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Robert-J-Sawyer
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Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

The migration path from Fictionwise to Nook is greatly appreciated.  However, Barnes & Noble has elected to not offer the Nook app for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch in the Canadian iTunes store (and has removed the eReader app, and taken the eReader functionality out of Stanza).  Please make the Nook app available in Canada. Otherwise, your loyal Canadian customers have no way to read the migrated content.  Thanks!

 

 ====

 

 ROBERT J. SAWYER, Science Fiction writer

 Author of FlashForward and Triggers

 http://sfwriter.com

 

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

I have a suspicion they may have legal issues on that one, since AFAIK B&N still can't legally sell content in Canada, so distributing an app to read content they can't sell might be construed as trying to circumvent Canadian copyright law.  Just a guess.

 

(BTW, I read Triggers when it was serialized in Analog.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.  Excellent.  I've also enjoyed a number of your other books, such as Rollback and Hominids.)

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Technically, B&N shouldn't have any "loyal customers" in Canada, because Canada currently forbids B&N from selling in their jurisdiction. But I know what you meant.

 

This is a paradigm of the DRM problem. When you buy an e-book that has DRM, there's simply no guarantee that your ability to read that e-book won't disappear at some time in the future. You're dependent on the provider — Fictionwise, in this case — and if the provider shuts down or even just decides to stop providing reading capabilities for that DRM format, you're stuck.

 

It's my understanding — and I'm neither Canadian nor a lawyer, much less a Canadian lawyer — that under the shiny new copyright legislation that just went into effect there this month, legal exposure for breaking DRM for non-commercial purposes is limited to actual damages. If so, that might prove to be the only practical path to your continuing to read e-books currently in Secure eReader format.

 

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A3A
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Fictionwise and nook books can be read in the Bluefire app, available for iOS or android.

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Robert-J-Sawyer
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

On the legal issue, actually for most books -- over 90% -- published by the big-six American publishers, the United States and Canada are collectively considered "the domestic territory." If you can legally sell the book in one, you can usually legally sell it in the other -- which is precisely why Amazon sells Kindle books to Canadian customers (not to mention Kindle devices). The exceptions tend to be books by Canadian authors published by Canadian publishers, and some British books that have either separated out Canadian rights, or included Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in their licensed territories. Barnes & Noble has chosen not to sell books to Canadians; they're not legally barred from doing so.

 

And Fictionwise, eReader, and eBookwise all happily sold books to Canadians even after they were purchased by Barnes & Noble; if Nook apps are to be part of the migration path for customers of those companies, then the apps should be available in Canada.

 

The Kindle app is in the Canadian iTunes store. The Kobo app is in the Canadian iTunes store.  The Sony Reader app is in the Canadian iTunes store. And iBooks -- preinstalled on iOS devices -- works in Canada, too. Of the major players, only the Nook app is not available to Canadians.

 

On Bluefire, it won't read eReader content that has DRM.

 

(And thanks for the kind words about my books!)

 

Rob

 

 

 ====

 

 ROBERT J. SAWYER, Science Fiction writer

 Author of WWW:Wake and FlashForward

 http://sfwriter.com

 

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Robert-J-Sawyer
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Ah, it seems my wish is going to come true (putting to rest the notion that there was some legal barrier to Barnes & Noble selling ebooks in Canada).  See this new announcment: 

B&N eBooks are Coming to Canada

 

Rob

 

 

 ====

 

 ROBERT J. SAWYER, Science Fiction writer

 Author of WWW:Wake and FlashForward

 http://sfwriter.com

 

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Ya_Ya
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)


Robert-J-Sawyer wrote:

Ah, it seems my wish is going to come true (putting to rest the notion that there was some legal barrier to Barnes & Noble selling ebooks in Canada).  See this new announcment: 

B&N eBooks are Coming to Canada

 


That announcement isn't new.  It's from 2009.  Draw your own conclusion.

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)


Robert-J-Sawyer wrote:

 

On the legal issue, actually for most books -- over 90% -- published by the big-six American publishers, the United States and Canada are collectively considered "the domestic territory." If you can legally sell the book in one, you can usually legally sell it in the other -- which is precisely why Amazon sells Kindle books to Canadian customers (not to mention Kindle devices). The exceptions tend to be books by Canadian authors published by Canadian publishers, and some British books that have either separated out Canadian rights, or included Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in their licensed territories. Barnes & Noble has chosen not to sell books to Canadians; they're not legally barred from doing so.


It's not the publishers who have a problem with it. It's the Dominion of Canada, which has the Investment Canada Act which bars non-Canadian brick-and-mortar booksellers from operating in Canada without approval. Both Borders and B&N applied for approval to sell to Canadians in 1995, and both were told to take a hike.

 

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Robert-J-Sawyer
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Yes, I understand the brick and mortar issue, thank you very much, Doug; that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about ebooks.  Amazon.com ships Kindles to Canada, they sell their ebooks to customers in Canada. And they sell their Kindle hardware in Canadian consumer electronic and office supply stores.  I say again, there is no copyright or regulatory barrier to B&N selling ebooks to Canadians. Citing a 1995 ruling about brick-and-mortar stores really has no relevance at all to the ebook business of 2012.

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keriflur
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

[ Edited ]

Robert-J-Sawyer wrote:

Yes, I understand the brick and mortar issue, thank you very much, Doug; that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about ebooks.  Amazon.com ships Kindles to Canada, they sell their ebooks to customers in Canada. And they sell their Kindle hardware in Canadian consumer electronic and office supply stores.  I say again, there is no copyright or regulatory barrier to B&N selling ebooks to Canadians. Citing a 1995 ruling about brick-and-mortar stores really has no relevance at all to the ebook business of 2012.


