Saturday, 3 September 2011

Book rights - part one

I am now back in Cyprus, where it's very hot and humid still.  Especially compared to England.  I was looking again at the Waterstones Bookshop site, and confirming that it is impossible to purchase and download e-books when in another country.  When I first bought my Sony E-Reader, it was for the very reason that I wanted access to new English publications while in Cyprus.  It all worked out fine at first, but then Waterstones (as other bookshops did) put an embargo on downloading outside of the UK.  It seems that there is uncertainty about territorial rights.
Now, I can buy a physical book (let's call it a p-book as opposed to an e-book) in a bookshop in the UK - the real world - and carry it abroad and read it.  That seems perfectly acceptable with a p-book.  But I can't go into a virtual bookshop online but based in the UK, buy and download an e-book - thereby 'carrying' it abroad - and read it in another country.  I could, however, buy it and download it on my computer in the UK, and then carry it physically abroad on my E-Reader!  Tell me where the common sense is in that.
I thought the Web was there to make access to information, culture, knowledge, news, and yes, books easier and better.  Here is a way of making books more widely available.  Of course, being a writer, I know the importance to my earnings of defining rights, both territorial and format.  But this needs to be sorted out.
I will have more on this subject I am sure.

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