YAOI NEWS: KINDLE Bans Some Yaoi Titles

It appears the Amazon KINDLE has changed its Terms and Conditions to ban explicit images from being published on the KINDLE (See EDIT below for exact terminology). This issue started last month when Yaoi Press had a few of their titles, both manga and prose, pulled from the KINDLE with no explanation other than they were in direct violation of their Terms and Conditions. Yaoi Press's founder Yamila Abraham has stated they will now have to change their explicit images on their prose titles to more 'romantic' images that will be acceptable to KINDLE. 

Today Digital Manga has announced they too have had some of their 801 Media titles pulled, including Weekend Lovers and King of Debt. However, it appears this will also affect June Manga as KINDLE has rejected The Selfish Demon King and has banned The Color of Love. Unfortunately since these are manga and not prose like Yaoi Press's titles, there is no way to alter the images to meet KINDLE's Terms and Conditions. 

I took a peek at Libre's direct from Japan KINDLE releases but have not noticed any titles that are missing as of yet. That being said, I expect with some of the explicit Ayano Yamane and Youka Nitta titles they have that it is only a matter of time. My recommendation is to grab what you can get now before it is gone. The good thing with the KINDLE is that once you own it, it's yours to keep. You also do not need to own a KINDLE to read their titles. You can use any number of their software apps to read them including KINDLE Desktop for both the PC and Mac. 

I guess now we will just need to wait and see if Borders' KOBO or Barnes & Noble's NOOK will follow suit. 

EDIT: To find where it specifies what content is acceptable, you need to actually look at their Content Guidelines. Very top items says Pornography with the following: "Pornography and hard-core material that depicts graphic sexual acts." To further cover themselves, they have also added: Offensive Material: What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site.

EDIT #2: While perusing Amazon's KINDLE erotica stories, I found this little gem: No Holes Barred. It boasts: "51 full-color, high-resolution images! Warning: Full-frontal and full-rear female nudity. For adults only." 

EDIT #3: Thank you to Meichell for posting a response received from Amazon and GLAAD in comments below. 

If you are unhappy with Amazon's decisions, please let them know! Join our Call to Action by emailing Amazon and letting them know how you feel. You can REALLY hit them where it hurts by checking out these KINDLE alternatives for yaoi

~Jennifer LeBlanc

87 Comments

  • Hmm, I don’t remember anything particularly explicit about any of those DM titles mentioned…
    I think DM should get some kind of downloadable/ebook format out on their own emanga website. That would save a lot of angst.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I have King of Debt and Weekend Lovers and they’re both explicit. Not a lot of censoring of the ‘parts’, front and back. :-) I imagine they would ban a title even if you just see one guy on top of the other, even if you can’t see the actual genitals. I guess we’ll see as they ban more titles.

    [Reply to this comment]

    yblees Reply:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen non-yaoi (hetero) erotica for kindle. Some in manga/comic book format too.
    Are they censoring that too, or is it just the gay stuff?
    I get the feeling Amazon tends to overreact to some types of complaints from its’ customers. Think there is an anti gay bunch out there spamming Amazon’s “report this” box?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Meph Reply:

    This wouldn’t be the first time. Amazon does have a history of heteronormative bias, though it has been toned down over the last few years. Still, someone should alert them of the double-standard, and if they don’t respond, press the issue.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Corele Reply:

    Well, you have to remember too, it takes time to weed through all that they have. Just because a hetero erotica is still listed today, doesn’t mean that it will be tomorrow. I’m going to give them a while to settle into the new Terms and then I’ll see what I think of their fairness.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • That sucks. Then again I tried to read mangas on the Kindle and Kindle for PC. I wasn’t pleased that it wouldn’t zoom in well; the text bubbles proved to be really difficult to read. Still Amazon going this route is bad.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Aren’t those all explicit titles with *minors*? It seems to be jumping the gun to assume adult works with all adult characters would be banned.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I have both 801 Media titles and they’re adults. In Weekend Lovers they are 20 and 27. In King of Debt they are salarymen out of college. Neither title is even close to being minors so yeah, I think we have a right to be concerned. Age of the characters does not matter, it’s explicit content that does. :-)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • That explains why I couldn’t find chaps 1 and 2 of “Momo and Mikan” on Amazon anymore. I was trying to see if there was a 3rd chap out yet. It really stinks that they’re doing this! I am WAY over 18 and I think that I have the right to purchase adult titles if I so choose! Jerks! It really makes me angry. I do have to wonder if it’s just yaoi they’re going after. In the comics and graphic novels section they have an erotica section! I plan on sending them some “feedback” on their new policy, let me tell you! This is one yaoi fangirl that won’t go down without a fight!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Can you link me to the erotica section? I’m trying to find it and I can’t find that category under comics and graphic novels. I want to see if this is happening to hetero titles as well.

