Germany has placed a curfew on buying adult e-books, after a novel was deemed to risquÃ© for sale during the day.
Germans will now only be able to buy adult e-books between the hours of 22.00 and 06.00.
The new rules have been put in place after a certain e-book, named Schlauchgeluste, was said to be too easy for children to buy.
The novel is a transgender memoir, with a title that roughly translates to ‘Pantyhose cravings’.
Germany has had similar rules in place for adult cinema since 2002, but complaints about this particular title have seen the rules expanded to e-books.
People found to be selling adult books outside of the curfew could face being fined €50,000.
Speaking out against the decision, blogger Nate Hoffelder said: “I still don’t understand what the regulators were thinking in applying that rule to the internet. Do they really believe that the adult internet, including porn sites, pirate sites, video sites, etc, is going to be turned off for 16 hours a day?”
In an effort to comply with the rules, retailers are considering using filtering tools online, to only display adult content within a certain time.
Some are worried the government might begin tracking which literature titles are deemed “youth endangering”.
But as Hoffelder says, such online bans are likely to dissuade, or stop, children seeking out the e-books.
Jessica Sanger, from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, said: “A time lock doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to us as kids can find ways to circumvent that.
“A system that requires proof of age is harder to circumvent and that is the way we see things going.”