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Erotic and Self-Publishing Book Ban?

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Showing 1-25 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 15, 2013 8:33:02 AM PDT
Just what is going on with the wildfire story that Amazon will be removing erotic and all self-published books from Kindle?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:36:25 AM PDT
Like most internet hoaxes, there is very little truth behind it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:37:22 AM PDT
There are a couple of links in this thread.

Amazon will not be removing all self-published books or eve all erotica.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:37:51 AM PDT
Erich says:
Google is your friend. Seriously, it takes about 5 seconds of searching to find the story. It's really much ado about nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:39:12 AM PDT
Erich says:
It's not really a "hoax". It's certainly overblown as an issue, but not a hoax.

I love the way the word hoax looks. hoax. hoax. hoax. Look at it. It's it weird? Hoax.





In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:41:28 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 5, 2013 7:01:14 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:41:50 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Dec 11, 2014 6:53:47 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 8:45:15 AM PDT
Erich says:
"there have been complaints by customers, then the cause taken up by UK media. It was the fastest way, apparently, to deal with the issue. "

Hooray for Mob Rule! Gotta love Jolly Ole England.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 8:57:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 15, 2013 8:59:30 AM PDT
The issue is purely a UK one because it has to do with UK laws that requires safeguards against this type of material being generally accessible. Apparently they need to be explicitly marked with disclaimers and behind things like age-gates or at least not to show up in basic searches for non-porn materials. There is also legislation in the works to put rape-porn in the same category as snuff and child porn. Tis also extends far beyond just Amazon. It's affected B&N, Kobo, WH Smith and others.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 9:00:35 AM PDT
Remember that the laws in the various countries that Amazon operates are very different. The complaints were not really about erotica in general, but rather that Amazon was making money off of self published texts that had only taken the most cursory measures to make the smut in thier pages legal. The selection of texts in the original report covered things like incest, underage sex, forcible rape, etc.

In some legal jurisdictions, their moral conflicts aside, these types of texts are outright illegal to provide for sale. The original reporting on this subject was actually a very nasty piece of yellow journalism that was quite specific about going after Jeff Bezos and making it seem like he and some unnamed cronies were intentionally personally profiting off of the offering of these texts, that it was part of thier plan, and that they were enriching themselves from this kind of sale.

The response was somewhat overwhelming, as Amazon's tech staff appear to have responded with keyword searches that then removed content advertising using terms like 'babysitter'. Sure, some unlawful content may use that in the sexual situation, but there is the possibility to write a story about mature consenting adults within that context as well.

And that is where the rumors and stupidity have started. Someone gets upset that the big badz Amazons are removing some kind of porn that they like, and they try to polarize the issue to get more people on their side, but they cant do that if people know its about removing books dealing with rape and textual pedophilia, so they have to make it a censorship issue, an issue about free speech, and about self publishing.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 9:18:34 AM PDT
The original story that started the ripple of news that Amazon responded to:

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 9:23:16 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 5, 2013 7:01:15 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 9:40:23 AM PDT
Erich says:
" I mean, how often does an issue come along that every newspaper/rag can post their outrage about?"

Daily? Hourly?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 10:08:21 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 5, 2013 7:01:16 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 11:27:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 15, 2013 11:29:02 AM PDT
Jay says:
The civil rights prosecutions, and endless lawsuits, and Gig-Bucks settlements, Amazon would earn by removing such will forever prevent them from doing so here. Logic is your friend. Learn to use it. In the USA "Smut" is Constitutionally Protected Free Speech.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 11:41:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 15, 2013 12:57:27 PM PDT
Amazon is under no compulsion to sell anything. The market share they might lose and the disrepute that they would experience is enough to make it unlikely that they would remove very much content though. But, not only does the Constitution not demand that Amazon sell anything they don't want, it protects their right to do refuse to do so.

Might want to bone up on that there logic.

Edited to improve my logic and complete a sentence.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 11:49:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 15, 2013 11:53:51 AM PDT
Erich says:
There is no civil right to publish anything with a private company. Amazon can ban all books that have references to dachshunds, unicorns, and broccoli, and they won't be in violation of a single civil right. What could you sue them for? Making bad business decisions? Hating dogs with short legs?