    [Reply to this comment]

    meichell Reply:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_0?rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A!133141011%2Cn%3A154606011%2Cn%3A156104011%2Cn%3A156107011%2Cn%3A2231077011&bbn=156107011&ie=UTF8&qid=1304524188&rnid=156107011
    I have to say, though, there were A LOT more actual hentai manga in there before…. Looks like it’s not just the yaoi going. This sucks so much!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Pamela Reply:

    Were there only 1 and 2 chapters of Momo and Mikan? On Goodreads they had listed vol. 1 and vol.2. If there were only 2 chapters, I don’t feel too bad about missing out, although I wish there was a way to get Kiss Ariki ch.2. Too bad the titles can’t be shared.

    [Reply to this comment]

    meichell Reply:

    There were, so far, only 2 chaps of Momo and Mikan. I got them both (good reads, lots of smut) but the problem is: what if the mangaka does more? Unless they become available elsewhere we won’t be able to get them. That one was another Kindle exclusive.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Seriously? And another point against digital media. Yet another reason I won’t support it. Print media forever! If one place refuses to sell something, I can just go buy it somewhere else, and books are a universal media not confined to a hunk of expensive plastic. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Tanko Reply:

    Agreed. Will keep my routine of reading scanlations and buying the books whenever they’re available in english or portuguese. The end.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Nana Reply:

    I agree :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Why don’t publishers simply sell eBooks directly in some other format, like pdf or EPUB? Those can be used on Kindle. That way we could bypass Amazon completely.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Myka Reply:

    Probably because pdf and epub formats are very easily distributed for free and would increase illegal sharing.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Bibi Reply:

    Nothing is safe. Printed books can also be coppied (and in fact are) and posted online. That does not stop distributors from offering them.

    I think publishing community is simply not yet fully ready to deal with Books. Tokyopop is the latest example.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Myka Reply:

    But PDFs and EPUBs would make it more rampant unless they developed them with heavy DRM. I would never release something I wrote as a pdf or epub because of that.

    I’m assuming you mean ebooks? As far as I know Tokyopop never published on the Kindle and I doubt the few titles they had on Sony made much of a dent.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Bibi Reply:

    Oops, typo – yes I meant ebooks. I understand your concern, but publishing industry will have to deal with new challenges by embracing new media, not avoiding them. They will not go away if ignored, but publishers who ignore them will.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Where does it say that they changed the terms and conditions to forbid explicit artwork? I couldn’t find any reference to that in the link, although maybe I didn’t read closely enough.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Let me see if I can find it, Jason. Probably best to find the exact section and post that. :-)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Ok, I’ve added the link and the exact terminology to the article above under ‘EDIT’. It was actually in a separate section titled “Content Guidelines”. Thanks for pointing that out!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jason Thompson Reply:

    Thanks! :) Wow, that’s… awful. :(

    [Reply to this comment]

  • [...] least one other publisher is affected: Some Yaoi Press titles were removed, and publisher Yamila Abraham was told to tone down the images accompanying their prose [...]

  • I was thinking about buying a reader such as nook or kindle but because of the censorship I’m gonna stick to my paperbacks thanks for the info

    [Reply to this comment]

  • It just makes it even harder for people to get used to digital media.

    It reminds me that every DVD bought in Brazil has the anti-piracy propaganda in it, and we see the same in the movies as well. Damn, I’m buying the original, why do I have to see it, for god’s sake?

    I mean, legal stuff should be better, have more qualities and features than the alternative ones. Not bother the buyers with restrictions, censorship and other nonsense.

