What do the Kindle Store Terms of Use Really Say?

You probably know the Amazon Kindle Store as the place you go to buy books or download free books. By definition, it’s an online marketplace for digital content such as books, magazines, newspapers, and other media. But did you know that your use of the Kindle Store is governed by a large set of rules and policies? Most people don’t read the Kindle terms of use, which outline the rules and guidelines for using the service. We’ve distilled the Kindle Store Terms of Use below so you can get a better idea of what to expect. Note: The terms of use are updated frequently. We’ve used the edition titled “Last updated: November 30, 2022.”

Below you will find the actual text of the Amazon Kindle Store terms of use (in italics) and our summary of what it means. We are not legal experts. If you need a legal interpretation, then consult a lawyer. This is just our best pared-down interpretation of the longer text.

Introduction (Summary)

“This is an agreement between you and Amazon.com Services LLC (with its affiliates, “Amazon”, “we” or “us”). Please read these Amazon Kindle Store Terms of Use, the Amazon.com Privacy Notice (https://www.amazon.com/privacy), the Amazon.com Conditions of Use (http://www.amazon.com/conditionsofuse), and the other applicable rules, policies, and terms posted on the Amazon.com website or the Kindle Store or provided with any Service (collectively, this “Agreement”) before purchasing or using any aspect of the Service. By using the Kindle Store, purchasing or using any Kindle Content, using any Kindle Software, or using any aspect of the Service, you agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement on behalf of yourself and all members of your household and others who use the Service under your account. If you do not accept the terms of this Agreement, then you may not use the Kindle Store, any Kindle Content, any Kindle Software or the Service.

For the purposes of this Agreement:

“Content Provider” means the party offering Kindle Content in the Kindle Store, which may be us or a third party.

“Kindle Content” means digital content obtained through the Kindle Store, such as books, comics, newspapers, magazines, and other content.

“Kindle Software” means software we make available that permits users to shop for, download, browse, or use the Kindle Store or Kindle Content, or to create or distribute other content, such as notes and files, on a Supported Device, and includes all “Send to Kindle” software.

“Kindle Store” means our stores, available through certain Kindle Software and on our website, the homepage of which is located at www.amazon.com/kindlestore.

“Kindle Vella Content” means digital content obtained through the Kindle Vella Service.

“Service” means the provision of the Kindle Store, Kindle Content, Kindle Vella, Kindle Software, and support and other services that we provide Kindle Store, Kindle Content, Kindle Vella, and Kindle Software users.

“Subscription Content” means Kindle Content made available for access only for so long as you remain an active member of a subscription or membership program, such as Kindle Unlimited, comiXology Unlimited, or Amazon Prime.

“Supported Device” means a mobile, computer or other supported electronic device on which you are authorized to operate Kindle Software, including a Kindle e-reader.”

Kindle Content (Summary)

This section explains that when you download or access Kindle Content, you are granted a non-exclusive right to view and use the content on the specified number of devices for personal, non-commercial use. That’s right, you don’t own the book like you do with a physical book, rather you own a right to view it. The content cannot be sold, rented, leased, or distributed to a third party, and any proprietary notices or labels must not be removed. The section also covers book returns, subscription cancellations, and termination, as well as the risk of loss for Kindle Content transfers.

Kindle Content  (The full Amazon text)

“Use of Kindle Content. Upon your download or access of Kindle Content and payment of any applicable fees (including applicable taxes), the Content Provider grants you a non-exclusive right to view, use, and display such Kindle Content (for Subscription Content, only as long as you remain an active member of the underlying membership or subscription program), solely through Kindle Software or as otherwise permitted as part of the Service, solely on the number of Supported Devices specified in the Kindle Store, and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Kindle Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider. The Content Provider may include additional terms for use within its Kindle Content. Those terms will also apply, but this Agreement will govern in the event of a conflict. Some Kindle Content, such as interactive or highly formatted content, may not be available to you on all Kindle Software.

Limitations. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, you may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense, or otherwise assign any rights to the Kindle Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove or modify any proprietary notices or labels on the Kindle Content. In addition, you may not attempt to bypass, modify, defeat, or otherwise circumvent any digital rights management system or other content protection or features used as part of the Service.

Book Returns; Subscription Cancellations and Termination. You may return a book you purchase from the Kindle Store or cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions as permitted in our return and cancellation policy in the Kindle Store. A newspaper or magazine subscription may be terminated at any time, for example, if a magazine is no longer available. If a magazine or newspaper subscription is terminated before the end of its term, you will receive a prorated refund. We reserve the right to change newspaper and magazine subscription terms and fees from time to time, effective as of the beginning of the next subscription term.

Risk of Loss. Risk of loss for Kindle Content transfers when you download or access the Kindle Content.”

Use of Kindle Software (Our summary)

This section explains that Kindle Software can only be used on supported devices and that you are responsible for all content you distribute. It also includes additional software terms and conditions that apply to Kindle Software.

Use of Kindle Software (The full Amazon text)

“Permitted Devices. You may use Kindle Software only on Supported Devices.

Importing, Sharing, and Distributing Content. The Services may allow you to import, upload, export, share, submit, or otherwise distribute, content to yourself or others (“Distribute”). You may not Distribute content that contains child sexual abuse or other abusive materials, or that advocates hatred, violence, or terrorism. You may only Distribute content to another if you have their permission; you may not Distribute content that is unsolicited. You may Distribute content solely for your personal, non-commercial use; you may not charge, directly or indirectly, to Distribute content via any Service. You are solely responsible for all content that you Distribute. Amazon takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content that you, or any third party, Distribute. Amazon may investigate any suspected violation or other misuse of any Service, and may review and remove any content and associated metadata.

