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Amazon Taking Down Erotica, Removing From Kindles

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the slippery-cliff dept.

Censorship 641

ctmurray writes "The independent writers who publish on Amazon report that erotica books containing incest are being taken down with no explanation by Amazon, and removed from the Kindles of purchasers of the books. Author Selena Kitt writes: 'I want to be clear that while the subject of incest may not appeal to some, there is no underage contact in any of my work, and I make that either explicitly clear in all my stories or I state it up front in the book's disclaimer. I don't condone or support actual incest, just as someone who writes mysteries about serial killers wouldn't condone killing. What I write is fiction.' Kindle's own TV ad features a book with a story line of sex between a 19-year-old and his stepmother, defined in some states as incest (Sleepwalking by Amy Bloom)."

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641 comments

1984 (5, Interesting)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557708)

Didn't Amazon say that they would no longer remove books remotely?

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557710)

Yes, they did. Oops.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557738)

That statement has been remotely removed.

Re:1984 (5, Informative)

scrib (1277042) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557766)

They redacted that statement later...

Actually, the quote I find with regards to removing illegitimate copies of "1984" is: "We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances."

These are, of course, entirely different circumstances. Perhaps "these circumstances" are only if a person who doesn't own the rights to a book tries to sell it and the removal results in irony. Perhaps the circumstances are specific to "1984" alone. Removing a book sold by the legitimate rights' holder due to content is totally different...

Anyway, their statement about not removing books is probably just as valid as their privacy policy...

Re:1984 (-1, Troll)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557824)

Didn't Amazon say that they would no longer remove books remotely?

This is why we don't believe things Amazon says it will or won't do.

Re:1984 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557858)

Yes, they did. However, if you read carefully,

When some of my readers began checking their Kindle archives for books of mine they’d purchased on Amazon, they found them missing from their archives

The books were never remotely removed from the device. Instead, Amazon removed the books from being sold or re-downloaded. This is within the guidelines Amazon setup.

Re:1984 (0)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557952)

Yes, but they remotely wiped this statement from all the digital media in the world, so now we have nothing against them!

Re:1984 (0)

valerio (127670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557956)

Didn't Amazon say that they would no longer remove books remotely?

They did, but then they removed their promise... remotely...

1984 called & they want the book back. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558058)

I just had this argument not long ago with someone about the adoption of E-readers, and how this could be considered a disadvantage. Well of course he brought up the whole, "But Amazon said they wouldn't do it anymore...". Looks like someone is going to be eating crow tonight and yes I belive stunts like this be it Amazon or any of the other big players will hurt E-readers in the long run, not just DRM. Apparently the whole, "just because we can" is enough.

So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557714)

Unless the government is hounding them to do it then it is their prerogative to do so.

Re:So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557724)

The Taliban wouldn't approve either.

Shakespeare? (5, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557718)

I hope they also remove Romeo and Juliet, since they had sex while Juliet was 14, a clear case of kiddie porn.

Re:Shakespeare? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557778)

They had sex? Shows how much a nerd I was when I read it, I didn't even notice.

Re:Shakespeare? (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557848)

they should put this Shakespear where he belongs. American Congress would do I think, especially if they also were put where they belong...

Re:Shakespeare? (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557976)

I hope they also remove Romeo and Juliet, since they had sex while Juliet was 14, a clear case of kiddie porn.

Exactly. I also hate that the author explaining himself in the way he does - to me that's validating the line of questioning valid. Especially when she says there is no underage incest in her books.

Is "How to Train Your Dragon" then bad because there is underage violence? Or is that good because it was shown in all the theaters? I don't understand.

Fanfiction.net went this way long ago, with authors having to rate their stories using MPAA guidelines. Yes Virginia, they think images on the screen translate into words for purposes of ratings, and had to put an R rating if there was drug use!

WTF is fiction for if not exploring things that can't or shouldn't be explored in real life? Hell, why is a story that explores incest "bad" but when a newspaper reports it, it's okay to let even a 5 year old read? Why can action news report on Fritzl in the afternoon but all those type of storyline wait until after 9 pm?

Sodom and Gomorrah anyone? Why is the bible a good book? Double standards are littering the landscape, and in each and every instance, it comes PC police with too much time on their hands.

