UK Ebook Seller Refuses Foreign Customers' Money

from the geo-restrictions-make-no-sense dept

Ah, Geo-restrictions. They've actually been in place in the eBook market for some time, but they've been very loosely enforced. Why? Well, because they don't make much sense, coupled with the fact that the way publishers license digital distribution rights becomes very complicated.

In this case, Waterstone is now declining purchases from buyers outside of the UK and Ireland at the request of their publishers. As the article mentions, this is a bit strange, because UK publishers tend to license rights by language and continent. For instance, you can purchase the rights to distribute an eBook in the [English] language throughout [Europe]. Still silly, but less so than restricting it further by country or region.

Two things that strike me:

1. Why are large publishing firms, several of them multi-national corporations, trying to pretend that a global marketplace doesn't exist?

2. When people actually TRY to PAY for eBooks and are denied....what do publishers think they're going to do? They're going to go through unauthorized means, of course, which produce NO INCOME for the publisher/distributor/author.

Great plan, guys....

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2010 @ 9:45am

    The publishers know the global marketplace exists, they just want to make sure they are the only ones that can take advantage of it. It seems that most profit is about leveraging inequalities, and that is getting harder and harder to do with the internet.

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