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Books With "Questionable Content" Being Deleted From ebookstores In Sweeping Ban

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the cleaning-things-up dept.

Censorship 548

Nate the greatest writes "The Kernel started an uproar last week when they 'discovered' that the Kindle Store and other ebookstores sell adult content in the erotica category. None of the content is actually illegal, but it is icky enough that the major ebookstores decided to respond by removing anything even vaguely questionable. Unfortunately, they went too far, resulting in an act of censorship the likes of which we haven't seen since Paypal went after the indie ebook distributor Smashwords. The Daily Mail reports that WH Smith went so far as to shut down their website with the promise that it won't reopen until all self-published titles have been removed, and according to BBC News, B&N is also deleting content. Numerous authors have reported on KBoards that Amazon and B&N have removed far more than just the titles that feature questionable content like pseudo-incest; they appear to be running keyword searches and removing any title that mentions innocuous words like babysitter, sister, or teenager. And they're not the only ones; there's a new report that Kobo has jumped on the ban wagon as well."

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548 comments

Shade of Grey (lol) (5, Insightful)

Chronus1326 (1769658) | about 9 months ago | (#45121319)

Who decides? Isn't this a Shade of Grey here? Think that book will get banned as well, as popular as it is? (never read it and never will, but am aware of its cultural significance)

Re:Shade of Grey (lol) (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121355)

Who decides? Isn't this a Shade of Grey here? Think that book will get banned as well, as popular as it is? (never read it and never will, but am aware of its cultural significance)

LOL. Only men erotica get banned. Didn't you got the memo? Feminism is the official doctrine of the state; women good, men bad. Simple as that.

Romance and Erotica is not the same (-1, Troll)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 9 months ago | (#45121469)

Erotica and romance novels are two completely different categories. Romance novels usually have some sort of plot or story that would function just fine without the smut. Erotica (aka plot? what plot?) would suffer as a story with the smut stripped out because it takes up the bulk of the content. So that's why erotica is being targeted, but romances are left alone. It has nothing to do with the gender of the authors or the target audience. (Romance novels are also usually 300+ pages unless you're looking at the Harlequin book of the month types, which is why they're not shrink wrapped at the store. Those seeking smut don't have the pages to sit through 250 pages of exposition.) -- Occasionally living proof of the Ballmer peak.

Re:Romance and Erotica is not the same (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121537)

Erotica and romance novels are two completely different categories. Romance novels usually have some sort of plot or story that would function just fine without the smut. Erotica (aka plot? what plot?) would suffer as a story with the smut stripped out because it takes up the bulk of the content.

Romance is what women use to masturbate whereas erotica is what men use. That's been my experience of what the definition of the two are when it comes to policy.

Re:Romance and Erotica is not the same (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45121707)

Women want more (about 200 pages) foreplay than men, what else is new?

Re:Romance and Erotica is not the same (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45121611)

have you actually READ any of the "romance" novels? romanticizing adultery? yeah that's there. lewd descriptions of sex? yeah that's there. just general descriptions about hot nights? yeah most definitely there.

ladies magazines and mens xxx mags stories are pretty much the same. what's the difference otherwise? well, the pictures of course. and that in the womens magazines half the articles are about how to get laid(the rest of the articles are just indirectly about it).

oh and they would NOT function without the smut. not by a long shot. how the fuck do you make a story about being an (american)indian in 16th century raped(romantically-consensually) by a sensuel colonist function without the smut about fondling breasts and being fucked while tied up?? turn a 4 page novellette into one paragraph??

lady of camellias is something that sort of works without the smut, by just implying the smut. the cheap stuff on womens magazines.. not so much.

oh and the only way to enjoy those stories is to get some hot chicks to read them whilst sipping wine(in university, IT guild ftw). it's better if you get some late victorian style smut though..

Re:Romance and Erotica is not the same (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121695)

Haha. You're retarded. Erotica means whatever the person using the word wants it to mean. That's everything from straight up fapfiction to extremely well written stories that happen to have explicit sex.

Re:Shade of Grey (lol) (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 9 months ago | (#45121543)

Did you even click on the link? Hint: the Kernel isn't left wing.

Re:Shade of Grey (lol) (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45121373)

Who decides?