Personally, I would never buy this device that deigns to control my library. It's on there, you don't touch it. I don't care if the company thinks it's malware, copyright infringed, or for the children - delivery of books should be ONE WAY. Amazon should no more take digital books away than breaking into houses and stealing physical copies.

Re:Shakespeare? (1)

angus77 (1520151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558038)

Sodom and Gomorrah anyone? Why is the bible a good book? Double standards...

I'm no believer in the Bible, but just for the record, and despite what the modern word "sodomy" means, whatever it was the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did, it was never made explicit in the Bible.

What about murder? (4, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558008)

Hell, if incest is bad... what about murder?
I think they should take down all books with murder, violence, incest, fraud, drug offenses, adultery, etc.

In fact, why sell fiction books? It's all blasphemy anyway. We should devote our lives to studying the state-propaganda. If that's good enough for the state, it is good enough for us.

Re:What about murder? (3, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558088)

Murder doesn't have anything to do with sex, it's just killing people so it's totally acceptable.

Not Ownership (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557746)

Doesn't this prove you're actually just subsidizing their content delivery system?

You don't actually own it, or anything on it.

And this is why e-books won't replace paper. (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557750)

Not until this kind of crap stops being possible. I don't just mean "Amazon stops pulling Kindle books that people have already purchased and promises not to do it again," I mean when they can't -- i.e. when e-books can actually be purchased, in a non-DRM, non-phone-home format that the people who buy them actually own.

Yes, I know there are people selling plain PDFs, and good for them. But Amazon is such a dominant force in the market that they're going to have to take the lead, or be replaced at the top spot. I'm not optimistic -- this is going to drag on for years, maybe decades, and the potential of the e-book market will go largely unfulfilled in the meantime.

Re:And this is why e-books won't replace paper. (4, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557814)

Kindle DRM has been broken for some time now. It's trivial to liberate your books. If you purchase anything from Amazon and don't liberate it, you have only yourself to blame when they kill-bit your book.

So long as ebooks are sold at paper prices, they should be treated like paper books. You own them. You can loan them to other people, sell them to a used bookstore, etc. Some of that doesn't necessarily translate well to the digital world (what does it mean to sell a used ebook?), but the point is that if you're going to have to pay $10 or $12 (or even $20, since ebook prices are based off of the lowest-priced paper book and if only a hardcover is available you'll get a ridiculous ebook price) for an ebook it should be yours to keep. Amazon can't reach out and destroy a paper book you bought from them, and so they should not be allowed to do the same to an electronic book. For now, the only way to do this is to liberate your books after purchase. If Amazon (and other ebook sellers) want to treat ebook purchases as rentals, the prices should reflect that.

Re:And this is why e-books won't replace paper. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557872)

I hope you are right but fear you are wrong.

The majority of normal people don't care until it actually happens to them and even then they may tolerate it. Add in piracy paranoia and amazons huge marketing power and I fear that they and similar services may remain a dominant force despite this shit.

I plan to continue buying my books in dead tree format but if ebooks become too popular that may either cease to be an option or become very expensive.

Re:And this is why e-books won't replace paper. (2)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557898)

And draconian DRM is one of the reasons (along with for example their recent move against free speech) Amazon is on my list of boycotted companies. It's too bad for them because I shopped there frequently (and even shortly considered moving hosting operations there), and it's too bad for me because they were convenient. If they had some ethics I would more than willingly send them my money, but alas. There are more than enough smaller competitors willing to take my money instead...

I'm not personally willing to sponsor there kind of companies anymore, but I have no illusion my actions will make a lot of difference... Some people even claim this will make zero difference because even when a giant company like Amazon would slowly go bankrupt because of massive boycotting by a lot of consumers a new company with 'respawn' (most likely with the same bunch of CEO) and take it's place. But in my opinion injustice needs to be fought even at impossible odds, shopping somewhere else is a small price top pay...

Why stop there? (2)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557752)

Bestiality, SM, dozens of paraphilias, sex with amazon women... all sorts of promising possibilities.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558056)

I'm quite sure they'll be taking down the The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice any day now. No shortage of kink in those that's for sure.

My brain hurts.