Additional Software Terms. For additional terms that apply to Kindle Software, see the Additional Amazon Software Terms in the Amazon.com Conditions of Use (https://www.amazon.com/conditionsofuse), and any terms provided with Kindle Software (for example, in the Legal Notices or similar section).”

Kindle Vella Tokens (Summary)

This section outlines the terms and conditions for Kindle Vella Tokens, which are used to purchase and unlock eligible Kindle Vella Content. The tokens have no monetary value, can only be used for eligible products, and are not transferable or redeemable for cash.

Kindle Vella Tokens (The full Amazon text)

“Use of Tokens; Expiration. Kindle Vella is an offering of the Service that allows customers to receive and purchase tokens (“Tokens”) and to redeem those Tokens for eligible Kindle Vella Content we offer through the Kindle Store. Eligible products may change over time. Not all devices support the use of Tokens. Kindle Vella Content may only be unlocked with Tokens, and the entire Token amount for the applicable product, plus any applicable taxes, must be redeemed with Tokens. Tokens do not expire. We are not responsible if any Tokens are used without your permission.

Purchases and Returns. Purchases of Tokens will be charged to the 1-Click payment method associated with your Amazon account. All purchases of Tokens are final. We do not accept returns of Tokens except where required by law. If you believe any purchased Tokens were not properly credited to your account, please contact Amazon customer service for assistance. If we offer discounts on the purchase of Tokens, we may modify or discontinue those discounts at any time without notice to you.

Restrictions. Tokens are a digital good and have no monetary value (i.e., are not cash or equivalent), and do not constitute currency or property of any type. Tokens can only be redeemed for eligible Kindle Vella digital products we offer through the Kindle Store. Tokens cannot be resold, transferred for value, or redeemed for cash, except to the extent required by law. Tokens in one Amazon account may not be transferred to another Amazon account. We may limit the number of Tokens you can purchase or receive within certain periods of time, or implement other restrictions on the receipt or use of Tokens. If we give you Tokens in connection with your purchase of a product and you later return or receive a refund for that product, we may revoke those Tokens. If you have already used those Tokens, we may deduct the same number of Tokens from your account or charge your credit card or other payment instrument for any products you redeemed using those Tokens.

Limited to U.S. Kindle Vella is currently only available to customers located in the United States. You may not purchase, receive, or redeem Tokens if you are outside the United States. “United States” refers to the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

General (Summary)

This section covers information provided to Amazon about your use of the Kindle Software and other general provisions. It also outlines the conditions for the use of Amazon’s Service, including the termination of the agreement for non-compliance or fraud, and the right for Amazon to make changes or amendments to the Service without notice. Any disputes or claims are subject to Amazon’s Conditions of Use, and liability for damages is limited to $50 for Kindle Software and the actual amount paid for the Service used. These limitations apply even if remedies fail.

General (The full Amazon text)

“Information Provided to Amazon. Kindle Software will provide Amazon with information about your use of the Kindle Software, including information about its interaction with Kindle Content, other content, and the Service (such as your last page read; content that you use, Distribute, or archive; your viewing data and search queries; and available memory, up-time, log files, and signal strength). Information provided to Amazon may be stored on servers outside the country in which you live. We will handle any information we receive in accordance with the Amazon.com Privacy Notice (https://www.amazon.com/privacy).

Information Provided to Others. You are solely responsible for any information you provide to others using the Service. Use of information you provide to these third parties will be subject to any privacy notice or other terms that they may provide to you.

Termination; Fraud. Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. We may also terminate your right to use the Service at any time, including if we determine your use violates any term of this Agreement or involves any fraud or misuse of the Service. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Service, and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Service without refund of any fees. If we determine you fraudulently obtain or use any Tokens, we may revoke those Tokens and charge your credit card or other payment instrument for any products redeemed using those Tokens. Amazon’s failure to insist upon or enforce your strict compliance with this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of any of its rights.

Changes to Service; Amendments. We may change, suspend, or discontinue the Service, in whole or in part, including adding or removing Subscription Content from a Service, at any time without notice. We may amend any of this Agreement’s terms at our sole discretion by posting the revised terms on the Amazon.com website. Your continued use of any Kindle Software or any aspect of the Service after the effective date of the revised Agreement terms constitutes your acceptance of the terms.

Disputes. Any dispute or claim arising from or relating to this Agreement or the Service is subject to the sections on dispute resolution, governing law, disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability and all other terms in the Amazon.com Conditions of Use (https://www.amazon.com/conditionsofuse).

Limitation of Liability. Without limiting the Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability in the Amazon.com Conditions of Use (https://www.amazon.com/conditionsofuse), (1) in no event will our or our software licensors’ total liability to you for all damages (other than as may be required by applicable law in cases involving personal injury) arising out of or related to your use or inability to use any Kindle Software exceed the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00); and (2) in no event will our or any other Content Provider’s aggregate liability to you for all damages arising from your use of any Service (excluding Kindle Software) exceed the amount you actually paid for the Kindle Content or for the aspect of the Service related to your claim for damages. These limitations will apply to you even if the remedies fail of their essential purpose.

Contact Information. For help with Kindle Software, the Service, the Kindle Store, Kindle Content, or resolving other issues, please contact Customer Service at https://www.amazon.com/contact-us/ (or by email at [email protected]).

For communications concerning this Agreement, please write to Amazon, Attn: Legal Department, P.O. Box 81226, Seattle, WA 98108-1226.”

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