The proposal contains detailed regulations on the sale and availability of new books (paper books, electronicbooks and audiobooks) Audiovisual products and services, newspapers and periodicals are not affected.
Proposal for Regulation on the Sale of Books (Book Regulation)
- The new Book Act was adopted by the Norwegian Storting by law on the 12th of June 2023, cf. LegislativeDecree 110 (2022-2023) and sanctioned on the 16th June 2023. The Book Act contains several mandatoryprovisions that applies to all Norwegian publishers and retailers of books in the Norwegian book market. TheBook Act gives the Royal Ministry of Culture and Equality authority to establish regulations on more detailedconditions. In this proposal, the Ministry of Culture and Equality proposes regulations that are necessary forthe new Book Act to come into force.
- The proposal Section 1 establishes exceptions from the scope of the Books Act for self-publishers. Self-publishers who solely publish their own books under their own imprint will not be required to obtain paperbooks according to section 6 first paragraph of the Book Act or to offer audio books according to section 7 firstparagraph of the Book Act.
- The proposal Section 2 ensures retailers the opportunity to give libraries up to a 20 percent discount on fixed-price books. The proposal Section 3 ensures retailers the opportunity to give end customers discounts whenbuying larger quantities of books at a fixed price. The proposal Section 4 gives publishers and retailers theopportunity to enter into agreements on discounts for the simultaneous sale of paper format and digital formatof the same book, so-called "bundling" of book products.
-Section 5 of the proposal establishes a ban on giving away fixed price books for free. The proposal isnecessary to ensure that the fixed price is not circumvented. The provisions are essentially a continuation ofcurrent law and practice. The ministry further proposes a narrow exception to the aforementioned ban forretailers who sell serial novels in paper format through subscription, in that the retailer can give the endcustomer a free first copy of a serial novel in paper format when purchasing a subscription.
-The proposal Section 6 gives the publisher the opportunity to set a new fixed price for new editions of a bookthat is no longer bound by a fixed price. The proposal is a continuation of current law and practice.
-The proposal Section 7 establishes transitional provisions for books at a fixed price according to the currentbook agreement, including that for books that are at a fixed price in accordance with the current bookagreement of January 1st 2017 at the time the Book Act comes into force, the fixed price continues to runaccording to the book agreement up to and including the 30th of April 2024. The provisions of the Books Actand the Book Regulations will apply to books published after the Act comes into force. Section 8 of theproposal stipulates that the regulation will enter into force on 1 January 2024.