Lies, damned lies and international copyright law.
"Not longer after the iPad's January introduction, it emerged that iBooks might not feature on versions of the tablet sold outside the US because of licensing limitations imposed on works still protected by copyright law.
Such restrictions - who is allowed to publish what, and where - don't apply to public domain, out-of-copyright works of the kind digitised and made available by Project Gutenberg."
While this is technically correct, it is more than slightly misleading because it glosses over the simple fact that many of the works made available by Project Gutenberg are still protected by copyright law in many countries.
This is more than a mere technicality -- some companies may shortly find out that it is a rather expensive oversight.
I recently bought an particular model of ereader from a high street bookshop, and it has several eBooks preloaded. One of these was a Beatrix Potter book. Potter died in 43, so by my reckoning that means that her writing is protected in the UK until 2013. The copyright has expired in the US, and Gutenberg states the following:
"Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook."
It would appear that the importer of the device failed to carry out due diligence and could get a bit of a nasty surprise when the Potter estate catch onto this.
I'm sure this isn't the only time such things have happened, and the Apple store is a much more visible target than a white-label far eastern device.