    I just gave up on digital manga.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • [...] Yaoi Review fan blog further reports that the North American original boys-love comics publisher Yaoi Press has had both manga and prose [...]

  • There are still very explicit hentai titles on Amazon…I also got the following reply to my Amazon inquery:Hello,

    I understand your disappointment seeing that some yaoi titles are removed from Kindle Store.

    Occasionally books are removed from the Kindle Store for various reasons. We don’t have any details about why this particular book may have been removed.

    However, we will continue to work with publishers directly and ask that they make their content available on Kindle.

    Customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the service we provide, and we’re glad you took time to write to us about this issue. Rest assured that the Kindle Team will carefully review your comments.

    Thanks for your using Kindle.

    Am I the only one who thinks that’s a load of crap? I’m really ticked off by this nonsense! So much so, that I sent an email to GLAAD about it….If the yaoi fangirls can’t kick up a big enough fuss to get this stopped, perhaps the gay and lesbian community can help….

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Thank you for posting this! I’m glad to know it could be for ‘various reasons’. XD What book exactly did you ask about as I see they reference ‘this particular book’?

    [Reply to this comment]

    meichell Reply:

    That’s the thing…..i just made a general statement about my displeasure over their decision to remove yaoi titles. I didn’t give a specific title. So it’s interesting to get that reply. If you want, I can copy/paste my original email here. I also looked, there are a LOT of explicit looking hentai on Amazon still. So, this is either a case of them going after young-ish looking characters or yaoi.
    I think my main concern in all of this is: where does it stop? They decide they don’t like yaoi, so it’s gone. What’s next? And how long before they start removing the actual books from Amazon? And another concern: if they’re going after the manga with young characters who are having explicit sex, how long before they decide they don’t like the manga with young characters who are NOT having explicit sex but are still in a romantic relationship with a member of the same sex? Will Amazon eventually be yaoi-free in every way?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Please do post your original email, that would be great. Also, I just heard that The Vagina Monologues has a underage character having sex with an adult (on KINDLE). If that’s allowed, then yaoi should be too. Let’s see if they’re going to pull a big seller. Doubt it.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Meichell Reply:

    This is my original email to amazon. I admit to being royally pissed and I think it shows. I also got a reply from GLAAD which I will post as well.

    I am very unhappy to see Amazon removing yaoi titles from their Kindle
    store. I am an avid reader of this and find it very unfair and
    disturbing that it appears to ONLY be yaoi (in other words GAY) manga
    being removed. It is not only a disturbing trend for you to be
    removing things that YOU find offensive but that are not illegal or
    offensive to the readers, but that it seems to ONLY be targeted at gay
    manga. I hope that Amazon will reconsider this stance and restore the
    removed titles not only because it is censorship but also because the
    fall out is not going to be pretty. The yaoi manga community is quite
    large and we are a vocal group. You will be losing a lot of business

    [Reply to this comment]

    Meichell Reply:

    Here’s my email to and reply from GLAAD. They’re reversed because I copied it from my email.

    Hi Meichell,

    Thanks for writing us about this.  Amazon hasn’t typically treated LGBT content differently, so it’s likely they’re either in process of taking out a range of titles, or they received specific complaints about those.  Nevertheless, we’ll try to keep an eye on it, and certainly let us know of any developments.

    Out of curiosity, are they pulling any non-explicit yaoi titles like Fake?

    Best,
    Matt

    Matt Kane
    Associate Director of Entertainment Media, GLAAD
    (323) 634-2013 | kane@glaad.org | http://www.glaad.org

    —–Original Message—–
    From: meichell snow [mailto:meichells@gmail.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 10:19 AM
    To: Incident
    Subject: Amazon pulls gay manga from Kindle

    Hi, I’m not sure if this is something you might be interested in keeping an eye on or not. I’m am a fan of Japanese manga (comic books) and also of the genre known as yaoi. Yaoi is pretty much gay manga. Up until this week, yaoi manga was readily available on Amazon’s Kindle reading device. But they are now pulling titles and claiming they violate their new terms of service by being explicit. the problem is, there are straight manga titles known as hentai that are just as explicit that are not being pulled. I’m honestly not sure if this is a case of homophobia hitting Amazon or if they’re just in the process of pulling everything, but I find it disturbing and thought that you might be interested in what’s happening. Below are two stories about what’s going on and one of them points out that some of the titles that were in both print and on Kindle are no longer on Amazon in either format. It’s a scary thing when a big publisher like Amazon begins pulling titles because they’re homosexual while saying they’re pulling all explicit titles and not pulling straight titles that are explicit….

