World Zone Pricing

Cory Doctorow is releasing his new novel under a creative commons license.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Your post is somewhat misleading. It should read: “If you live in a medium/low income country, the book is in the public domain and thus you can resell it, or produce other version of it for profit. Otherwise, you must agree to non-commercial redistribution, just like the original creative commons licence.”

Really, as someone in a “high income” country, there is no difference to you than the original CC licence, it’s just that people in “low/medium income” countries have more rights than you. This makes some sense since in most of these countries, copyright enforcement is a joke.

However, I don’t disagree with the rest of your post: regional pricing is becoming more of a strange and debatable choice with today’s global economy.

Regional pricing, in this globalized world, is doomed to failure because of the ease of arbitrage. But price discrimination based on other differentiating criteria, like language, probably will work well. Yes, you could buy a copy of MS Office much more cheaply in Thailand, and inexpensively download it to your computer in the United States… but who would do that if all the menus and dialog boxes are actually in Thai?

MS Visual Studio 2008 Pro costs 599.97 Pounds in UK (, which is roughly $1,200.00. The very same MS Visual Studio 2008 Pro is $689.99 on I can’t find any good explanation for that.

Besides the shipping cost I can’t understand why such a big difference in prices?

Maybe delivers by taxi? Then again, the GBP has gained about 20% on the USD over the last 2 months and prices only get set so often.

Interesting post. Zone pricing was made possible in the oil industry by actions taken by oil companies in the 70s during the ‘oil glut//embargo’. The real pains during that time were caused by a switch to weekly deliveries combined with contractually induced single sourcing of all suppliers for any given station.