Sex, one of the Four Horsemen of the Info-pocalypse [counterfire.org] . Thin edge of the wedge stepping stone to more politically motivated types of censorship...

Re:Shade of Grey (lol) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121637)

Under the censorship pyramid shown at that link, this news defiantly falls under the "self censorship" part of the pyramid...

Re:Shade of Grey (lol) (3, Insightful)

killkillkill (884238) | about 9 months ago | (#45121633)

Who decides?

The owner of the store. They don't have to have fair or consistent rules. Deal with it or start/support a new store with like minded people.

Dear MINISTRY OF TRUTH (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121793)

Please ban the following books as a threat to an Orderly Society. Also, the children. KThxBye!

* The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

* The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

* The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

* To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

* The Color Purple by Alice Walker

* Ulysses by James Joyce

* Beloved by Toni Morrison

* The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

* 1984 by George Orwell

* The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

* Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov

* Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

* Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

* Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

* Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

* Animal Farm by George Orwell

* The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

* As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

* A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

* Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

* Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

* Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

* Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

* Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

* Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

* Native Son by Richard Wright

* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

* Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

* For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

* On the Road by Jack Kerouac

* The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

* The Call of the Wild by Jack London

* To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

* Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

* Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

* The World According to Garp by John Irving

* All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

* A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

* The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
 

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

— On Liberty, John Stuart Mill

Re:Shade of Grey (lol) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121813)

There are NO shades of grey here. They're ALL COMPLETELY legal.

This is just amazon, et. al. randomly censoring at the behest of what I presume to be various thumpers... This stuff is not quite my cup of tea, but sweeping censorship of this nature is disturbing to say the least.

Hmmm (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121321)

Fahrenheit 451?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121507)

This is why we must hold on to the paper books, or else they will be deleted, rewritten, or burnt.

Re:Hmmm (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45121567)

I wonder at which temperature digital books gets banned. The article suggest that what they are banning have hot content, but that means that it will applied to any hot topic like surveillance, corporate greed and government abuses?

Re:Hmmm (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 9 months ago | (#45121581)

The temperature at which NAND memory burns!

Facts please. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121333)

"The Daily Mail reports that WH Smith went so far as to shut down their website with the promise that it won't reopen until all self-published titles have been removed"

This is completely untrue. What WH Smith have decided to do is take down their site until they can be sure that no self-published books turn up in keyword searches, because some really un-child-friendly books have been turning up for quite innocuous searches (like 'daddy').

It's not really an overreaction in any country which has the Daily Mail.

Re:Facts please. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45121397)

It's not really an overreaction to make it much harder to find self-published work? u wot m8?

Fuck the Daily Hate - it's caused more problems for society than some sad old man's written fantasy about being a sugar daddy to a naive teen.

"Well, I let my child walk into the newsagents and look freely at the newspapers, and he saw the tits of a 16 year old girl. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE."

Not that I have any problem with WH Smith improving their algorithms to remove unexpected results - hundreds of humans are employed by search engine companies to improve algorithms by asking them to explicitly selecting what is and is not relevant for various given searches. But this isn't really a big deal, unless you're so far in the closet about human sexuality that you're in fucking Narnia.

Re:Facts please. (4, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#45121473)

Rape, incest, bestiality are some of the things being targeted. That isn't exactly just bare breasts. Although you raise an issue noted in this bit from the BBC story [bbc.co.uk] :

"We outlaw snuff films, child porn and, increasingly, revenge porn, because actual people are harmed during their production," wrote PJ Vogt on OnTheMedia.org.

Re:Facts please. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121801)

"We outlaw snuff films,

Once and for all: snuff movies don't exist!

Incredible how people are naive and don't understand the difference between fiction & reality.

I find that really sad.

Re:Facts please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121531)

Given that the Daily Mail can destroy WHSmith overnight if it wants to, it's not really an overreaction. Do you understand that?

And we're not talking about bumping into lads mags in a shop. We're talking about incest, bestiality and rape porn turning up when kids search for books with 'daddy' or 'doggy' in the title. It's not in the same ballpark. If they can't fix it quickly, they have to pull the site (which I really suspect is not much of an earner, considering it is shit) until they can, because the damage this will cause is worth more than the website.