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2011-05-04/amazon-pulls-some-yaoi/bl-manga-from-u.s-kindle-store
    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/05/too-hot-for-kindle-amazon-pulls-yaoi-from-kindle-store/

    [Reply to this comment]

    Beruda Reply:

    meichell May 4, 2011 at 10:23 AM .

    “Am I the only one who thinks that’s a load of crap? ”

    No it’s a load of crap alright. I bet they got complaints. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Are they doing the same thing with printed materal? Even though they have the cheapest prices I will never buy from them again. No books, no electronics, no anything.

    [Reply to this comment]

    meichell Reply:

    What to do….What to do….I replied on the email from Amazon that they did NOT satisfy me with their response and it popped me to a new page to leave further feedback. It also gives me the option of giving them my phone number so customer support can call me….To call or not to call…..

    [Reply to this comment]

  • I was the English adaptation writer for The Selfish Demon King, which is actually a light novel and not a manga.

    I just flipped through my copy of The Selfish Demon King, trying to see what Amazon is objecting to. The uke in the story is a high school student, and he is drawn somewhat young-looking in the usual fashion of Japanese ukes, but not to an extent that would disturb anyone (that I can see). And again, it’s a novel and not a manga. There are only a few illustrations, and I’ve seen much more explicit illustrations in heterosexual stories that I know are available on the Kindle.

    It looks like a case of censorship of m/m content just for being m/m.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Or for being a young character? From what I’ve been able to determine, all the DMP titles had at least one high school character in it. I haven’t been able to confirm that for the Yaoi Press titles though so I’m still suspicious about what they’re doing.

    [Reply to this comment]

    lore Reply:

    Wait, “Weekend Lovers” and “King of Debt” do not have minors in them according to other reports I’ve read. I can’t remember if the books have side stories, but I don’t think they do. I’ll have to check when I have access to them. If they do turn out to have only adult characters, that would negate the minor theory as the sole reason Amazon is deleting the books.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Tara Reply:

    King of Debt’s main story has no minor.

    But the side-story, at least one of them, does. The characters introduces themselves as such and such grade from such and such high school : /

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Both of those stories have side stories with high school characters. I have both titles and confirmed it myself.

    [Reply to this comment]

    lore Reply:

    BLERRGH. There goes the whole genre, then! ~_^

    [Reply to this comment]

    J Reply:

    But how explicit is the side story? Does it go any further than a kiss? Is a movie objectionable/bannable if there is an explicit scene involving adults with another, seprate scene later in the movie with two teens making out? Also, from the description above, it appears the side story involves two teens (as opposed to an adult/minor relationship). I am just guessing that there are plenty of books involving sexual relations between teens that are still available.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Both are explicit.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Aiko Reply:

    So then it is titles involving minors characters then? Kind of makes me think of the bill passed in Tokyo about minor depiction in explicit situations. I mean this bill was rather vague, so kind of hard to understand. Kindle sells it titles in Japan too right? could be possibly be in conjunction with this bill that they had to change their “policy” to just avoid the whole situation as a whole. I assume that if they sell within their territory, they would have to go with their rules. well just thought, but if that’s the case, then printed media would be treated with the same respect so maybe not?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I don’t think it’s just that. I think it’s a combo of explicit picture with young looking characters. There’s not enough proof to say it’s only because of one of the other.