What's the open alternative? (3, Interesting)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557754)

I was literally just looking at buying a Kindle for myself for Xmas...and then read this...

I really really don't like the idea of Amazon being able to reach in to my library and burn my books.

So what's the open alternative?

Re:What's the open alternative? (4, Insightful)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557796)

Well, and keep this hush hush its new tech, there's these things called books, they are an analogue hard-copy format, the best part of them is, there is no link up to the cloud and no company has the rights to remotely disable your copy.

They
Just
Work

But what is the battery life like? (5, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557932)

How long will the battery last on these "book" things? Can I read them in the sun? What if they get wet, are they water proofed? Can I make notes on them? Can they display color? What is the resolution?

Ah, see! Your "book" tech just can't compete! Bring me something that runs for centuries without a recharge, has a DPI over 300, can do infinite colors, is shock resistant, can be cheaply produced, easily resold 2nd hand and I can use to swat a fly with.

We need the best and brightest for this! Maybe some tech from China improved by German engineering! We could test it on say the Bible, first runs might be worth a bit of money perhaps.

a ebook reader is not a book (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557954)

I have about 4600 science-fiction books in my ereader (the worst and cheapest of the market), so the true comparation is eBook Reader vs Library.

Can you have 4500 books on your pockets? Wen I finish reading one book, I can choose any other, I don't have to wait.

Re:a ebook reader is not a book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558030)

why are you reading compulsively

instead of creating something new?

Re:a ebook reader is not a book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558064)

I remember when a book took most people at least 1 week to finish, typically more than 1 month, and occasionally over 1 year. Tell me, besides having a gross sense of entitlement, what else justifies having 4,600 books in your possession? Are you going to start a book store?

p.s. I presume you paid $20,000+ for that many works. You wouldn't illegally download them; nay, that thought would be presumptuous of me.

Re:a ebook reader is not a book (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558096)

I like the idea of ebook readers, and i'd like to be able to carry several books around for the weight of one. But, after more than 30 years of working with computers on and off, i just don't want to read a book on an electronic display. There's something considerably more comfortable about reading from paper that rather than a screen.

Paper books are more robust, too. These days i drive dump trucks in a mine and i can read a paper book while i'm sitting under the digger being loaded - and chuck it onto the dash when i've got to drive off quickly. I don't think an ebook reader would survive being chucked about like that for long!

One day, maybe, ebook readers will be able to compete with paper - but that day isn't on the horizon yet.

Re:What's the open alternative? (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557806)

With the exception of a few publishers that make non-DRMed books available (like Baen)... legally, there is none that I know of. I suggest you get yourself a netbook or tablet, then join the ebook piracy community. It runs on DC++ hubs, mostly.

Re:What's the open alternative? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557836)

Given the choice I'd go for one of Sony's readers. Although the nook also supports ePub (with or without DRM), I've found that the vested interests of B&N led them to opt for an irritating level of lockdown even when it doesn't seem to serve any logical purpose, presumably because they want to retain control over the device just in case.

Whatever you do buy, vote with your wallet on DRM. Gutenberg has a great selection, and although digital library books (which also aren't supported by the Kindle AFAIK) do come with DRM, I consider the enforcement of a short term, free loan to be a reasonably valid use. I also have absolutely no moral qualms about downloading a copy of a book I already own on paper - it's no different to having someone else rip one of your CD on your behalf and send you the files.

Re:What's the open alternative? (1)

LainTouko (926420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557950)

and although digital library books (which also aren't supported by the Kindle AFAIK) do come with DRM, I consider the enforcement of a short term, free loan to be a reasonably valid use.

Indeed, since the primary problem with DRM, and the reason why most instances of it are or should be illegal, is that any arrangement involving DRM can only ever be a type of loan, but many companies fraudulently claim to be 'selling' encumbered works, without turning over the full control over the item 'sold' that must be conceded in any purchase.

Re:What's the open alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557928)

There will never be an open, DRM-free, legal alternative... for the same reason we don't have one for TV or movies: content providers ruthlessly control all distribution methods. That said, Google Books [google.com] is IMO the closest we'll get to an open and neutral digital bookstore.

