Quill and Quire

Book news

« Back to

Amazon’s Kindle not lighting fires in Norway

Despite healthy sales and an endorsement from Oprah in the U.S., Amazon’s Kindle reading device may run afoul of Norway’s consumer regulations should the online bookselling giant decide to release the device there in its present form.

According to an article in The Register, the Norwegian Consumer Council, which has the authority to fine any company deemed to be engaging in illegal trade practices in the country, is concerned about Amazon’s monopoly over the content that is downloadable to the device, and feels that the reading lists kept on U.S. servers (and thus not subject to EU law) may contravene privacy restrictions.

Another eye-opening complaint (from a North American perspective, at least) is that the Kindle has a one-year warranty, whereas Norwegian law stipulates a minimum five-year warranty for such devices.

But Quillblog’s favourite cavil is contained in the following:

The Norwegian Consumer Council has been trawling through Amazon’s terms and conditions for the Kindle, and notes that the very language used is probably illegal, as Norwegian law requires such contracts to be clearly written.

While finding this hilarious, Quillblog will have to take The Register‘s word for it: the article it links to is in Norwegian.