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Tuesday Midday Review Links: Kindle is everywhere but Canada (WTF?)

Copyright Licensing is a non profit copyright collective that represents publishers and authors. Yesterday (or was it Monday), CL began to digitize more than 300 of its most famous books and will be seeking the rights from publishers and authors to digitize others. These books will be made available to libraries, booksellers and educational sector.

Amazon has now announced it will ship the Kindle 2 on October 19 to over 100 countries (not Canada though) and will provide wireless access through ATT & its international partners. This announcement is accompanied by a Kindle 2 price drop from $299 to $259.00. Because the Kindle will be shipped from the U.S., international readers will have to pay a customs surcharge (usually over $50 USD) and international shipping costs. This will likely add around $100 USD to the price of the Kindle. Ironically the International Kindle will also ship with the US power adapter. The Kindle’s availability does not remove geographical restrictions. The same ebooks that are unavailable to international purchases yesterday are unavailable today. It is possible that the increased international exposure to ebooks will increase pressure on authors and publishers to grant worldwide digital rights. Maybe.

Harlequin is partnering with ABC to produce four titles based on the lives of the students at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University which is the basis for the TV show ‘Greek’. These sound like Sweet Valley High like. (Having said that, I have no idea what Greek is about as I’ve never, ever watched it.)

Boston Bibliophile has a FAQ with a lawyer on the new guidelines for bloggers. One thing that I think is important to remember about the FTC guidelines is that the guidelines are tied to a person and not a location. For me, because I believe the regulations, as interpreted by the FTC, require a disclaimer whenever a person makes a positive statement about a product received directly from the publisher and/or author, my book discussions will take place here at Dear Author where the disclaimer is in the sidebar.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

18 Comments

  1. orannia
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 13:48:37

    Amazon will not ship the Kindle to New Zealand either; they will, however, ship it to numerous other countries, including the Falkland Islands, Fiji, Mongolia and Australia. I’ve emailed them to ask why because I can’t quite work out why…

  2. jmc
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 14:20:05

    Oh, no. Is this the end of #romfail on Twitter then? Is #romfail an endorsement, or is the criticism sufficiently un-endorsement-like to be exempt?

  3. Jane
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 14:25:08

    @jmc no I think that negative statements could not be considered endorsements.

  4. ShellBell
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 15:31:40

    I wouldn’t buy a Kindle even if it does become available in New Zealand. This particular device just doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll happily stick with my Palm T/X which lets me read eBooks in a variety of formats and with an SD card I can have limitless books at my disposal, although if Palm came out with a device that had a slightly larger screen I’d probably purchase one.

  5. Kat
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 16:42:30

    ShellBell, I’m not inclined to buy it, either. I think current ebook readers are transitional technology, and I couldn’t read enough books to justify the cost vs space trade-off. But I’m very much interested if and how the Kindle will affect our local book market. Australia has its own issues around parallel importation and lack of ebooks for locally published books.

  6. SarahT
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 17:27:45

    When I read the Kindle announcement this morning, I was initially very excited. Unfortunately, their information for international customers is confusing and they weren’t very helpful when I emailed them with specific questions regarding geographical restrictions and international returns.

    I’m not putting it on my Christmas wish list just yet.

  7. AnneH
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 18:51:45

    I too was initially excited about it. I was planning on getting another ebook reader this Christmas and was agonizing on whether to get the Sony Pocket (Pink) or Sony Touch (Red). The news was very welcome not so much on the wireless capability (not too important for me) but on availability of more books which Amazon has over other ebook sellers. Plus, we don’t get charged by customs for importing electronics here in Hong Kong, so the offer was tempting. I only get to pay for the cost of the reader plus shipping. But, as things get more clearer (courtesy of MobileRead), especially that of geographical restrictions and what books one can one buy (which is the most important thing for me), I’ll have to say to Amazon, no thank you.

