Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Audio Apartheid Extended to Botswana

Even the indomitable Mma Ramotswe would have a few words to say about this conundrum: citizens of Botswana, the home of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, are prevented from buying and downloading audio books about its most famous detective.
Why? Because the publishers in their infinite wisdom, and for reasons known only to themselves and perhaps Alexander McCall Smith, have determined that these audio books shall only be sold to customers in the USA and Canada. The titles are not even available in the author's home of the UK, let alone anywhere in Africa. It's another form of Apartheid, only this time most of Africa, including South Africa and Botswana, have been reduced to "Bantustan" status, meaning that they are excluded from the global marketplace. It's comforting to know that the UK is also regarded as a "Bantustan" in this case, but it still doesn't eliminate the sheer injustice of it all.

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