Re:What's the open alternative? (2)

moggie_xev (695282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557962)

Buy something that supports epub. I would look at the Sony range, Kobo reader and the nook. I own a Sony, I have just bought my son a Kobo reader. Its worth knowing htat the DRM on epub is deflatable and code exists to allow you to easily remove it.

Re:What's the open alternative? (1)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558028)

I went with an http://www.entourageedge.com/ [entourageedge.com]Entourage Edge Dual Screen, ebook/tablet device. Kind of heavy compared to other tablet devices, but its great for drawing, taking notes, surfing the net and what not, runs android.

Heinlein too? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557756)

I wonder if they will also be removing Heinlein books. I think it was _Time Enough for Love_ that had some incest.

Re:Heinlein too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557948)

No. You're thinking of his last, "To Sail Beyond the Sunset".

Look out! The Bible is next... (5, Informative)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557758)

I liked this part of TFA:

As fellow author, Will Belegon, noted, if Amazon is going to start pulling books with incest in them: "I just re-read Genesis 19: 30-38 and realized that Lot's daughters got him drunk, had sex with him and bore sons. I demand you follow your clear precedent and remove The Bible from Kindle."

Re:Look out! The Bible is next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557788)

And then they'll go for The song of fire and ice series, can't read more than a couple of chapters without encountering a rape or 2.

Re:Look out! The Bible is next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557878)

Also the Queen of the land and his twin brother have been twincesting since unspecified but early age.

Re:Look out! The Bible is next... (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557918)

Either you meant "her" or I missed out something of a shocking revelation on my last read-through

Re:Look out! The Bible is next... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557818)

Aww, there are so many more awesome ones to ban the bible for, ezekiel 23:20 is one of the best ones ;)

Re:Look out! The Bible is next... (4, Informative)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557916)

You say that yet provide no quote or link!
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

DRM is bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557776)

this is why DRM is bad. Other parties control what you can or can't do with your property. Even if this was child porn - Amazon shouldn't be able to remove a damn thing from anyone's kindle.

This is why I'll never buy anything with Digital Restriction Management in it... Give me something that I control, then we'll talk...

Yay for Freedom of the Press... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557798)

Meeting the freedom of a corporation to do whatever it wants, because clearly, clearly, there's no reason to protect ourselves from them at all.

It's just Un-American otherwise.

Yeah, right.

We need a new Constitution, and a new Bill of Rights, in order to add in some words and situations to cover modern times, because you know what I've found? That people just stop thinking when they feel something isn't in a document written a few hundred years ago by a bunch of long-dead guys who might have been smart for their time, but were sensible enough to learn from the past when they were making a foundation for their new future. Which they made by casting off their existing shackles. Oh sure, they didn't completely do things the right way, otherwise they'd have outright banned slavery from the start, or at least phased it out, or something. But they did take a number of positive steps.

Now it's our turn.

Or we can just sit on our asses, watch TV and wait for the next big thing to come along.

Re:Yay for Freedom of the Press... (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558012)

My god man, can you imagine what a Constitution written in this politically-correct, image-driven, vagina-babble, lawyer-laden, market-speak, victim-mentality, feel-good, safety-at-all-costs, focus-on-the-nonessential, yada-yada-yada day and age would look like? Shit, the preamble would run 200 pages, and wouldn't say a damn thing.

That said, I still say we kill all the lawyers and MBAs.

Another reason (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557802)

why I use open file formats (clear-text ascii, epub, pdf files) for my ebooks, non-networked ebook readers [wikipedia.org] even if they are more expensive than their Amazon- or B&N-sponsored brethren, and ebook management software [wikipedia.org] that I'm fairly sure doesn't call home to "manage" my digital rights.

But, you might say, what if you want books that aren't in the public domain? You're right, it's almost impossible to legally find DRM-free recent ebooks from mainstream authors. As a result, I either scan/OCR someone's dead-tree version for myself, or download the DRM-free version, then I send the money directly to the author (usually the price listed at Amazon). That way:

(1) I have files that I'm sure I'll always be able to read, and aren't tied to some vendor's idea of what I can or can't do with them, and what device I need to use to read them,
(2) my favorite authors get the full amount of my payment and the greedy publishers none, and
(3) the author's heirs get none of my money because I don't pay when the author is dead, which is how I think things should go in the copyright world.