What WHSmith is doing is sane considering the market power the Daily Mail wields. If they just decided to take their newspapers out of WHSmith branches they would do an _enormous_ amount of damage. Consider that the Daily Mail is feeling threatened for 'hating Britain' right now, that the Madeleine McCann story is about to kick off all over again, and that the Mail needs a high horse. Would you fuck with them over something as difficult to argue as this?

Re:Facts please. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45121675)

Would I personally? IDK, I've only ever had an article written about me in the DM once - a positive one, indeed - and I dressed up for the photoshoot as if a devout Muslim (even though I'm nothing of the sort) to challenge their usual prejudices. Still got a nice big pic in the centre pages. So, that's my personal anecdote - they're used to getting their way, but they're run by a bunch of mediocre, highly overworked journalists who simply don't expect anyone to try to play them. Indeed, they end up looking awful when properly challenged (see also: Miliband).

The DM just jumps on bandwagons and fuels fires which favour its worldview. It couldn't really destroy any well-established anything overnight.

As to what I'd do: I'd say, "Good point - we'll improve the search algorithm", then disable as little as is necessary to fix the issue. If they went beyond accusing me of a technically inadequate implementation of a search engine, I'd stand my ground loudly.

Re:Facts please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121787)

You think WHSmith is 'well-established'? Chains like that veer from feast to famine all the time, and swing from ownership to ownership (WHS certainly has).
A nationwide chain with lots of very large stores full of things people are buying online from competitors for lots cheaper? They _never_ collapse, do they?

It is not outside of the realms of possibility that pulling the second-most popular newspaper in the country from such a chain could cause reduced footfall enough to tip them over the edge. Chains have fallen on cashflow; if the Mail's readership is anywhere near as mobilised as they think it is, then the Daily Mail could pull a stunt that at the very least could lead to some store closures.

This situation is not something that WHSmith are going to fuck with. They presumably decided that nothing was soon enough, that if they didn't do something perhaps the news would spread further than Appalled Acres, and that a single 'my child saw THIS when they were looking for THAT' story would do immeasurable harm. They made a rational business decision, and the one that made them look the most responsive.

I really think it tells you how many people buy things from their website.

Re: Facts please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121769)

No they couldn't the stuff they have in airports or stations that makes the bulk of their revenue wouldn't be affected. (Even if they closed everything else they would ne doing great. Even more so because of the revenue linked rates). Even if the rest justs breaks even they will be totally fine. If the mail was targetted by jihadists it is possible I may convert. They are like a poison on British society. Close as you can get to being racist whilst still staying legal.

Re:Facts please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121597)

This is completely untrue...take down their site until they can be sure that no self-published books turn up in keyword searches

So what you actually mean by "completely" is that it's almost entirely, but not quite, unlike untrue. I'm betting that WH Smith doesn't have a "browse" section where you can walk through the shelves of unindexed books and find them, so they're just impossible to buy. So they're not "removing" them, they're just making it impossible to buy them.

Tired of this nonsense (5, Insightful)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 9 months ago | (#45121339)


Every time we complete some sort of cycle, discover a new tribe, a new people, new nation or continent, new media, new format, new distribution whatever, there's always this stupid witch hunt. -Oh no a person is saying/writing/portraying things I don't agree with, this must stop right now. Democracy is bad. Censor that shit right away! -burn all those books.

To make it worse there's this pseudo fanatical craze to get rid of nudity with a passion but violence? not so much. somehow nudity is worse...reminds me of the MPAA rating system. Sure you can show blood, but the naked human body? are you out of your mind?!

This is always the problem with controlled distribution, formats and media. Someone decides what's best for you.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121435)

To make it worse there's this pseudo fanatical craze to get rid of nudity with a passion but violence?

Nudity is ALWAYS exploitation of women. As feminist say, sexual exploitation of women is worst then murder. Since feminism is the official state doctrine, it is unsurprising that this fanatical craze is present everywhere.

INB4 Misogynist! I don't care about women and there obsessive complains, no hate or love. I am just pointing out why there is a crusade against nudity(and not violence) in America.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#45121499)

Kiss a pair of tits in a movie and it's X-Rated.

Chop 'em off and it's PG-13.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121609)

Feminists are not rational, they are mostly women after all. Logical arguments are rejected as sexist and you can't win once you are labelled the misogynist pig.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121665)

What about kissing them after you chop them off?

