eReader enforcing geographical restrictions
April 19, 2009 | 5:17 pm
By Paul Biba
I received the following email from a reader who asked that their name not be used:
I thought you might be interested to learn that www.ereader.com has started putting greographic restrictions on the distribution of its ebooks. I tried purchasing a few books today, only to get a message that I cannot buy these titles since I do not live in the US or Canada. I bought numerous books in the past 4 years and never ran into such restrictions. There is also a new FAQ page on this, which was still ‘in progress’ when I last checked it out (https://secure.ereader.com/servlet/mw?t=help_GeographicRestrictionsFAQ.htm). As a customer, I did not get any notification about this, even though ereader sends out promotional emails twice a week.
I wonder if the recent acquisition of Fictionwise, owners of ereader.com, by Barnes&Noble has anything to do with this?
I think this is exactly the case. Many, if not most, ebooks have geographical restrictions and I would suppose that eReader/Fictionwse now has access to a larger staff who can take the time to vet such things – and, of course, is now owned by a company who takes such stuff pretty seriously. Sony and Amazon have this problem as well and have limited their distribution outside of the United States.