Amazon Won’t Carry Kannada-Langauge eBook, Indian Literary Community Freaks Out
Remember back in 2011 when Amazon removed a Maltese-language book from the Kindle, and everyone lost their shit?
It’s happening again, this time in India.
The Times of India, Bangalore Mirror, and other sites are reporting that Amazon won’t let a Kannada-language ebook into the Kindle Store. (According to Wikipedia, there are around 50 million people in the world who speak that language.)
Amazon’s apparent reluctance to allow Kannada e-books on its Kindle platform has angered sections of writers and Kannada groups pitting the Kannada Development Authority, a statutory body, and Kannada Sahitya Parishat, the apex literary body, against the Seattle-based ecommerce behemoth.
The two organisations are gathering details to decide on its next move to get Amazon to respond to the request of writers to introduce Kannada e-books on Kindle.
The spat is showing signs of gaining momentum in the coming days as Amazon India, headquartered out of Bengaluru, is said to be planning to offer books in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam and Gujarati on its e-reader.
While the Kannada Development Authority has written a letter to Amazon, the Sahitya Parishat is consulting experts to guide it in the matter.
"We have written to Amazon requesting it to treat Kannada in the same way as it wishes to treat other Indian languages. We have also asked them to explain why they want to exclude Kannada from Kindle," Hanumanthaiah, the Authority Chairman told ET. "We will decide our future course of action after receiving Amazon’s reply," he added.
My first thought when reading this plaint was to criticize the writers for their entitlement issues, but then I thought it better to explain just how self-centered their viewpoint really was.
For the record, Amazon launched the international Kindle store in 2009, and seven years later it still neglects to support most of the languages on this planet.
Amazon did expand language support in 2013 and added dozens of languages in Europe, but it was far from complete. Amazon left out languages native to Italy, eastern Europe, Africa, the middle East, South America, and Asia.
Hell, Amazon doesn’t even support all of the languages native to its home market, North America (English, French, and Spanish are the sum of the market, yes, but not the only native languages).
And now Indian writers are pissed because their language isn’t supported on the Kindle?
Dude, join the club.
It’s called the United Nations.
image by The Itsy Bitsy Spider