What I want to know is why Apple went down the road of splitting content on a country by country basis? I know that the good folks at Apple like to think that they "think different" but even they must be shaking their heads at the mess they have created. All they needed to do was look at a model that actually works: E-Bay. If I live in Canada -- which I do -- and want to sell whatever to my fellow Canadians, no problem. If I want to sell it across the border in virtually any other nation, all it takes is the clicking of a radio button. If I want to preclude a particular nation, it likewise requires a click or two. Buyers are likewise empowered.
Now take Apple. I've published an iBook Textbook [Yes I know: My first mistake.] I initially published it in Canada and a handful of other English speaking countries. Since it's an ESL textbook I've had enquiries now from Japan, Korea and Thailand, all looking to download the FREE sample and/or buy the book. But in Apple's world, they can't. And I can't upload it to the iTunes/iBookstore/iCouldNotGiveADamn in those countries either. This is not an option. This is an English language book that educators in those coutries have expressed an interest in. This isn't a technological problem related to fonts, l-to-r reading or anything of that nature. This is a problem related to bad decision making in the boardroom.
Another example of a model that works? Amazon. Apple has the technological lead with iBA but Amazon will catch up. Then you want to see rats leaving a sinking ship? I'll be the first in the water. This bizzare, control-freak approch is going to sink Apple's aspirations to dominate the textbook market.