    [Reply to this comment]

    aiko Reply:

    That’s kind of what I meant. If i remember correctly the Bill that passed in Tokyo should take affect soon correct? maybe they are pulling titles that have explicit images with characters that looks underage. Like I was saying, if they sell in tokyo they have to follow the rules there as well. Maybe its a spill over effect. Or maybe just something temporary until they get it localized. Like I said just giving a suggestion, but I seriously doubt its the case.

    either way, I understand the concern and as consumers we have a right to voice our concerns. If they start pulling digital titles off kindle, when will they start pulling physical titles off their storefront?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Exactly. No telling if it stops at just a digital format or not.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Wanna start a running list of what’s been delisted? It’s hard to find them, since as far as I can tell the delisted books don’t show up in the Kindle category anymore, but they do show up in bestseller/new release/etc. lists (until they update), in reviews lists, etc.

    What I’ve found that seems to be recently delisted:

    Yaoi:
    Weekend Lovers (per DMP blog)
    King of Debt (per DMP blog)
    The Color of Love
    The Aluria Chronicles
    Peach Boy MOMO & MIKAN version vol.1
    Peach Boy MOMO & MIKAN version vol.2

    Non-Yaoi:
    How Can I please my pure girlfriend? Episode1 Manga – this may have copyright issues since I think it’s a bootleg
    Daughter of the vampire Dracula KYURIA
    Meat-eaters
    The private tutoring school part3
    Dragged-up Slave YU
    Cougar Magazine – October 2010

    [Reply to this comment]

  • [...] no es todo, ya que en cierto blog de fans de yaoi denuncian que también han retirado varios manga y novelas de la misma temática que pertenecen a [...]

  • Thanks for the notice. It just reminds me of the “Amazon rank” episode a couple of years ago. Though they said it was just a technical problem and not some homophobia or pornophobia at that time, this new “glitch” in the Amazon kindle system just makes me more suspicious.
    Well, I seldom purchase a book from them nowadays. The “Amazon rank” left me too queasy and I’ve discovered some very nice other online bookstores. Their loss as Amazon was my favourite bookstore before their first “glitch”.

    [Reply to this comment]

    S.L Reply:

    Could you tell me what those other bookstores are? I’ve been looking. Thanks.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I’m butting in. :-) In the top bar there is a “Where to Buy” tab with some of the best yaoi retailers I’ve found and all have international shipping, depending on where you are.

    http://theyaoireview.com/where-to-buy/

    [Reply to this comment]

    S.L Reply:

    Haha, cool by me. Thank you. I didn’t even see that up there. XD And I’m one of those people who have this place bookmarked. *sighs* Utter fail.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I’ll forgive you, THIS time. ;-)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Gabrielle Reply:

    I’m French so some sites shouldn’t interest you. But the one site I go in priority nowadays to buy my anglo-american books is bookdepository.com. The international shipping is free, they have variable discounts so I keep coming back to see if there’s a drop in price for the books I’m stalking and their staff is quite friendly. The only thing that is negative is that they don’t have all BL comics in stock. But I also keep coming back but sometimes, they get restocked and.

    [Reply to this comment]

    S.L Reply:

    Thank you. This is definitely useful…I don’t always buy yaoi when looking for books. XD

    [Reply to this comment]

  • [...] Yaoi Review fan blog further reports that the North American original boys-love comics publisher Yaoi Press has had both manga and prose [...]

  • This is totally stupid of Amazon! I don’t want an e-reader but was gonna get one so I can download more yaoi and the best one for that I was told is the Kindle. But if Amazon is gonna start banning yaoi titles than I’m not gonna waste my money buying a Kindle, I’ll just go buy a Nook instead, even though they didn’t have as many titles as the Kindle.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nook is getting more and more titles. If Amazon keeps doing this, the publishers may go exclusively with Nook. I wonder if Apple has an app for Nook on Ipad….

    [Reply to this comment]

    Pamela Reply:

    Yes, there is an app for iPad. I happened to download it, and it’s free. The manga and novel from 801/DMP delisted from Kindle are available on Nook. There was a slight problem with the downloads of the titles initially. I guess many people were having problems based on the feedback.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • I’m really amazed by some of the stuff being said on a topic I started on Amazon’s Kindle forum. One person even said that “Some companies like people have morals.” Does that mean we don’t have morals because we like BL? I find it funny when people say “they can sell what they want and not sell what they want” because you better believe that if it was something THEY wanted, they’d be kicking up a fuss!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Victoria Kuklish Reply:

    Those are the same high minded individuals who say they abhor anything gay/lesbian while secretly getting off on watching two females making out. They need to get off their high horse and let us that enjoy yaoi do just that.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • [...] Yaoi Review fan blog further reports that the North American original boys-love comics publisher Yaoi Press has had both manga and prose [...]

