Over one year ago I wrote a post about the folly of implementing territorial rights restrictions in the age of digital content. It was written in the context of Barnes & Noble’s iPhone app and not being able to buy content due to not having a North American credit card at the time.
Now publishers are whining about the ease with with the Kindle’s territorial restrictions can be circumvented.
I understand the publisher’s perspective. Territoriality adds billions of dollars of value to their businesses. But is it good for consumers? No. Will there be consumer backlash if territoriality is maintained (as was the case in the recorded music biz)? Yes. Should publishers remove territorial restrictions and open their content to the world? Absolutely. Will this hurt and require significant restructuring? Yes. Will their businesses be better off in the medium-term. Guaranteed.
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