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books just wanna be free [Apr. 8th, 2010|09:03 pm]
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[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]

I got pretty pissed off listening to NPR's American Readers, Waiting Impatiently For 'The Girl' about people who really wanted to read the third book in Stieg Larsson's very popular Millennium Trilogy that isn't due to be published in the US until May. When they found out it was already out in English in the UK they either ordered it via Amazon UK or got their local bookstore to import it. The local bookstores were asked to stop importing copies because it is apparently against copyright law. Someone from the trilogy's US publisher said, "'What I would say to readers is, I would encourage them to shop at their local bookseller here in the United States or their online bookseller in the United States, where no laws are being broken and you are supporting the continuing discovery of world literature.'" What an ass! If it is illegal to import books from overseas, then the law should be changed! The guy goes on to pompously say, "'If there is a fourth book — and we know that there are 200 pages of a fourth book somewhere — I can assure you that we will consider, if we ever have the opportunity to publish it, we will consider publishing it simultaneously with our U.K. partner.'" Thanks for deigning to "consider" such an idea because if you don't you'll just lose more business as people order from overseas! These kinds of restrictive attitudes when any number of foreign booksellers are just a search and mouse click away seem to be part of why some of these older industries aren't doing so well now.

[User Picture]From: ariss_tenoh
2010-04-09 10:48 am (UTC)
It's hard to believe that publishers don't know this. It's the same with dvd releases, people import their much anticipated dvd from the UK if it's slow to get released in the US or if it has more extras. I once imported a title from Australia because for some weird reason it was only released there.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-04-10 05:36 am (UTC)
I think they know it. They just want to scare people into waiting to buy their product instead of making sure their product is available at the same time as in other places. :P
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[User Picture]From: keelieinblack
2010-04-09 11:18 am (UTC)
Wait, what? IANAL and my knowledge of copyright is based much more around libraries than bookselling, but I think something's definitely off there--bookstores importing copies in bulk for resale is against copyright law, I think, but if single-person imports for personal use are illegal too then 1) it's nonsensical and 2) I can think of a whole lot of people who should be in trouble right now.

Really, it's this kind of nonsense that sometimes makes people not want to pay for things at all. If I'd made the effort to legitimately purchase a book--and paid extra due to shipping/fees/exchange rates--only to be snotted at and told to wait my turn, it'd be hard not to at least consider just torrenting an ebook copy next time the situation came up and avoiding the hassle entirely.

Edited at 2010-04-09 07:05 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-04-10 05:39 am (UTC)
Really, it's this kind of nonsense that sometimes makes people not want to pay for things at all.

Yeah, the guy was so off-putting it makes you want to pirate just to spite the lot.

I didn't think it was illegal for individuals to import books for personal use. After all, people have been doing it for ages. I resented the dude making it seem like it was illegal, even immoral, to do so.
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