  • Hey, I sent an email to Amazon and told them I was taking my business elsewhere to buy things if their policy does not change. I refuse to support a website that discriminates when they’re _trying_ to be family friendly. They don’t know the meaning of censorship it it peed on them.

    I also sent your journals about this to Unicorn Booty, it’s a blog dedicated to Gay News, I’m sure they’ll spread the word.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Chapter 2 of Youka Nitta’s “Kiss Ariki” is gone, but 1 and 3 are still up. Possibly that chapter was singled out because of the more graphic sex, although there is sex depicted in chapters 1 and 3 as well, though not as much and not quite as graphic. The main characters are college age, so the underage thing shouldn’t be a factor. It’s really a shame, since Kiss Ariki is a Kindle exclusive, so you can’t get it officially in English anywhere else.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Several of the Animate / Libre Kindle files are missing. Aside from Kiss Ariki Pt 2, Hyper Loving A Maniac Part 4 is gone; both seem to be recent deletions. The Pet On Duty side story Pet In Love (which was pretty much an extended sex scene) was deleted a couple of weeks ago. All of these have no print version.

    [Reply to this comment]

    panalopy Reply:

    I wanted to buy the Pet on Duty side story! I should have bought it when I first saw it but I just put it on my list for later. I hope the publishers will be able to release the deleted titles some other way. Some of them were Kindle exclusive though, so I don’t know how that would work . This whole thing just gives me one more reason to buy from Akadot, Borders and Barnes & Noble!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Delivery Cupid is gone as well. I find it interesting that the “Christmas Creampie” Hentai that was pointed out on another blog yesterday is gone now as well. Perhaps Amazon is slowly taking down all “offensive” material after all. Or they took that one down because it was used as an example of the unfairness. Either way, what Amazon is doing is wrong on so many fronts. Whether it’s everything THEY object to or just yaoi, it’s wrong. I see that Ipad DOES have a Nook app so Amazon will be losing ALL of my business if they continue on this path. I won’t buy anything from them.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • OK, so I’m getting a lot of crap thrown at me on the Kindle forum from the “Amazon’s a business and can do what they want” people who don’t seem to be hearing my deeper concern about this. But then, WHAM! I got a really interesting response from one of the Mods of the forum:
    Hi meichell and welcome. Thanks for confirming that some of the titles are gone. That was one of my questions.

    What I think is unfortunate about this whole situation is that once again, Amazon is going to come out looking bad. I like Amazon and I enjoy doing business with them. However, there’s a huge group of people that think Jeff Bezos is an agent of the devil and Amazon is the worst corporation ever created. When they make the decision to do things like this–stop selling a book, or remove a book from Kindles because it violates copyright (as happened with 1984) or something similar–the Bezos-hating crowd use that as yet another example of why he’s bad, Amazon is bad, and the Kindle is a giant vast conspiracy…or something like that. I am exaggerating a little, but I think people who’ve hung around this forum enough know what I am talking about. The whole notion of “you don’t own books, you rent them,” and “what Amazon giveth, Amazon taketh away.”

    The 1984 fiasco…that book shouldn’t have been sold and Amazon attempted to correct the mistake but did so clumsily (which they later acknowledged) and angered a lot of people in the process.

    The pedophile book…from what I understand, that wasn’t some random porn, it was a “how to” manual of how to be a pedophile. That was probably not a good book to be selling.

    But Yaoi? From the little I’ve seen (my daughter reads various kinds of manga, so the books are in the house)…it doesn’t seem particularly objectionable to me. And I guess that’s where I do see the slippery slope argument. If some number of people can mount a campaign to get something pulled, where would it stop? Especially since these books have been sold since the beginning. What happened now to bring about this change?

    THANK YOU! Finally someone hears that not only am I pissed about my fave genre being pulled, but my deeper concern of WHERE WILL IT STOP….I know there are idiots who will never understand why I’m concerned but at least I feel like someone, outside of our community, has heard what I’m saying.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Don’t let “Malligator” get to you. He’s there to flame and nothing else. Probably some 12-year-old kid with nothing to do.

