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Old 05-24-2010, 06:30 AM   #1
keith14121
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UK ebooks

I'm getting a bit frustrated that so many ebooks I want to buy are "not available in your country", i.e. the UK. The strange thing is that many of them are by UK authors.

Anybody got any insight of why this is? I'm sure this may have been the subject of posts in the past, but I've just registered on MobileRead so apologies if I'm covering old ground.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:49 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to MR!!!

No clue really. I do know that the library here contains a lot of high quality public domain books.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:24 AM   #3
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Good to have your company, Keith. The excuse is that publishers impose geographical restrictions on ebooks because of contractual limitations (a book might be run by different publishing houses in different countries).

Perhaps this is often the case. On the other hand, I've heard of some retailers refusing downloads of books by my own indie publishing house, although we make it clear that we hold international rights on all titles a publish a single international edition of each.

How come you can buy any title in paperback? The problem is red tape. When you place an order for a treebook with, say, Amazon, the point of sale is the US from which it is shipped abroad, so that's OK. When you buy an ebook, the point of sale is the country in which you download it -- in other words, the point of sale is your own computer or device and territorial publishing rules apply.

There are ways and means around these restrictions (someone else would be able to give detail -- I've never bothered), but it means jumping through hoops by getting a US pal to send you gift coupons and/or sometimes saling pretty close to the wind legally by disguising your location by providing a retailer with untruthful details.

Good luck and best wishes. Neil
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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UK publishers took longer to really jump on board with ebooks and therefore don't have as big a catalog available yet.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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Hi, and welcome.

Neilmarr's answer is very complete. I would add that there are lots of books without restrictions; it is worth looking around for some that don't have restrictions. What sort of books do you typically read?

(And of course there are all the free, out-of-copyright books that you can find on this site.)
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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Hi keith14121 and welcome to MobileRead
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:56 AM   #7
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyScot View Post
Hi, and welcome.

Neilmarr's answer is very complete. I would add that there are lots of books without restrictions; it is worth looking around for some that don't have restrictions. What sort of books do you typically read?

(And of course there are all the free, out-of-copyright books that you can find on this site.)
Hi, thanks for the reply.

Books I typically read are Dan Browne, Glenn Cooper, Sam Bourne, Andy McDermott type thrillers. The book I'm trying to get is Thomas Greanias' The Atlantis Revelation. Amazon.com lists this as being "not available for customers from the United Kingdom"
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:48 AM   #9
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:17 PM   #10
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It is of course very stupid that you can buy a paper book and have it shipped to any location on the globe, and that the global internet is treated with these restrictions.

Moreover, some sellers may use the location of your computer as the selling point, which i find stupid in itself, but others use the billing address of your credit card, which is even more stupid IMO. Fortunately others will allow you to enter an address, but even then I find these restrictions stupid anyway. It's 20th century policy applied to the 21st.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:27 AM   #11
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Hi to all. Just joined this forum as I have an iPad arriving on Friday. I have been reading eBooks for some 15+ years on laptops but it will be nice to have something a bit lighter and more portable.

There is nothing to stop anyone buying from a US or say Canadian website. You can use a proxy IP to hide your country of origin and pay via Paypal. I have had no problem buying books not yet published in the UK. I find this much less of a problem than the ever increasing proliferation of incompatible formats and user unfriendly security.

I changed last year from a Macbook to a Macbook Pro. I have been unable to transfer across some of my older secure ePub books. Adobe give me endless and wholly useless methods of trying to get round this, many of them purely for PC's not Mac's, even though I have told them a number of times I only use Mac's.

The only way round this is to reload the ePub book from your digital bookcase but of course, this only works if the download remains there and is not time limited, which some of my older ones were.

Wilson
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:59 AM   #12
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Paypal doesn't always help. I have had sites where they apparently ask Paypal for your country.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #13
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:37 AM   #14
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Hya Wilson. Good to have you with us.

It's a terrible shame that the honest reader is expected to perform gymnastics just to read a book he wants (and then to share it with a buddy -- which is another hoop-jumping game).

The problem exists. It should be fixed. Simple as that.

It's up to governments, retailers, device manufacturers and publishers to handle the job.

My own wee indie does its bit by offering international editions, non-DRM and low prices. Then we find that our books are territorially restricted, have DRM imposed and cover prices increased.

We can all bring popular pressure to bear -- small publishers, authors, readers -- by expressing our feelings LOUDLY!!! But the major league players have to rewrite the rule book and allow fair access to fair readers at fair prices before we can save and promote the written word.

Neil
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:01 PM   #15
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Moreover, some sellers may use the location of your computer as the selling point, which i find stupid in itself, but others use the billing address of your credit card, which is even more stupid IMO. Fortunately others will allow you to enter an address, but even then I find these restrictions stupid anyway. It's 20th century policy applied to the 21st.
In some cases, the main issue is that of VAT - which, in the current economic climate can be critical to most governments. The ebook stores that slap their own geo restrictions are, I suspect, simply loathe to get into the issues of collecting the appropriate VAT outside of their home countries.
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