Waterstones is closing its doors to the world

31 October 2010

Waterstones is closing its doors to the world

Earlier this week Waterstone’s announced they would stop selling eBooks to customers outside the UK, due to people from other countries buying books that should not be sold in those territories (News source: theBookSeller.com).

It’s actually surprising that they’ve left the doors open for this long but according to Waterstone’s spokesman Jon Howells, “This is not a temporary move”. From now on you’ll need a UK address to purchase new titles, although any books already bought will still be downloadable no matter where you’re doing it from.

Although territorial restrictions have been around since forever, it’s only really been in the digital age where we’re starting to see real issues with it. These days everyone expects to visit a website and buy content, but we’re finding it more and more difficult to do that and naturally people go off to find ways round it.

Territorial rights are a funny old subject with many arguments for and against, but considering our modern world I’m not sure if there’s really a place for them any more. It seems to me that people want this content, so why not let them have it – wouldn’t everyone make more money in the process?

As someone who lives abroad I’m always having problems buying digital content (in fact all kinds of goods) due to territorial restrictions. These things just aren’t available in the country I am living in.