Re:Tired of this nonsense (1)

Barny (103770) | about 9 months ago | (#45121753)

What about kissing them after you chop them off?

You sick fuck...

R

Re:Tired of this nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121739)

"worst then"? Feminists may be a lot of things, but they're usually literate.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121817)

Nudity is ALWAYS exploitation of women. As feminist say, sexual exploitation of women is worst then murder.

Settle down there, Ace. Women may not talk to you now, but spraining your sack isn't going to change that.

You have to mature. If that's not possible, get yourself a RealDoll and stay in the basement.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (2, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | about 9 months ago | (#45121439)

To make it worse there's this pseudo fanatical craze to get rid of nudity with a passion but violence? not so much. somehow nudity is worse...reminds me of the MPAA rating system. Sure you can show blood, but the naked human body? are you out of your mind?!

In the US, maybe. In a lot of European countries, at least, there is a more relaxed approach to nudity and a greater abhorrence to depictions of violence.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121761)

As the Europeans become fat slobs their tolerance for attractive bodies will decrease. It's OK in the US for old pudgy homosexuals to walk the streets naked, for example, while Janet Jackson's nipple produced a huge outrage. The UK is the ugliest European country, and so efforts are being made to limit pornography and ban sexy advertisements. The Swedes are devolving into ape-like beasts, so the strictest prostitution prohibition has been enacted, and it is proposed to ban any porn targeted at white males. Dried up old ladies in France have resorted to criminalizing pageants for girls, and so on.

Re:Tired of this nonsense (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 9 months ago | (#45121777)

Democracy is bad. Censor that shit right away! -burn all those books.

And if they wanted to repeal the first amendment, it'd be different. But it's a pretty basic freedom to vote with your wallet and boycott stores that engage in whatever business practice you disagree with, whether it's installing rootkits (hey Sony) or animal testing or dealing in "smut" whatever your idea of that might be. The rest is just business, there's no law against having an sex shop in your mall or showing a porn movie in your cinema but if you're a profit-maximizing business you might go for the "family friendly" profile instead. The smart businessmen simply split the front-end while sharing the back-end, totally different name but same warehouses. I'm sure this will work out the same way, the charade seems to keep everybody happy.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121351)

Lots of opportunity for businesses that know you can't please everyone and that just because some people are loud doesn't mean you have to pay attention to them.

Re:Great (1)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#45121393)

Yes you do, because before long they have a Facebook page / Twitter rant dedicated to getting rid of you and every other brainless twit has jumped on board.

Re:Great (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#45121509)

So let's start a Facebook/Twitter rant about their censorship and let them decide which shitstorm to deal with.

This is just like 1984! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121363)

I assume. I can't actually read it, it's banned because Wiston and Julia have sex while Big Brother is watching and that's incest or something.

Damn British... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121367)

This November 5th, burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on top of a pile of erotic literature.

As I warned about previously (5, Insightful)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#45121375)

This is what digital books are going to get you , censorship, on the fly redactions and corrections to appeal to current political climates, and a simple refusal to sell anything that in anyway displeases the power elite.

Re:As I warned about previously (1, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 9 months ago | (#45121407)

And yet several of my family members eagerly bought Kindles in spite of me carefully explaining this concept. I'm afraid the battle is already lost.

Re:As I warned about previously (1)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#45121663)

I store books that are timeless (farming, cooking, canning, medical, math, science, various other things that I consider essential.

Seems silly to do this today, but I just want to hang on to the paper and see how it all plays out, hopefully I am wrong about everything.

Re:As I warned about previously (1)

LordWabbit2 (2440804) | about 9 months ago | (#45121679)

I read so much that if I actually paid for all the books I read I would have no money for food.
That being said I do support my favourite authors by actually buying their books.

There are lots of ways to get books on the internet, and no not the crap in Project Gutenberg.
There's torrents but that is usually in a pack with ten ton's of crap you don't want to read.
Personally I use IRC, convert the book using Calibre (some tweaking might be required) and voila!
Free books on your kindle.

Re:As I warned about previously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121409)

Thanks for the warning. And, of course, all of us are hanging on your every word.

Re:As I warned about previously (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 9 months ago | (#45121497)

Not to mention "downmodded for telling the truth"!

The solution is to distribute them under different business models, including not for profit.

