Posts Tagged ‘Canute’

eBooks – The digital Uptake; An International Perspective

02/11/2010

On Sunday I wrote about WH Smith and Waterstones refusal to sell me an eBook because my billing address is outside the UK, the latter saying it had been done as a result of legal pressure.  To remind you the email from Waterstones said the following:

From: info <info@waterstones.com>
To: info <info@waterstones.com>
Sent: Tue, 26 October, 2010 16:26:08
Subject: eBooks from Waterstones.com

Dear Customer,

We see from our records that you have previously purchased an eBook from Waterstones.com whilst having a registered address outside of the UK and Ireland.

We regret that  with immediate effect, we are no longer able to sell  eBooks to customers placing an order from anywhere outside of the UK and Ireland.  We have had to take this action to comply with the legal demands of publishers regarding the territories  into which we can sell eBooks.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience  that  this may cause.

Please note: Your previously purchased eBooks are not affected by this and will still be available in your ‘Digital order history’ in your online account.

Kind regards,

Waterstones.com Customer Service

In reply I wrote to them the following:

Dear Waterstones.com

Thank you for this email but I’m sorry I do not understand what you are doing.

Which publishers have taken legal action to stop you selling books, particularly eBooks outside of the UK and Ireland?  Can I still buy other books from you?  If not why can I buy them from Amazon in the UK, America or anywhere I please but not Waterstones?

Yours faithfully

Andrew Tattersall

In reply I received the following email:

Waterstones.com
Customer Service
Free UK delivery*
New titles Coming soon Bestsellers Offers eBooks Used books Events Waterstone’s CardWaterstone's Card
Dear Andrew, 

Thank you for your email.

I would like to inform you that our digital publishers have blocked eBook sales to international destinations outwith the UK and Republic of Ireland. Until we have permission to sell beyond these borders you will, unfortunately, be unable to purchase eBooks from Waterstones online. I do apologise for this current situation. I have raised your query with our Head Office for their consideration and hope to contact you soon with more information..

Thank you for your patience and please accept our apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.

Kind regards,

Devon Walsh
Waterstones Customer Service
http://www.waterstones.com

 

As you can see they said they would forward the query to Head Office so I thought I would wait to see if I got an answer from them and yesterday this arrived:

Dear Mr Tattersall,

Thank you for your email. Waterstone’s is a UK based bookseller and bound to honour the rights agreements of the publishers that supply us. To comply with international publishing rights agreements we have removed the ability for overseas customers to download eBooks from Waterstones.com. We apologise for the inconvenience, and will pass on any comments to the relevant publishers.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Waterstones.com Customer Service

As you can see from here just their stanard email sent out to everyone and no attempt to reply to my questions.  So I have emailed them back making my questions in my email more explicit.  I have also emailed the Publishers Association to ask them about what is happening.

In the you couldn’t make it up department we find this years ‘International Conference’ for the Publishers Association is ‘The Digital Uptake; An International Perspective”  The international perspective that I can see is don’t try buying an eBook from an British bookshop or we’ll sue your arse.

Brought to book

31/10/2010

Every Summer for the last three years I have gone away for an amount of time to work in the UK.  People in France tend to go away for up to a month and it is either the month of July or August so there is little work for me here.  People from all over Europe, and further afield, send their children to schools in the UK to improve their English and this means there is a demand for people who can teach the little darlings English.  Each time I have worked I buy myself something from the money I earn.  Usually it is something quite expensive that I would otherwise not have the money to afford.  The first time it was a new came Large book storage ra like the one pictured, except being a child of the 80’s it was black.

Last year I bought a Sony Reader.  I didn’t do so because I prefer it to books.  I don’t think the various form of eBook readers mean the end of the printed page.  Why is it that there is a bipolar choice, books or Reader?  To read some like Norm, or David Hepworth or Andrew Collins in The Word making great pronouncements that it is the book for them not the Kindle.  Hey, I too love getting and reading new books.  Form the time of ordering to the time Mr Amazon arrives at the door with my new delivery is a time of excitment and expectation for me.  I wrote about my recent visit to Bristol and how a visit to a book shop for a particular book resulted in me leaving with about five extra books I hadn’t intended and I came a way with two more from a record shop.  So you don’t have to convince me I love books.