Relax everyone! (3, Interesting)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557816)

A spokesperson from Amazon will surely allay our fears - they aren't taking any of the books about murder, massacres, or war! You'll still be able to get your fill reading about people being beheaded, stabbed, maimed, .. even burned to death!

Honestly, what's all the fuss?

Re:Relax everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557882)

The next step will be to subtly modify the books, enough that even the hardened readers won't notice. Imagine Michael Moore's books altered to paint a prettier picture of Bush, or even a favourable one, considering how much data they gather from their clients, it shouldn't be that hard to tell which way they lean. Or inserting religious nuances in other books that should have none. And who could tell? I mean if you read the book for the first time, you'll just think that one or two paragraphs are kind of funny, if you reread the book a second time after the alteration, you'll just blame it on your memory.

Remove non-bought books? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557832)

My kindle has nothing but pirated books off of torrent sites. Can amazon remotely remove books that I have not bought through their system?

I hope they removed The Holy Bible too (5, Insightful)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557850)

I sure hope they removed The Holy Bible, too. Lot has sex with both of his daughters, it's right there in Genesis. And Lot's even the hero of the story, the one righteous man allowed to escape Sodom. It would be a real shame if they applied a double standard.

Re:I hope they removed The Holy Bible too (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557902)

I agree with you that if they were fair in the application of the standard the Bible should be removed too. One thing I want to point out is that Lot didn't voluntary sleep with his daughters .. so him being a righteous man stands as a valid point in the ancient fairy tale collection. Also, that one correction doesn't negate all the other valid contradictions and fucked up stuff in the Bible. Just stated the correction so you won't be attacked by pedantic people when making a similar point in the future.

Re:I hope they removed The Holy Bible too (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557968)

One thing I want to point out is that Lot didn't voluntary sleep with his daughters .. so him being a righteous man stands as a valid point in the ancient fairy tale collection.

Good point, his daughters got him drunk and took advantage of his condition. So the incest is really on them, not him. Still a damn dirty story though. And he did voluntarily offer his virgin daughters up for gang rape by the angry mob of Sodomites. Kind of hard to call that sort of behavior righteous, in my book.

Re:I hope they removed The Holy Bible too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558002)

So we're talking both incest and rape... That can't be good. Yank it! (no pun intended)

And so it begins (REPEAT) (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557856)

I just posted this in the "Anonymous cannot take down mega-corp Amazon" story, but it also fits extremely well here. Just add this, the TV/Radio/Newspapers became mega-corps. Now book-publishing might do the same along with the internet. And the mega-corp then decides what does and what does not get published. First they came for the incest writers. Who is next? There used to be small publishers like Olympia Press, funded by daring indivuduals operating on shoe string budgets that dared to publish what nobody else dared to. How can Olympia Press compete with Amazon? Hint: Olympia Press books are (or more likely were as they are often pornograhphic including incest themes) sold on Amazon, the company itself is gone.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1910334&cid=34557794 [slashdot.org]

What we are seeing here has been seen before. If you ever wondered just why TV, radio and the newspapers all seem to be controlled by a handfull of men, then you must realize that this was not always the case. The first newspapers were created by concerned citizens, reasonably well off concernced citizens who could afford to setup a new business but hardly the super rich.

First radio? Amateurs, geeks and nerds of their day who took their hobby of messing about with this new stuff to a new level. Ham radio to the max. Television? Same thing, done from peoples living room. Some dutch broadcasting license holders still got it in their name AVRO (Algemene Vereniging Radio Omroep) Veronica started as a pirate station to bring the new music of the age to the airwaves that the by then established AVRO and others didn't play. Or not enough.

But Veronica, the pirate, went commerical and were bought out. Nothing of its original nature remains, it is now a mere name in SBS Broadcasting. A soulless mega-corp were absolutely nothing counts but ad-revenue.

Yet how did this happen? How did we go from amateur and politically motivated Radio, TV and newspapers to the current mass-produced elite controlled bland media?