Re:As I warned about previously (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#45121511)

So smarty guy, how is pulling an e-book any different then pulling a dead tree version off the shelf and burning it?

Sure, if you are using DRMized books they could yank it off your reader ( or come to your house for your dead tree version ), but that isn't inherent functionality in an e-book.

Re:As I warned about previously (5, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 9 months ago | (#45121585)

So smarty guy, how is pulling an e-book any different then [sic] pulling a dead tree version off the shelf and burning it?

One person can do it to a hundred million. That's a big difference.

Re:As I warned about previously (1)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#45121621)

Thank you for that, the lack of imagination here is astounding... I guess nurb432 really couldn't figure that out for himself.

Re:As I warned about previously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121735)

It doesn't require DRM - only remote access (which is what they have every time you connect to their store or servers).

They can remove the book, redact portions of it or even replace it with something else entirely. They can also log and report whenever you open or read that selection. But as long as you trust the service provider you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

So, no more Game of Thrones, then? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121381)

Because that's chock full of incest, and we wouldn't want to apply our arbitrary rules inconsistently, would we?

Well it is about time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121383)

I am sick and tired of this. That is why I vote republican. And so should you. Are you a baby killer? Are you a paedophile? Do you want your daughters to become whores? These books only serve their agendas. Do the right thing and flush them out! NOW!

Re:Well it is about time (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#45121545)

When having to choose between siding with a pedophile and siding with a politician, the choice is easy: Side with the pedo.

Simple self interest. The chance that the pedo might do something that harms me is zero. I'm too old for that. No such luck with the politician, though.

Re:Well it is about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121745)

False dichotomy. They are usually one in the same.

Misplaced outrage (2, Insightful)

Huntr (951770) | about 9 months ago | (#45121387)

Store owners are free to carry whatever books they want. This is a market opportunity.

Stop bitching and open your own store for these kinds of books (e-erotica? oof...). Evidently there's some space to make money here.

Re:Misplaced outrage (3, Insightful)

OhPlz (168413) | about 9 months ago | (#45121463)

Store owners are free to carry whatever books they want.

Not really. The town I live in has prevented several "adult" book stores from setting up shop here. The usual tactic is to claim that what they want to build isn't allowed by the zoning. Those sort of establishments have to set up shop on the other side of the river.. next town over.

Re:Misplaced outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121645)

Same thing here, zoning says they have to be down in the industrial area of town wedged between the diesel mechanics and the cement plant.

There is one adult place in town because it has been here long enough to get grandfathered in, they were unable to secure a permit to expand though.

This story is about eBooks and internet though. There are yet few zoning laws on the internet and they are not enforced. So long as DRM doesn't get expanded to lock out competing eBook vendors (which is more a protection racket than zoning law) there is a market opportunity here.

Re:Misplaced outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121649)

Not really. The town I live in has prevented several "adult" book stores from setting up shop here. The usual tactic is to claim that what they want to build isn't allowed by the zoning. Those sort of establishments have to set up shop on the other side of the river.. next town over.

All the more reason to open up an Internet store, with the technology that's presently available.

Re:Misplaced outrage (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 9 months ago | (#45121687)

However, parent has a good point: why isn't there a store dedicated to this? I'd certainly go there, even if only to see what kind of things people write about.

Actually, is anybody willing to share information about such store?

Re:Misplaced outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121491)

Why? Most people who are outraged by this would rather have some government movement that forces BN and Amazon to carry what they don't want. After all, it's the first amendment, right?
 
On a side note, I'm still seeing many questionable titles on Amazon for the Kindle that have keywords that they claimed were banned. So much for accuracy.

Re:Misplaced outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121765)

After all, it's the first amendment, right?

Wrong. The UK, where this happened, doesn't have a First Amendment.

Re:Misplaced outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121513)

Hear hear! This is as much an expression of the free market as it is to self publish. Stop being distracted by things like this and focus your attention on the state's interference in liberty and expression.

The market is more than capable of deciding whether it wants slash fiction on its Kobo.

Too far (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121403)

They may be going too far in their deletions, but whether you like it or not, it IS their business and choice. Censorship has to do with government actions, not the decisions of private businesses.