You do realize that the First Amendment to the Constitution applies to CONGRESS, not private companies like Amazon, right? Right? The Constitution doesn't require a private company to support any particular speech. In fact, it protects Amazon's right to choose what they sell and don't sell.

Basic understanding of the topic you're smugly lecturing others on is your friend. Think before you type.

Edit: Noted that Edward said something similar already. Good points Edward... you nailed it.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 12:01:32 PM PDT
J. Gatie says:


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 12:55:36 PM PDT
Yes, Erich, but you said it better.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 10:23:07 PM PDT
Jay says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2013 5:53:17 AM PDT
Wow, you got just about everything wrong. That is amazing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2013 7:57:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 16, 2013 7:59:39 AM PDT
Erin, I think you may misunderstand some of the things you are talking about.

Slander is a tort (a unlawful harm that creates a damage) based on someone saying something in the marketplace or taking a position that harms another person or entity. Not selling something - no matter what the reason - does not create slander. Calling something one thing or another only creates slander under very specific conditions. If there is a reasonable factual basis for a label, slander or libel only can be charged in certain countries (not the US, but Germany is a great example where the truth doesn't matter, you can be sued successfully even if what you say is true).

Amazon is a private entity that is publicly held. That is, it is an operating body which can sell - or not sell - any legal thing for any reason that it wants. In the UK, there are laws about what kind of pornographic material is actually and fully illegal. Some of the material that has been removed from sale dodged these restrictions by containing the same content but claiming in a disclaimer page or on the copyright page that the characters are not blood related, or that they are over 18... and then writing the remainder of the text as if that were not true.

The idea that publishing from one author but not another can lead to racial or age discrimination actually borders on the laughable if the restriction that filters the publishing is content based, not author based. It is akin to saying that I poured out all of the cups containing coffee. But I must be against black cups because more of the cups were black than any other color. The reason I poured them out was coffee, not black cups. The legal bar for such claims is quite high in many countries, the US included, and requires a preponderance of the evidence (a showing that it is more likely true than not based on the FACTS) that 1) a pattern of discrimination were to exist and 2) that the formal reason for the discrimination is intended to restrict a lawfully protected class.

Incidentally, under the law age and race discrimination is a murky area in the US, where potentially a store could choose to carry things from only white artists, or only black ones, or only ones 40 years of age and older. Sale of goods and choice of whose goods to sell is not generally illegal, per se. Rather it is only illegal when the availability of those goods/services is restricted based on buyer characteristics. E.g. if I were to sell everyone brown widgets. And You came in my store and because of your race/age/disability I denied the sale of brown widgets to you, or harass you for coming in my store, or sell my widgets to you at a price higher than to people who were not of your protected class, that would be illegal. My choice not to carry purple widgets because I dont like purple would be entirely legal under the law in many countries.

In your quickness to decry 'censorship', it's probably worthwhile to realize that in many countries, there are certain types of content which a purveyor may not traffic in. For example, the United States technically forbids even graphical / animated depictions of child pornography. Under 18 USC 1466A (which was later upheld in the 4th circuit in the Whorley case, and then denied for review by the Supreme Court), it is ilegal to distribute such things. Which means some types of Manga, etc, which Amazon might otherwise sell, they legally could not in the US. In the UK, the restrictions on what may be sold are much more expansive.

It cannot really be called censorship if a merchant acts to follow the law and avoid legal sanction because of the sale of questionable material, can it? It would be the legal system acting as censor, not the merchant. And that gets you into a whole question of whether it is truly censorship if the restriction is a proper reflection of the moral will of the people... which I don't have the time or energy to get into on what is sometimes the cesspool of the internet.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2013 8:03:12 AM PDT
Erich says:
It is amazing... Thankfully Wayne took the time to write an excellent rebuttal. I sort of feel bad for Erin... he says so many things here that are just flat wrong, but he soldiers on.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2013 8:09:09 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
isn't Erin a female name?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2013 8:10:41 AM PDT
Erich says:
"which I don't have the time or energy to get into on what is sometimes the cesspool of the internet."

Bravo on an excellent post... the final line there really say it all for me. haha. Years ago, I would plow in to debates and discussions on all manner of topics - never backing down from perceived idiocy. Now... well... I just can't be bothered.

Which reminds me of one of the better XKCD comics:
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Oct 15, 2013
Latest post:  Nov 11, 2013

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