  8. sarah mayberry
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 18:57:00

    I was also tres excited. But the geographical restriction on some books is a huge issue. What’s the point in having an ereading device if we don’t get access to all the good stuff? Off to do more research on this before I do something silly like place an order…

  9. Cheryl McInnis
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 19:05:44

    Hey Amazon! * This is me, way up here in Canada… giving you the finger *
    Now I’m off to put a Sony Reader on my wish list for Santa!

  10. AnneH
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 19:35:35

    I was also tres excited. But the geographical restriction on some books is a huge issue. What's the point in having an ereading device if we don't get access to all the good stuff? Off to do more research on this before I do something silly like place an order…

    Precisely. I also have an issue with how this is being advertised as it seems so ambiguous. The first time I read their announcement, there was no mention that the geographical restrictions rule is still in effect. I had to dig deeper to find out. Some people would jump at the chance to get the “international” version only to find out later that they can’t order the books that they want due to the restrictions. Good for people who take the time out to do research on these things but bad for impulse buyers. Even if Amazon will take back your unit and refund you, I doubt if they will pay for the international shipping of the unit back to them. Kind of costly, all in all.

  11. Bronwyn Jameson
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 21:55:02

    Same, with my initial HOORAY!!! excitement tempered by the restrictions on what we can buy outside America. Of the traditional NY romance publishers, is it only Harlequin who aquire global rights?

  12. Jane
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 22:56:42

    @Bronwyn Jameson I think Avon does, but I could be wrong.

  13. Edie
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 02:09:44

    @Jane @Bronwyn Avon does have ebooks – but last time I checked it was only for the books that they release here in Aus in print – not a great amount if memory serves.

    Not a fan of Amazon, the only reason I would have got one is if there were less geo restrictions.. it was a hope. Not going on the xmas list here either, which is probably a good thing.
    Actually I will be very curious to see how it goes in Australia..

  14. Susie
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 08:43:47

    I’m very interested in the Kindle international version but am worried about the restrictions. Carla Kelly is published by Harlequin so I know I would be able to get her ebooks. But what about for other authors in my auto buy list like Loretta Chase, JD Robb, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, etc? If I decide to get a kindle, are these authors newly released books covered by these geographical restrictions?

  15. Donna Lea Simpson
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 11:50:26

    Is it possible that the restrictions barring Kindle from use in Canada (according to the CBC story Amazon won’t comment on why it’s not in Canada?) have to do with our government’s hands-off policy regarding peer-to-peer sharing of music and the like?

    Is there a fear that there will be no legal avenue to keep people from ‘sharing’ books?

    I have no clue really, and have no idea if the technology forbids such ‘sharing’ in the case of Kindle books, I’m just… wondering?

  16. Ann Bruce
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 07:35:47

    Amazon is a lot of things, including incapable of making a sexy e-reader, but stupid is not one of them. Not selling the Kindle in Canada would be dumb move because there’s a lot of disposable income north of the 46th, especially since I would venture to say the average household in Canada has more disposable income than the average household in the US currently. Why? (1) We didn’t have a sub-prime melt-down and (2) our banks didn’t fail. Yay, government regulations! (ETA: In case someone’s wondering why we still slipped into a mild recession: the US is our biggest trading partner.)

    Just my opinion, but considering the telco situation in Canada, I would say Amazon hasn’t finalized a wireless provider. Also my opinion again, but I think it will be resolved before Christmas because Amazon wouldn’t want to lose out that buying season.

  17. Carefree in Canada
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 19:51:19

    Once again Amazon has demonstrated their utter stupidity. I have long given up on them, hie my way to Sony and got me a Sony eReader. 87 books later, I am more than satisfied with every penny I spent on that machine. So it doesn’t have wireless, so what!? There is still an amazing selection of books available at the Sony ebookstore.

  18. Jessica
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 04:10:03

    ugh, i could care less if kindle came to canada. i have refused to do business with amazon ever since they erased my entire ebook library during an “upgrade” and would neither replace or refund it. i hate that site.

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