Re:Too far (1)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about 9 months ago | (#45121547)

Not according to any of the definitions I could find (admittedly using only a few minutes online).
Most of the text discussing censorship specifically made mention of government, organizational and self-censorship.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship [wikipedia.org] pretty much sums it all up.

Re:Too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121555)

They may be going too far in their deletions, but whether you like it or not, it IS their business and choice. Censorship has to do with government actions, not the decisions of private businesses.

Yeah sure, you're so gullible I could sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

Re:Too far (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 9 months ago | (#45121685)

The First Amendment (in the US) only covers censorship by the US government (and then only when the government decides that it should not be allowed to censor that content), but anyone else blocking content from being sold or read is also censoring that content, whether it's because of the government or not.

The gatekeeper function (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121441)

This was one of the main functions of the now-despised middlemen, the commerical publishing houses and record labels. While everyone liked to gripe about "the junk they're coming out with these days", there is junk and then there's J-U-N-K.

I predict we'll see some startups in this space, which are really publishing houses in disguise (maybe it'll be based on some kind of +1 type model).

50 Shades? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121461)

So are they going to refund the billion dollars they sold of 50 Shades of Gray? Or is the difference not in content but in sales?
 
lol captcha is "modest"

Reading the Guardian earlier... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121471)

I myself like Japanese anime and culture, and have read a few doujinshi which feature young anime characters in sexual situations, but...

>The National Crime Agency warned on Sunday that books appearing to legitimise child abuse "might feed the fantasies of paedophiles and in some cases encourage child sexual abusers to commit contact offences".

I'm sorry, but that's just bullshit.

Maybe we should ban first person shooters too because it might legitimize murder and encourage people to commit actual offences...

Anyone who can't tell the difference between an actual, human person and fictional character(s) are no different than the ones who abuse children, or murder, or rape women...

Re:Reading the Guardian earlier... (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | about 9 months ago | (#45121689)

I myself like Japanese anime and culture, and have read a few doujinshi which feature young anime characters in sexual situations, but... >The National Crime Agency warned on Sunday that books appearing to legitimise child abuse "might feed the fantasies of paedophiles and in some cases encourage child sexual abusers to commit contact offences". I'm sorry, but that's just bullshit.

Of course its bullshit. I'm currently reading Lotte no Omocha. I can so with out a doubt I have no desires to go a rape, molest, or otherwise engage in any carnal activity with any underage Succubi.

RTFA - Not an Infowar (0)

Notabadguy (961343) | about 9 months ago | (#45121475)

The concern isn't about erotica being sold in a bookstore. Rather, it's a proliferation of ILLEGAL erotica in LEGAL businesses.

Example #1: Proliferation of beastiality content in the UK, where beastiality is illegal.
Example #2: Incest, pedo-bear, and rape stories mixed in with children's books.
Example #3: RTFA

There's nothing wrong with some teautiful bitties, but if you ask for a book of bedtime stories to read your kid, and the store clerk points you to "Daddy Incest Volume #3," then there's a problem. That's what's going on here. And it is a problem.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 9 months ago | (#45121589)

There's nothing wrong with some teautiful bitties, but if you ask for a book of bedtime stories to read your kid, and the store clerk points you to "Daddy Incest Volume #3," then there's a problem. That's what's going on here. And it is a problem.

Yes, but as described, it's an indexing and access control problem. Yes, the merchant is free to solve that problem however he/she wishes, but let's not color the issue any more than it has been already.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45121711)

What you do what those books were written in a culture different than ours, describing things that were normal, accepted or according with the moral values of that time or place compared with the ones of our times? what about the future with our own values? Oh, wait there is no place in the future for our current books [theatlantic.com] .

Maybe most of what was banned deserved it, had no literary or any other value at all. But was all? And setting this precedent is opening the door for bad abuses of it, specially when people use their subjectivity (and political agenda, and economical interests, and so on) to decide what goes and what not.

Maybe will be for the best, it will open an opportunity for alternate/uncensored markets (and no markets as "selling" could not be the main target there), leaving the current "sell digital as if it were paper" establishment behind at last.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 9 months ago | (#45121749)

But then shouldn't we have geo-blocking according to the different laws? Some things are illegal in some countries while others are illegal in others. AFAIK in the USA there is this law that says that as long as your art work has artistic merit, it can contain obscene and/or illegal content.

