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Old 07-28-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
Mindy
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Mobi and Geographic Restrictions

Hi All,
Prior to my first Cybook breakage earlier in the year I purchased books (not a lot, mind you, I was reading a lot of publicly available stuff) from Fictionwise with no problem and not a hint of geographic restriction, including all the Alexander McCall Smith No 1 Ladies up to that point and all the Pratchett Tiffany Aching, as well as a few random.
Having just got a shiny new Cybook back after several months (the second device wasn't working properly so I hadn't bought anything while we got to the bottom of that) I went on to buy the latest No 1 Ladies only to find that it, plus just about every other title I wanted, was either restricted to the US or Canada (where it was available from Fictionwise) or wasn't available in Mobi (where it was available from a UK based ebookstore who have mostly all done deals with other device-pimps).
(Also running into the usual problem where one title in a series is missing, sometimes the first, but we all know about that one).
Has there been some key shift in my downtime that has left UK and/or Mobi readers disadvantaged? Has anyone else noticed this? And is there a remedy (obvious or otherwise) short of buying a new reader from Waterstones that I'm missing?
All info gratefully received - I feel like I've missed something here!
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #2
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There has been a change. Have a look at threads like this, which discuss it.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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Publishers have contracts restricting their rights to certain geographic areas. It seems to be assumed that sale of ebooks takes place at the purchaser's location, not the retailer's. So US publishers (prompted by UK publishers) have started to ask retailers to enforce these restrictions.

However, if the retailer doesn't know where you are, or thinks you're in the US, the restrictions won't apply.

Change your fictionwise profile country to US. Pay with a US credit card, or possibly a UK credit card mis-stating the country as US, or by paypal if you have a US delivery address in your paypal account, or set up a US paypal account, which can be funded by a UK card, so long as the paypal delivery address is a US address.

It's a bit of a hassle, but once done, it's done.

And check out http://www.ebookprice.info/ — very occssionally, it's cheaper to buy in the UK.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy View Post
Has there been some key shift in my downtime that has left UK and/or Mobi readers disadvantaged? Has anyone else noticed this? And is there a remedy (obvious or otherwise) short of buying a new reader from Waterstones that I'm missing?
All info gratefully received - I feel like I've missed something here!
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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All US ebook retailers have been required by a few publishers to tighten their enforcement of geographic restrictions. All this means in practice (so far) is that you need to work a bit harder pretending to be from the US when buying ebooks. What works best recently at FictionWise is to declare your country to be the US, and either buy with Micropay or use a paypal account with a US address, or use a non-US credit card but change the country field to USA (which works because credit card verification does not use the country).
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
Mindy
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What a futter!
Thanks for the update folks. It just seems odd to me that I'm having such difficulty getting the title by a British author in the format I want (ie mobi). I had originally gone to the US sites because there were so very few UK sites when I was first looking and hardly anything on them - that possibly isn't the case any more, although how much of it is mobi I shall now go and investigate!
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy View Post
It just seems odd to me that I'm having such difficulty getting the title by a British author in the format I want (ie mobi). I had originally gone to the US sites because there were so very few UK sites when I was first looking and hardly anything on them - that possibly isn't the case any more, although how much of it is mobi I shall now go and investigate!
Many UK publishers only support Adobe ePub. However, see Adobe ADEPT DRM for EPUB circumvented. Once an ePub is DRM-free Calibre does a great job converting it to MOBI. Note that the UK copyright law is so out of date that even format shifting for personal use is prohibited, but this is not enforced in practice.

Last edited by wallcraft; 07-28-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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I feel your pain. It seems that we're supposed to accept that ebooks are completely different from paper books except for cases like geo restrictions.

You should try entering your address as the following and see if it works:

1234 With the Faeries Way
New Edinburgh, ON
Canada
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