So why buy a book reader?  Over thehttps://i2.wp.com/www.southampton.ac.uk/catering/images/Area%20Images/LibraryBooks.jpg last few years I have travelled up to ten times each year.  I like to read when travelling and the extra weght of the pile of books can make quite a difference, especially if going for up to eight weeks as I do when I work in the UK.  It is much better to get some eBooks and read them.  If it is a book by an author I like and expect I will want to keep I usually try to get a hardback version of the book and read it at home.  If I do not know, or if previously I would have bought a paperback version of the book then I might as well get an eBook and read it whilst travelling.  If I decide I like it and want to keep it I can then get the hardback copy.  So for over a year that is what I’ve done.

Not any longer.  The two partner stores on the Sony Reader site where you can buy your eBooks are WH Smith and Waterstones.

I have previously bought books from both shops online.  On 15th September I received the following email from WH Smith:

WHSmith
Dear Customer 

Thank you for your custom at WHSmith’s eBook Store. Today WHSmith eBooks has moved – we’re now at WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks

At WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks you’ll find:

  • Thousands of eBooks in ePub and PDF formats and eAudiobooks
  • More great eBook offers
  • The Richard & Judy Book Club exclusive to WHSmith
  • As well as millions of Books, Stationery products, Magazines and Gifts.
Within one week we will move your account and Bookshelf to WHSmith.co.uk. If you already have an account with WHSmith.co.uk we will associate your eBook Bookshelf with that account; we’ll match them up using your email address.
In the meantime you can continue to access your Bookshelf at eBooks.WHSmith.co.uk. If you have queries about your WHSmith Bookshelf please contact our customer service team.
Please Note: 

  • If you have Mobipocket or Microsoft Reader eBooks in your Bookshelf please download these by 22nd September as from then on they will no longer be available to access.
  • If your credit card billing address(es) is outside the UK we’re afraid we will not be able to sell you eBooks from WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks. This is due to taxation and contractual issues. We hope to serve you again in the future.
We assume you would like to hear about WHSmith offers by email. If you would prefer not to, please click here.
Thanks again for your custom. We look forward to serving you at WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks.
Yours faithfully

As you can see from the text in red I am not able to buy books from WH Smith because I live outside the UK.  OK then I’ll have to do with Waterstones.  You’re ahead of me here aren’t you.  On Tuesday I received the following email from Waterstone’s”

“Dear Customer,

We see from our records that you have previously purchased an eBook from Waterstones.com whilst having a registered address outside of the UK and Ireland.

We regret that  with immediate effect, we are no longer able to sell  eBooks to customers placing an order from anywhere outside of the UK and Ireland.  We have had to take this action to comply with the legal demands of publishers regarding the territories  into which we can sell eBooks.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience  that  this may cause.

Please note: Your previously purchased eBooks are not affected by this and will still be available in your ‘Digital order history’ in your online account.

Kind regards,

Waterstones.com Customer Service”

So the publishers have threatened legal action against eBook sellers who sell eBooks from UK based shops to people who do not live in the UK.  Whatever happened to globalisation?  Particularly for something like an eBook which is designed for being bought over the internet.  This is crazy.  I can buy physical books from Amazon from the US, Australia. New Zealand or the UK.  Because I have bought something other than a Kindle I cannot buy eBooks from them and the shops I can buy from say they have now been threatened by the publishers and can’t sell them to me.  OK there are plenty of free eBooks available from the following sites and I’ll get my reading there.  Publishers Association, I hope your writers are happy as they’ll lose the income they would have had if I’d carried on buying my books from WH Shith and Waterstones.  Well done.

Feedbooks.com Gutenberg.org ManyBooks.net


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