My "issue" (it isn't really one) is that the companies are deciding to not sell it at all (was already a policy to begin with) instead of trying to get them a protected section (which is what people complain about: that there is no age check whatsoever when looking for this content). It just tells me that if I want to sell something like that, I'm better off trying to sell it on my own instead of using a big store*.

*And big stores are big exactly because they make sure to not carry offensive content at all in any section. AFAIK there isn't even a adult section on most big store chains and the like.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121755)

Well, you didn't read the article either.

  You have to have a direct url to buy the content. It doesn't come up as a suggestion unless you already knew how to find the filth in the first place.

Read it again, Sam.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121757)

No book should be ILLEGAL. I thought book banning went out with Lady Chatterley.

Characters in books aren't real. We can imagine them doing anything we like to each other and it does no harm to any real person.

Sure, fix the search engine so 'daddy incest' doesn't show up unless you type 'incest', but pulling the books is censorship no matter how you spin it. Banning books is a bad thing no matter who is doing it or for what reasons.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (4, Informative)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 9 months ago | (#45121763)

Example #4: Also read the well written BBC article as well.

Sure, I got sucked into the thought that this was about censorship. Then I did the opposite of /., I read the articles and discovered that instead of this being Bad Amazon, Bad B&N, it was more along the lines of Bad Authors who snuck their works in under the self-publishing loop hole.

Had a smut author walked in the front door of Amazon or B&N and said "hey, will you sell my ... works ... centered around incest, rape, and pedophilia" they would be handed a copy of those store's book offering policy and shown the door. Instead, the authors use the self-publishing (and not well policed) approach to get into Amazon's store.

In the end I did not see this a censorship. Amazon and B&N are not pulling an ebook from a reader, they are removing content that violates their business model. That is their right. As others stated, authors can find other means to promote and sell their work other then through Amazon. I am sure one can still go out there and find such literary works like "I raped my drunk little girl", download them to their Kindle/Nook and ... "enjoy them?" That is not censorship. Now if a Government makes broad sweep removals requirement for all businesses...then we can debate censorship.

Re:RTFA - Not an Infowar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121823)

There's nothing wrong with some teautiful bitties, but if you ask for a book of bedtime stories to read your kid, and the store clerk points you to "Daddy Incest Volume #3," then there's a problem. That's what's going on here. And it is a problem.

that's a problem with the *store* or *storefront*, not the book's content.

and it's not an online store's job to censor for a foreign government, either.

___

for readers of erotica, visit http://storiesonline.net/ [storiesonline.net] (link nsfw, but that should be obvious, in context here) for free stories, nearly all readable for free via web browser... while a site subscription nets you downloadable versions, including in ereader compatible epub format. and no, they don't accept paypal either (the site previously went through the same fiasco with paypal vs 'adult' content) but they do take regular credit cards and mail-in payments. not all stories on the site are 'erotica' -- among those that aren't, i recommend 'greenies'.

And people ask me why I do not like eBook (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | about 9 months ago | (#45121483)

Well, not that i am into erotica, but I dislike being told what I am being allowed to read by private company.

Re:And people ask me why I do not like eBook (1)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about 9 months ago | (#45121587)

A voice of reason, wish I had mod points.

Re:And people ask me why I do not like eBook (2)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 9 months ago | (#45121593)

Well, not that i am into erotica, but I dislike being told what I am being allowed to read by private company.

You're not. A private company is deciding which products it wishes to sell and which it does not.

Re:And people ask me why I do not like eBook (2)

Ioldanach (88584) | about 9 months ago | (#45121631)

Well, not that i am into erotica, but I dislike being told what I am being allowed to read by private company.

You're not. A private company is deciding which products it wishes to sell and which it does not.

The problem with eBooks, though, is that in most implementations they can reach in and retroactively remove the books you've purchased. So even if they chose to sell a book and you chose to buy it, they can choose to un-sell the book to you if they decide the content is a problem for them.

Re:And people ask me why I do not like eBook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121659)

thats is not entirely true - a private company is deciding which titles it wants to distribute. As to the original poster - any book not published by a vanity press (or now, self published) was most certainly screened before it made it out to the bookstore. So in fact, you have always been told what you were allowed to read.

Re:And people ask me why I do not like eBook (3, Insightful)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 9 months ago | (#45121627)

And I'd guess that private company doesn't like you telling them what they are allowed to (or must) sell.

