enough - but from the UK, this is definitely an issue for VAT, because Amazon.com apply VAT to the ebooks that I buy. If you're in the US, obviously, this doesn't apply, but claiming to be there when your not is some form of tax evasion I suspect.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
It seems to me that while his source was probably correct that Amazon's decision to impose restrictions was a business decision, not a legal requirement on them, it doesn't follow that I have a right to bypass that decision by fraud.
Don't confuse the situation in the UK or USA with the one in Australia. Remember that things like modchips are legal under their law - and you cannot legally enforce regional restrictions on DVD's or games in Australia!

So it doesn't surprise me that it's quite likely entirely legal to bypass georestriction blocks, if you're Australian.

The tax issue is a separate question, but given Australian law, I doubt it's an issue. In the UK, yes, it is an issue but. The but is that VAT is only payable on "consignments over £18*". Customs duty doesn't kick in until £135.

(*there are a couple of exceptions, but not book-related)

Last edited by DawnFalcon; 03-19-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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