It's my understanding that the difference here is that Amazon has no brick and mortar stores.  Because B&N has brick and mortar stores, they are barred from doing ANY business in Canada, including online business.


Amazon is expected to open a showroom here in Seattle - I wonder if this will affect their Canadian ebook business, and if they will be able to get around the B&M rule by keeping it a showroom as opposed to a store.

 

Also, now that B&N is spinning off its ebook and nook business into a new entity, maybe they will be able to sell in Canada.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Ultimately it seems that what it comes down to is that Canada treats Amazon and B&N under two totally separate definitions and sets of rules.  Amazon is an online retailer, free to do anything.  B&N is a brick & mortar store that also happens to sell stuff online, and since they're not allowed to open stores in Canada they're not allowed to sell online, either.  Certainly seems unfair, but not B&N's fault.  In the immortal words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Blame Canada.

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Robert-J-Sawyer
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Interesting assertions, kerifluf and MacMck1957.  Can either of you point to a citation that backs it up?  I've searched, and can find nothing to substantiate this claim.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

[ Edited ]

Robert-J-Sawyer wrote:

Interesting assertions, kerifluf and MacMck1957.  Can either of you point to a citation that backs it up?  I've searched, and can find nothing to substantiate this claim.


Frankly, I can't find any news article directly addressing the subject.  Most of what I've seen are online postings, but it seems reasonable, and in line with a lot of Canadian regulation.  You seem to not want to believe it, but I wonder if there is some alternate explanation for B&N not selling to Canadian customers that you would prefer to believe instead?  I can't believe that B&N would write off 34 million potential customers if they had any choice in the matter.

 

I did find the following, from March, 2010, regarding Canadian booksellers objecting to Amazon:

For the last eight years, Canadians have purchased books through Amazon’s Canadian website, Amazon.ca, which employs third-party contractors to ship orders from the United States to Canadian customers. But this month the company decided to create a distribution center in the country, thus setting off independent booksellers.

"If they're allowed to do this, it could open the doors to others. We could see Barnes & Noble and Borders in Canada," said Stephen Cribar, president of the Canadian Booksellers Association.

 

So the head of the Canadian booksellers is basically saying, about 2 1/2 years ago, that B&N and Borders (RIP) were not allowed in Canada, and he wanted to keep it that way.  No reason to believe anything has changed since.

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keriflur
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)


MacMcK1957 wrote:

I did find the following, from March, 2010, regarding Canadian booksellers objecting to Amazon:

For the last eight years, Canadians have purchased books through Amazon’s Canadian website, Amazon.ca, which employs third-party contractors to ship orders from the United States to Canadian customers. But this month the company decided to create a distribution center in the country, thus setting off independent booksellers.

"If they're allowed to do this, it could open the doors to others. We could see Barnes & Noble and Borders in Canada," said Stephen Cribar, president of the Canadian Booksellers Association.

So the head of the Canadian booksellers is basically saying, about 2 1/2 years ago, that B&N and Borders (RIP) were not allowed in Canada, and he wanted to keep it that way.  No reason to believe anything has changed since.


Am I the only one who reads this and thinks:

 

<s>

OMG. Crisis!! *jazz hands*

 

Amazon set up a distribution center and hired a whole bunch of Canadians to work at it.  This is a BAD, BAD thing for Canada!

</s>

 

Doug_Pardee
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Amazon launches Canadian Kindle Store

[ Edited ]

Whaddaya know. Today, Amazon finally launched the Canadian version of its Kindle Store. Also reported here.

 

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Robert-J-Sawyer
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Yeah, sure, we all know that B&N and Borders (when it existed) had constraints on operating brick-and-mortar stores in Canada (which is why Borders took at 10 percent stake in Canadian bookseller Indigo).  And, sure, I know what Steve Cribar (who I know personally) said.  But none of it has a bearing on doing ecommerce with Canadians.  I buy physical and electronic products all the time (the O'Reilly and Baen bookstores are examples of the latter) in Canada from American vendors. Your contention was that B&N was barred from doing ecommerce for the sale of ebooks with Canadians by Canadian laws or regulations, and there simply doesn't seem to be anything to back that up.

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keriflur
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)


Robert-J-Sawyer wrote:

Yeah, sure, we all know that B&N and Borders (when it existed) had constraints on operating brick-and-mortar stores in Canada (which is why Borders took at 10 percent stake in Canadian bookseller Indigo).  And, sure, I know what Steve Cribar (who I know personally) said.  But none of it has a bearing on doing ecommerce with Canadians.  I buy physical and electronic products all the time (the O'Reilly and Baen bookstores are examples of the latter) in Canada from American vendors. Your contention was that B&N was barred from doing ecommerce for the sale of ebooks with Canadians by Canadian laws or regulations, and there simply doesn't seem to be anything to back that up.


Have you read the laws/statutes on this issue, or is your information secondhand?

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)


Robert-J-Sawyer wrote:

...

Your contention was that B&N was barred from doing ecommerce for the sale of ebooks with Canadians by Canadian laws or regulations, and there simply doesn't seem to be anything to back that up.



I've got something to back it up:  B&N is not selling in Canada. 

 

Why are you so desperate to believe Canada is not preventing them from doing so?  Do you have an alternate theory?  Do you believe that B&N voluntarily chooses not to serve a market of 30 million poetential readers?

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RHWright
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Re: Fictionwise / eReader migration path leaves Canadians out in the cold (brrrr!)

Maybe it's a matter of geo-restrictions in the publishing agreements and not in Canadian law itself?

 

If too few publishers they currently deal with have Canadian rights, it may not be worth their while to build new relationships with the alternative rights holders.