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Censorship Books Japan Your Rights Online

Amazon Removes Yaoi Manga Titles From Kindle Store 450

Posted by timothy
from the think-of-the-kindling dept.
Repossessed writes "Amazon is now cracking down on Yaoi manga, with several titles that have been available on the Kindle since 2009 being delisted and others now being rejected, according to Digital Manga Publisher. DMP has also stated that Amazon has not given any rationale for the rejections and removals, and Amazon has not been answering emails or phone calls from journalists asking about the subject."
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Amazon Removes Yaoi Manga Titles From Kindle Store

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2011 @12:55AM (#36131448)

    Meanwhile still availible:

    "Titles currently available on Kindle include Christmas Creampie, a graphic novel in which “horny Whoreville hussies show a frustrated dildo shop owner the true meaning of Christmas,” and Little Lorna in Resort Sports (I’m not even going to link to this one), in which Little Lorna, who is spunky, sexy, but “not too bright,” goes on vacation to Mexico with her Uncle Bob; “nudity, spanking, and sexy humor” result.
    So apparently a sweet love story between two men is unacceptable, but an orgy in a dildo shop is OK."

    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/05/too-hot-for-kindle-amazon-pulls-yaoi-from-kindle-store/ [comicbookresources.com]

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @01:07AM (#36131506) Journal

    Amazon's content requirements [amazon.com] are very clear. Even if the material is not pornographic, it can still offend-- and Amazon is not obligated to explain why it has chosen to take offense.

  • by zmughal (1343549) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @01:09AM (#36131514) Homepage

    yet as a medium, books came last after everything else.

    No, they didn't. Text files were always readily available on different networks. It's just that the general public would rather get a dead tree copy than use up paper on printing them out or read them sitting in front the computer screen. What we see now is a less tech-savvy public that would rather pull all their media from central distributors anyway, because they are ignorant of the alternatives. This is why DRM is being thrust upon us without a mass uproar.

  • by Art Popp (29075) * on Sunday May 15, 2011 @01:12AM (#36131536)

    I'd be curious as to whether someone has a better model in mind on how this should be done.

    Given:

    The Amazon Kindle Terms and Conditions: “We are entitled to determine what content we accept and distribute through the Program in our sole discretion.”

    The anime.net definition of Yaoi:
              An acronym standing for YAma nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi – No Climax, no point, no meaning. It’s used
              to describe manga/anime focusing on male relationships, not avoiding strong, graphically portrayed homosexual
              themes. Very often, yaoi story focuses only on the sex, ignoring elements like true plot, emotions or characters development.

    There really is zero doubt as to why Amazon didn't want this on the Kindle. I don't know why there are any “phone calls from journalists asking about the subject.” If you live in the US, clearly the Kindle's primary market, then you know that there are a large number of people here who would spontaneously combust if the they found their tweenager reading this stuff as a “Lend Me” book on their Kindle.

    Given that this content is available online (and in color) it would seem a difficult niche to make money on, which would be required to re-engineer your whole e-book system to have age-sections/age-bars. Simply rating 900,000 ebooks so you could decide their category would be a serious expense.

    So my questions are:

            Would such ratings be more valuable than they would be a tool for greater censorship?

            What scale would you use?

            Is this is project we should Open/Crowd-Source?

            Where would you rate: The Canterbury Tales, Sons and Lovers, 1984?

            The above are available on the Kindle store now. Would an rating system that we implemented make them available to more or fewer total humans?

  • by RonTheHurler (933160) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @07:03AM (#36132438)

    This is clearly a form of censorship, but it's not an illegal one. Amazon has a right to choose what they carry in their stores, just as any other store does.

    There is a worse form of censorship happening in our schools that very few people seem to be aware of. I discovered this when my daughters collaborated to write a book [mysistermakesmelaugh.com]. They are in first and third grade, and when the box of newly printed books arrived, they proudly tried to donate several copies to the school library. The school rejected them.

    It was not because of content. The librarian and some teachers all read the book and thought it was fine, and a great example of accomplishment for the other kids. It was not because of price -- we were donating the books. The problem is, the school district only allows books from a specific set of publishers, and since this book was self-published, it could not be allowed in the school. I inquired about the publishers, and there were only three on the list (Scholastic being one, and I'm sorry don't recall the other two.)

    Essentially, the schools don't have to censor anymore, they have outsourced that function to a few trusted publishers. In our case, this is a district-wide policy, other districts might be different.

    I have a busy life and didn't have the time to become an activist for open libraries in the schools (but I truly wish I could). Instead, I managed to get the kids' book on Amazon and B&N (although not in an e-book format -- It's a picture book that doesn't migrate well to those devices.)

    Regarding Kindles, distributors and censorship - the device is not totally dependent on the e-store. I have versions of my daughters' book on my own kindle and in Ibooks too. The formats for publishing on those devices is pretty well known (epub. mobi, pdf, etc.) Distribution is the problem, but only for the technically challenged who can't be bothered to manually transfer the title onto their device - even when it's as simple as sending an email (a service Amazon provides for their Kindles -- it's a slightly bigger challenge for iBooks, but only slightly. I don't have a Nook...)

    But I can't hack into my kids' library so easily -- other than to provide books at home for them too. Is there a better solution to this problem? Ultimately, I don't think so. Does anyone have a different opinion?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2011 @10:04AM (#36133168)

    It looks and sounds like animated child porn. Which is what it is, to most non-Japanese cultures.

    There is a whole problem with the importation of one culture's erotica into another for which there is no agreed answer. Japanese adult hetero porn has as a dominant theme, the sexual assault of at least one woman, that is intended to look non-consensual. In many European cultures (including my own) the depiction of rape as erotic is considered to be hugely offensive and therefore often it is censored.

    Looked at from an extreme libertarian perspective, the criminalization of child pornography is supposed to be worse than the production and dissemination of the material itself.

    Does Amazon have a right to not disseminate or publish any material that it finds offensive? Yes
    Does Amazon look like it's censoring one type of porn while continuing to sell many other types and genres? Yes
    Is Amazon more hypocritical than the rest of us? Heck no. We're just as hypocritical, but we don't have the stock holdings that Jeff Bezos has.

    This is a collision of cultural norms that is happening all around the world, and there is no reason to assume that it will not continue.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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