It is simple. Scale. Veronica tried to go commercial on its own (the dutch broadcasting system is inexplainable but briefly, Veronica became part of the public network by a system where air time is allocated according to the number of subscribers a broadcaster has, there also exist commercial stations that opperate without a license fee support (used to be collected same as for the BBC, now it is part of normal taxes)) and failed. To small to survive this mistake it was bought and split up. A troublesome station, silenced. Veronica ONCE had a rather good news program with one of the few tv-presentors that actually followed up with though questions. Now it is the beavus and butthead station. It ALWAYS was young but with hints of rebellion and some principles, now it is just an MTV light. The young and mindless.

As time moved on, radio stations, newspapers and tv broadcasters were bought up, consolidated with any small operator being unable to afford any stumble without it being preyed upon by richer soulless companies. Meanwhile the costs of starting a new newspaper, a new radio staton a new tv station became higher and higher. Who after all is going to run an add on a local station with no known talent or must-watch-tv when for the same money he can air his add nationwide?

It has lead to the situation that right now a lot of media is controlled by just a few people who have very disturbing connections. Do you really expect Ruper Murdoch to dive into a banking scandal when he is close mated with the bankers? Of course not.

BUT the internet is free... yeah, it used to be... but now, even a widely distrubuted site like Wikileaks can be severely hampered, raising the cost to Wikileaks to remain online. And how are they going to pay for it? Maybe use a small banker with high principles... oh but all the banks consolidated. Maybe use a small ISP with high principles.... oh but all the ISP's consolidated... maybe use a DNS provider with high principles... oh but they can't afford to have their main business hurt by the DDOS attack from "unknown" sources, less the consoloidated banks that fund them recall their loans.

Freedom requires more then just a few words on a piece of paper or even an honest legal system. It requires the means to excercise the freedom or it becomes meaningless. Freedom to protest in your capitol means nothing if you have no means to get there. If taking a day to march means you are fired from your job, loose your mortage etc etc. This is nothing new. It has been common practice for the elite to use threath of unemployment, to stop workers from protesting, from forming unions, from voting for the wrong candidate. By all means vote left, just don't count on your local banker to grant you a mortage or to find a job at the local factory.

Amazon is NOT a principled company. It itself banned Wikileaks (because they feared the DDOS on Wikileaks, so either Amazone was lying or someone very powerfull was carrying out THAT ddos attack). Does this matter? No, not in itself, but if this continues, then the cost of setting up a site that the powers that be becomes higher and higher. The end of network neutrality is closely tied to it. Want to start a new newssite? Can you afford to pay the ISP's? For the mysteriious DDOS attack? Get ad-revenue when google black-lists you? Get support payments when Mastercard pulls the plug?

The secret behind this all is that Freedom is underused. When did you last use your freedom to protest? To unionize? To form opposition to the government? To question your elected representative? It is how many a dictatorship remains in power. Comes into power. Because people value their bread and circusses (mortage, car payments, big screen tv, iPhone) more then their intangible rights. And so they sign themselves over to the new company store until they are "free" slaves. Serves to the system that more or less overlooks them unless they dare to stand up. You are not free simply because the jackboot has not come down on your bowed head. ONLY those that standup, protest see the true freedom they have and it ain't much.

Amazon itself is not the threath but if you follow the Wikileaks war, then it becomes clear the rules of the Internet are changing. Its anarchy origins are not so different from other media before. They were bound and tamed. So will the internet, because we are to busy worrying about our mortage, car payments and the latest Idols winner.

People here think Rupert Murdoch is mad for trying to control the internet. They forgot he did it before and won with radio, tv and newspapers. Who do you think will win? An exprerience super-rich general, or a handful of nerds who sell their freedom for a shiny iPhone?

What's up with Amazon lately? (4, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557868)

First taking down hosting for Wikileaks despite not being charged with anything just because they feel like it'd be fun, and then this, also just because they feel like doing it. Like Wikileaks, the books are again not illegal, and I suspect many readers thought we were over book burning. This is even worse - taking the books out of the hand of their readers having purchased them, and *then* burning them. It's getting pretty hard here to not fall into that Godwin hole [wikipedia.org].

Was Amazon seeing a lot of bad press over openly offering books to read, or what?

Well, fuck them! (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557884)

Do those who have their purchased books removed at least get their money back? Otherwise it's plain theft. The real kind of theft, not copyright infringement. No license "agreements" can change that.