Honestly, if you're worried that there isn't enough erotica available then you're not that interested in erotica. Try google. The puzzle for me is that anyone would pay for it.

Re:And people ask me why I do not like eBook (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121713)

To be fair, getting to read about sex AND have proper grammar and punctuation is a rare treat.

Today "Porn" (4, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#45121485)

Tomorrow dissident materials, then anything that anyone doesn't like. And don't forget they know who bought these e-books, that might be grounds for a search warrant.

Now, it is their right as a business not to carry anything they don't personally approve of, but it is a bad path we are heading down.

Re:Today "Porn" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121635)

Not just dissent, is right out bigotry and discrimination against the church of the Most High Goddess.

Captcha: repress

And this is Why I Don't Buy Ebooks and Readers (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121519)

After Amazon pulled the first revokation, I decided that ebooks were no longer a viable option. Then Paypal decided to go after Smashwords (who's doing the censoring here? The god damn fucking Church - any god damn organized religion. Well kill em all and let god sort em out is beginning to sound more and more effective as it'll immediately reduce the worlds fucking population and it'll get rid of all of the hypocritcs and folks that think their religion is better then anyone elses. Sorry fucktards but I believe that religion is the curse of the Empire for the express purpose of keeping us Humans out of space since we're to damn dangerous for the rest of the universe to handle. "Danger!! Human!! High Explosive. Do Not Touch!!"

Re:And this is Why I Don't Buy Ebooks and Readers (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#45121551)

"e-books" are a viable option, its ones with DRM attached that are not.

Re:And this is Why I Don't Buy Ebooks and Readers (2)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 9 months ago | (#45121671)

After Amazon pulled the first revokation, I decided that ebooks were no longer a viable option.

Actually, ebooks are just as viable an option as paper books.
paper books are recalled too if somebody convinces the authorities or the publisher that something is wrong or illegal about the book.

The problem with ebooks are DRM and other schemes that allow ebook shops to pull ebooks from users reading devices.
But if you buy ebooks DRM-free and download them immediately to a medium that only you have control over nobody can remove or change content.

Fuck these book burners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121521)

http://www.gutenberg.org/ [gutenberg.org]

Small Gub'mnt ... big vigilantees ... (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about 9 months ago | (#45121527)

Sufficient public smash-mouth suppresses  pervo minorities just as they should be suppressed.  NO ... you have **no** affirmative rights!  Keep yo fly zipped; don't shite on my table. CRUNCH (sound of well-maintained iron bootheel ...). An unarmed man may walk from Corinth to Athens without fear of a knife & yet W/O Gub'mnt over-reach.   Also leads to a slimy, vigorous  underground black-market culture ... which is exactly where outre' fringe, cosmopolitan, bohemian, masterbative and  cult behavior ought to be expressed.  Now take yo bytch-slapping and shut-up. 

Hey! The 'free market' works (3, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about 9 months ago | (#45121569)

In this case, it's working like The Thought Police [wikipedia.org] , but hey, at least it's responding to all the "think of the children" bleating. Right?

SomeStupidCommentSubject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121629)

Murder in eBook: meh
War crimes in eBook: meh
Domestic violence in eBook: meh
Genocide in eBook: meh
Fraud in eBook: meh ...
Erotica in eBook: (in the voice of Darth Vader) NOOOOO!!!111

"They went to far" (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 9 months ago | (#45121693)

Where exactly is far?

No rape or incest? (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45121779)

So we can't buy bibles on line anymore?

Anne Rice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45121781)

In one of Anne Rice's witches novels, a 13 year old girl ("Mona" IIRC) seduces her uncle.

Has that book been deleted?

As with “barely legal” pornographic films, which seek to satisfy base urges associated with illegal and immoral acts while circumventing laws against depictions of underage sex, many of the titles listed on Amazon protest loudly that rape victims are “over 18”.

WTF!

We are talking about books and fiction - no real people were involved!

Jesus Mother Fucking Christ people! You REALLY need to get a fucking grip!

Oh wait, "The Kernel" - some dipshit little online magazine looking for hits by posting dumbass crap.

Never mind. I just wasted 5 minutes on bullshit written by a bullshitter posted by a shit site.

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