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Censorship Books Your Rights Online

Amazon Taking Down Erotica, Removing From Kindles 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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Amazon Taking Down Erotica, Removing From Kindles

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  • Shakespeare? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:38AM (#34557718)

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

  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:41AM (#34557728)

    Except it is so sad, there's nothing to laugh about.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html [gnu.org]

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:45AM (#34557750) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • DRM is bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:50AM (#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...

  • by Barny ( 103770 ) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:54AM (#34557796) Journal

    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.


  • Re:1984 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:56AM (#34557808)

    No it was a double plus ungood.

  • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @03:57AM (#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.

  • by fishexe ( 168879 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:03AM (#34557850) Homepage
    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.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:29AM (#34557972) Homepage Journal
    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:Shakespeare? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:30AM (#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.

  • What about murder? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:36AM (#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.

  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:36AM (#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.
  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:46AM (#34558078) Journal

    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."

  • by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:48AM (#34558088)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:18AM (#34558258)

    And when no one sells it who do you go to?

    If the market is effectively cornered by a few companies, how can you honesty expect any upstart to produce the necessary capital to compete? The answer: You can't. The market doesn't work they way so many libertarians wish it did. It's very much like a real environment where a few tertiary creatures effectively control everything. The only way you'll have change is after a massive cataclysm which re-opens niches. In such a system of corporations and governments a cataclysm would be war (among other things). Remember, it's not just government which has stiffed the masses, but the rich as well. There's a reason why the french revolution targeted the rich.

    Plutocracies suck.

  • Re:1984 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:20AM (#34558272)


    I'm assuming they aren't refusing to sell the dead tree versions of these same books.

  • by cgomezr ( 1074699 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:46AM (#34558406)

    Why a netbook or tablet? There are a lot of eInk readers that support formats without DRM. Off the top of my head, there is the iRex iLiad (which I have), the HanLin eReader, the Sony readers, several Netronix models, the Entourage Edge... here in Spain we even have local brands like the Grammata Papyre.

    It's sad that so many Americans seem to think that there's no eInk life outside of the Kindle... when the Kindle is the most closed and DRM-laden option, and there are quite a bunch of open alternatives. Really sad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @06:09AM (#34558528)
    No, you're confused, there would be no end of people arguing that we need clarity and consistency. I have no problem with a company selling me a limited license to read their books on a temporary basis that they can withdraw at any time IF they market it as that. If they market it as me buying the book then that implies ownership and property rights. By all means let Amazon sell such licenses and make it clear that the content is theirs and they can arbitarily remove it whenever they want, it makes it all the simpler for me to find a vendor who is willing to actually sell me something I then have rights to.
  • by Scarletdown ( 886459 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @06:43AM (#34558730) Journal

    Don't overlook chapters 4 and 5. Remember, according to those who take the Bible as factual history flat out believe that Adam and Eve were the first two Humans, period. What they don't like to think about is that means that in order to populate the earth, they and their offspring had to engage in a rather lengthy incestuous fuckfest with their siblings (and possibly their parents).

  • Re:1984 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @07:20AM (#34558920) Homepage Journal

    Not to worry. While they may be removing anything that hints at fucking your siblings, in the prcess, they're assuring they can still fuck you.

  • Re:1984 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @07:33AM (#34558984)

    Hey, don't worry yourself over this. They may be banning books that involve any sort of incest within them, but I notice that they still make over a dozen different versions of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' available as well as copies of the Turner Diaries.

    Considering that even most Nazis found Mein Kampf to be not exactly a joy to read, I think Amazon's assumption that it won't be turning anyone on is a reasonable one. After all, as we all know, sex is a special kind of evil - the Supreme Court has ruled that First Amendment doesn't cover "obscene" material - while calling for genocide is fine and dandy.

    Aren't Puritans nice people?

  • wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @01:15PM (#34562702) Homepage Journal

    Stop blaming the victim. It's Amazon's fault if a book goes away. Your attitude is the exact same one that allows this kind of shit to go on.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"