For the most part, with physical product, anyway, we like Amazon at this house. It’s really handy for people who live in the middle of nowhere, and also for people who live in the middle of nowhere and hate driving an hour for the non-privilege of spending half a day in shopping mall crowds.
But I’m also aware that digital products are being treated as licensed, rather than purchased, by major e-tailers. I’ve never bought e-books, though I’ll get them for free when they’re on promotion. Tuesday was one of those days, but it was also the day when I crossed paths with the rollout of digital products specifically for Amazon’s Canadian region.
Before I could access the e-book, I got this:
Just to be clear, it says this:
Books — no change.
Periodicals and Newsstand — Currently active subscriptions will be canceled upon transferring to another country. A pro-rated refund will be applied if there are any remaining issues you have already paid for. Once subscriptions are canceled, you will not be able to access past issues.
Music — Amazon Cloud Player is not supported in your new country. You will no longer be able to access your Cloud Player music library from your device after you have transferred your account to your new country. However, you may continue to access your music locally on your device by downloading it from Cloud Player prior to transferring your account to your new country.
Videos — Videos purchased in your current country will no longer be available after transferring your account.
And also some generic non-promises about apps and games varying by location.
Then, later in the day, I saw a tweet mentioning an acquaintance’s book. I knew about it before it was published, and now it’s being released, I was pretty excited to track it down. It’s listed in Kindle edition only on Amazon.ca …and it says “this title not available in your region.”
As you might imagine, my reaction was less than ladylike.
And that, and things like the B&N credit card fail, and the Amazon account shutdown, is why it really doesn’t matter to me how cool e-readers become. I’m old-school enough to want to own a product when I buy it.
And I’m old-school enough to think that if I’m going to be tracked around the internet by corporate robo-goons in my search for what I want, I’d darn well like to be able to actually get it in the first place. Otherwise, y’know, pen and paper and the occasional use of the telephone? That worked alright for me.