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E-book restriction seems arbitrary

Waterstone's say international rights mean they cannot sell to France

ONE of the pleasures of living in France is having time to read. I used to buy e-books from Waterstone’s and WHSmith in the UK to read on my Sony E-Reader.

It proved very cost-effective and I had no problems downloading books until November.

Now I am told by Waterstone’s customer services that they have to comply with international rights and have stopped anyone outside the UK and Ireland from buying e-books.

We can still buy paper books from them, though. How crazy is that?

One thought keeps coming up: the EU is all about free trading, so is this not a retrograde step?

I have asked Amazon if it has any restrictions in downloading books on to its Kindle e-reader device.

They have said that they can supply the Kindle in France and that e-books can be downloaded outside the UK. Why the difference?

Tourtouse (Ariège)

Waterstone’s said: “To comply with rights issues we have had to withdraw international supply of e-books. We are sorry about this, but there is nothing we can do at the moment. Printed books are also subject to restrictions. A book may typically have different publishers in the UK, USA, Europe, and so on.”

At the time of going to press, Amazon had not responded to our request for clarification on why its rules appeared to differ from those applied by Waterstone’s.

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