Just like the on-iPad App Store, Apple has begun turning on the on-iPad iBookstore for international iTunes accounts just ahead of the May 28 international iPad launch. Unlike the App Store, however, which includes almost all major titles paid and free, the international iBookstore only seems to include free public domain titles.
No doubt there are more true classics of literature contained in the copyright-free Project Gutenberg library than I could read in a lifetime, but this once again shows just how fragmented and old-fashioned traditional media remains. Apple can't just do a deal to carry Harry Potter in the iBookstore, for example, as a different publisher owns the rights to that book in the UK as opposed to North America. No doubt some vary by country as well.
Apple still hasn't been able to roll out TV and Movies to many international iTunes store and iBooks probably won't be any different. I'd hope that would embarrass big media, getting caught in the horse and buggy while the App Store Ferrari laps them in distribution but I have a feeling they don't care. They'd rather hold on to the dwindling pennies of the past than embrace the economy of the future.
All other complaints about the App Store aside, it's delivering content to international users today.