I have a Kindle but I wouldn't dream of putting myself in this position. I only buy DRM free (often watermarked though) books that I can convert to mobi format and read on the Kindle, and there are tons of free books out there as well. Oh, my next ebook reader will NOT be a Kindle, that's for sure.

I used to be an Amazon fan but I've started to hate them more and more. Bookstores shouldn't censor content based on some stupid conservative "morals", only follow what is absolutely required by law.

Re:Well, fuck them! (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557978)

Bookstores shouldn't censor content based on some stupid conservative "morals", only follow what is absolutely required by law.

Why should they do that? Bookstores, virtual or not, are private enterprises and carry whatever book they want, leaving out what they think isn't appropriate. That's why Christian bookstores usually don't offer Justine. In fact, any company has the right to sell you only a subset of anything they like: if I own a hardware store and my religion dictates that Phillips screws are evil, you'll only find flat-head screwdrivers in my shop, and that's perfectly legal

The difference with Amazon is, if I sell you a Phillips screwdriver by mistake, I have no right to quietly break into your house at night and take it back from you, even if I leave the amount you paid for it on your table. Amazon, on the other hand, is allowed to do that (if they leave any money on the table at all). I hope they get hit with a class-action lawsuit for that one someday.

Re:Well, fuck them! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557996)

It's theft anyway. Bought is bought. If I sell you a book, then later slip in to your house and take it back while you sleep, I have committed a crime even if I leave the money where the book was. It just happens to be a theft I have already compensated you for.

Song of Ice and Fire (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557886)

Does this also include the fantasy series by George R.R. Martin ? Hell what about Shakespeare and other Literature works ? If amazon wants to ban books this way shouldn't they also take this books out of their traditional webshop sortiment as well ? I don't understand why they would do this on the electronic side then sell the traditional book on other , makes no sense.

21st Century Book Burning (1)

Agent__Smith (168715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557934)

This is incredible. Now they don't even need to buy matches. Just a few keystrokes, and it is like the book never existed. Doesn't even leave ashes...

Quite sad.

Yay corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557942)

That's what we get by letting big corps slowly substitute (admittedly imperfect) states. In the end, there won't be any difference between Western states and e.g. China. A regimen of greed of the rich.

YOU FAIL IT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34557944)

progreexs. In 1992, by the politickers

We were asking for it... (1)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557970)

When did it all start going wrong? How did we willingly turn over control of our culture to greedy corporates? We condemn regimes with censorship, but are blind to what we have become ourselves.

Censorship ? oh come on .... (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557972)

amazon is a private company and has the right to refuse business to anyone it wants. of course, it may be controlling 60-80-whatever % of online sales, but, it is well within their right to do so.

in the meantime, the citizens of united states, who do not want censorship, can wait for another company to come and challenge them and grab enough market share from them to be accessible and well priced with the same selection. it may take 5-10 years, but hey ! at least, you are free ! even if you may not have the means to practice your freedom until the 'free market' adjusts itself with the act of 'invisible hand' in 10 years !!

Re:Censorship ? oh come on .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558024)

amazon is a private company and has the right to refuse business to anyone it wants. of course, it may be controlling 60-80-whatever % of online sales, but, it is well within their right to do so.

Really? Do you think I have the right to start a grocery store and refuse to do business with black people?

Also there are laws against monopoly. If a single company controls too much of the market then the free market does not work and the government has to step in and solve that. Either by splitting the company in smaller parts or by other means to ensure competition.

From what has happened during the last 50 years we know pretty well that a private company don't have the right to refuse business to anyone it wants and it is not within their right to control 60-80-whatever % of the market.

Re:Censorship ? oh come on .... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558048)

it is not within their right to control 60-80-whatever % of the market.

yet, it is ok if 3 companies control 90% in total ... too different ....

Re:Censorship ? oh come on .... (2)

managementboy (223451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558040)

amazon is a private company and has the right to refuse business to anyone it wants.

The issue is, that they _did_ want my business by selling me the kindle in the first place. Censoring the content for that device _after_ I bought it, is not OK.

Re:Censorship ? oh come on .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558074)

You're completely off-track. Come back when you learn how to read. And write.