    [Reply to this comment]

    meichell Reply:

    Yeah, I figured after that lovely Dramallama. Hey, I’ve been called worse! I love how earlier he said : By the way, with only three posts all very well versed in this specific yoai issue you don’t really sound like a loyal customer. You sound like a disgruntled distributor.
    LMAO! I’m a NANNY! *dies laughing* At least there’s some comic relief in this mess.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    Now someone is jumping on me and she’s pretty high-strung. Geez people, settle down. It’s a discussion, not a fight to the death.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Selfish Demon King is available on Barnes and Noble’s Nook, as are many other yaoi titles. Personally I would prefer to support a company that supports me and my interests instead of trying to find a workaround with a company that doesn’t.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I’m currently doing a post on that exactly thing right now.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • I think one thing that cracks me up about the whole “they might be under age” thing is this: None of the U.S. publishers do shota. So, any under age boys are in high school….Do they think that REAL high school boys don’t have sex???? I have older brothers and believe me, those horny dogs were getting as much tail as they could in high school! So, what’s so wrong with DRAWINGS of non real high school boys doing what they really do???? It just blows my mind…..

    [Reply to this comment]

  • It’s important to remember that all adult anime can be labelled as child pornography. They claim that the characters still look too young so as to be portraying children rather than adults.

    This being said, I really do think that considering how much we paid for the blasted Kindles, as adults, we should be allowed to buy what the heck we want. Last I checked, I was over the age of majority and could buy such material.

    They really should consider a different path in the matter.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I don’t think you meant all adult anime as not all anime has sex in it. Yaoi anime IF the characters appear young and there is sexual content *could*. I followed the Christopher Handley case closely. Either way, both sides will have a hard time proving it is or isn’t. That being said, I don’t think this is Amazon’s concern as they are only doing this to digital content and not to print. It’s been very random so I think it’s a matter of personal taste as to who is approving the content and also if someone complains.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tigermink on the yshare LJ, I posted to it about this, had this to say:
    I called Amazon yesterday as soon as I found out about this to make a formal protest. I was told to write to their legal department and given the address.

    I really take offense that they worry about offending the ‘mainstream’ customers but not about the rest of us. Well I am also a ‘mainstream’ customer as well as one who buys Yaoi and m/m prose and I’m not happy about this at all. I’ve been a good customer over the years, one they just might lose.

    There are a lot of ways to handle this I saw a few mentioned here like changing the tags or possibly putting them in an adult only section that can’t be accessed by minors. As a parent I believe it is MY responsibility to monitor what my child sees/reads not that of businesses.

    This of course is just my oppinion and I understand others may not agree.

    At my request, she posted the address as well:
    Amazon.com attention Legal. P.O. box 81226 Seattle WA. 98108

    Let’s all use snail mail as well! Thank you, Tigermink for the info!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Here’s my email that I sent to amazon: Hello, I was just informed that you are deleting yaoi titles from Kindle. Please don’t do that. The only reason I’m interested in getting a Kindle is so I can buy more yaoi. But if you’re going to be deleting titles than I won’t have a reason to buy a Kindle.

    And this is the response that I got: Hello,

    We do not provide information about the inner workings of our company. I hope you’ll understand our position.

    [Reply to this comment]

    meichell Reply:

    Different response from earlier emails. Sounds like they might be getting annoyed with all of the emails! GOOD! Let’s keep it up!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer LeBlanc AKA Asami's Girl Reply:

    I’d like to think so but unfortunately, this is another one of their boiler plate messages. Another person having issues with KINDLE for different reasons got that exact same message.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • This is what bothers me…everyone knows about the classic lit. ‘Lolita’, right? It has kiddie porn in it. What about Brave New World? Kids diddle each other, explicit minor acts are discussed in great detail. For god’s sake, the recent movie ‘Let the Right One In’ is full of that, and still available for rent and purchase. The previous works are considered ‘artistic’ or ‘literature’ and really, is that all it takes to make it okay, or does Amazon know it would get serious rebuttals by banning famous, well known works? Where does it stop, or does it even stop at all, or is some jerk just banning ‘that dirty stuff about queers horny women like to read’. Is it the gay, or the women’s interests that is triggering this, because I feel like it’s not just pandering to a minority, someone is genuinely upset and attacking a specific genre for personal reasons. Whatever they’re doing, it’s stupid and Amazon has lost my business for good.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • I just sent them this:
    Hello,