1984 X2 (1)

cstec (521534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34557980)

I have a new Nook here, which is a complete piece of junk. It can't handle PDFs in reasonable way, no zoom at all. And yet today I remember why I waited so long to get a Nook instead of a Kindle.

I'm returning the Nook, and now won't be getting the Kindle. I should all but applaud Amazon's desire to remind us of their complete disassociation with the Constitution.

I'd write cust service, but who are we kidding. Only surgical removal of dollars is real to them. But if we could, I'd write "Dear Jeff -- you don't tell my kids what they can read at my expense."

How long before we admit eReaders are nothing but PAID FOR ads for certain distributors?

There's no point in externally controlled devices (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558004)

Why anyone wants to buy a device that someone else will control is beyond me. What if you're car wouldn't let you drive to a store that sells porn? Why do we want to put the control of our choice of art in the hands of a faceless corporation?

Re:There's no point in externally controlled devic (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558140)

Can't the Kindle support other non DRMed formats as well? This isn't an issue with the device, it's an issue with the store.

I Don't Like Amazon's Decision, But: (2)

jIyajbe (662197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558020)

I don't like Amazon's decision, but it's their right. They are NOT the government.

I shop at Whole Foods Market. They refuse to sell any products that contain high fructose corn syrup; their business model involves looking, acting, and (hopefully) being healthier than the other grocery chains. Can I reasonably complain that they are attacking my freedom of choice by not selling products that contain HFCS? I have to go to a second store to get Twinkies, but I knew when I went to WF that I would not be able to find Twinkies there.

If you want incest-related fiction, you will have to shop somewhere that sells it. Amazon chooses not to.

While formally you are right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558098)

this

I don't like Amazon's decision, but it's their right. They are NOT the government

becomes more and more bogus the more Big Corp replaces the (admittedly very imperfect) democracies we have.

Re:I Don't Like Amazon's Decision, But: (4, Informative)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558146)

No, they're wrong. This isn't refusing to sell a product, but destroying the product after the paying customer has taken possession of it.

This is only the first step. The next, is scarier. (3, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558078)

That's when Amazon takes it upon themselves to update books on your Kindle, without your knowledge.

They'll probably sell it as a feature, first. Science text books for college, for example. Every year, we'll upgrade your copy to the latest version, etc...

But one day, it will be "Those historical facts no longer represent the current thinking of the administration. So remove those historical facts from this text book, and replace them with these approved-facts."

I don't buy it (3, Interesting)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558118)

After the 1984 incident, Amazon was sued by a customer and settled for $150,000. They also agreed not to remove books from customer's devices - not just in a wishy-washy statement but in their court settlement:

For copies of Works purchased pursuant to TOS granting "the non-exclusive right to
keep a permanent copy" of each purchased Work and to "view, use and display [such Works] an
unlimited number of times, solely on the [Devices] . . . and solely for [the purchasers'] personal,
non-commercial use," Amazon will not remotely delete or modify such Works from Devices
purchased and being used in the United States unless (a) the user consents to such deletion or
modification; (b) the user requests a refund for the Work or otherwise fails to pay for the Work
(e.g., if a credit or debit card issuer declines to remit payment); (c) a judicial or regulatory order
requires such deletion or modification; or (d) deletion or modification is reasonably necessary to
protect the consumer or the operation of a Device or network through which the Device
communicates (e.g., to remove harmful code embedded within a copy of a Work downloaded to
a Device). This paragraph does not apply to (a) applications (whether developed or offered by
Amazon or by third parties), software or other code; (b) transient content such as blogs; or (c)
content that the publisher intends to be updated and replaced with newer content as newer
content becomes available. With respect to newspaper and magazine subscriptions, nothing in
this paragraph prohibits the current operational practice pursuant to which older issues are
automatically deleted from the Device to make room for newer issues, absent affirmative action
by the Device user to save older issues.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/amazon20091001.pdf [wsj.com]

If Amazon did this again, then they may be in for another lawsuit. I can believe that they removed the books from their service. But it doesn't make sense for them to pull the books from devices. Until we see more evidence than a couple of random unnamed sources in a blog post, I don't buy it.

Amazon says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558148)

You bought your kindle but you don't really own it and can't do ANYTHING you necessarily want with it.

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