    I’m writing out of concern due to your recent removal of explicit titles from Kindle, particularly Yaoi titles. I am a Kindle owner and customer, and have been a loyal customer of Amazon for a long time. I am someone who enjoys manga, particularly yaoi manga, and had I known they existed, I most likely would have enjoyed having some of the removed titles on my kindle.

    I am extremely dissatisfied to see these titles removed from the market. To me, one of the great things about the Kindle is it’s capacity for parity to print books. To me, and ebook store should have the same kinds of titles available to it as a physical bookstore. The availability of choice in your market is one thing of great importance to me as a kindle owner.

    To me, the removal of explicit titles from your digital bookstore represents a concrete divergence from parity with physical books as a viable reading medium. It means that the Kindle is not a functional alternative to buying print books, but instead a censored, choice-lite medium for the delivery of content selected as “appropriate” by individuals other than the consumer.

    I do not believe that my ebook reader should, for some inscrutable reason, disallow content that as a reasonable adult I can legally choose to buy and enjoy in print form. There should not be a magical ratings limit of my digital books where one is not applied to my physical books.

    I can understand the desire to keep adult manga out of the hands of minors, and in that light, I could understand limiting the availability of explicit previews for such volumes. I don’t think the explicitness of purchased content, however, should make you remove it from your digital inventory.

    The resources required for digital purchase are no less than those required for physical purchase; so I don’t see what, in particular, makes explicit content less acceptable digitally in comparison to physically.

    It is not, and should not, be your job as a book seller to determine the “appropriateness” of published content. It should be left up to the purchaser what kind of content they consider appropriate for their personal consumption.

    As a queer consumer, it especially concerns me when you remove content seemingly on the basis of its “appropriateness;” historically, the gay community has suffered from society defining gay lives and stories as inappropriate for consumption. Introducing a system by which you remove content that you or a minority subset of your consumers consider particularly “offensive” or inappropriate for consumption opens your bookstore to further such self-imposed censorship, which inevitably targets oppressed minority populations.

    Additionally, it seems illogical for you to participate in as a competitive corporation; surely eliminating stock that people might otherwise buy, quite legally, diminishes your ability to profit from the purchase of such stock.

    TLDR: I’m a loyal customer who is upset you seem to be self-censoring the books you make available on your digital bookstore, applying different standards to digital products than you seem to do for print. This angers me, and is making me reconsider my interest in the kindle as my chosen digital reading device. Please reconsider.

    Sincerely,

    [name]


    I don’t have much hope for the response I’ll get, but. *shrug* This is annoying as hell. How can ereaders be a successful when they’re subject to this idiocy? Then again, the lack of alternative stores for the devices makes this inevitable I guess. There’s no real competition for the company once a given reader owns their device.

    It’s too bad there’s no way for book sellers to implement the kindle drm independently and sell directly to the users while cutting down on piracy. (Although I think drm is fairly moot, given that the manga will be pirated one way or another, and the people that buy the books are not going to magically not buy the books just because there’s another version of a pirated copy available…) The lack of outside competition once the reader is in the user’s hands is a huge flaw.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • I just received a response back from Amazon to my email. I wrote a lengthy email last night expressing my displeasure at their removal of some yaoi titles. I also stated I did not appreciate them passing moral judgement on what I read. I then asked how far they were going to go…banning all explicit gay literature? Maybe even LGBT books that had no overt sexual content. This is the response I received:

    Hello,

    The items you referenced are not available for sale. Thank you for contacting us.

    Thank you for your recent inquiry. Did I solve your problem?

    I never once in my email mentioned any specific titles. I clicked on the link that said “no this did not solve my problem” and chose the call back option. I calmly told the young man my concerns in a more concise fashion than my email and expressed my indignation that I felt my email had not been read that I received a machine generated response. He told me all emails were read, I told him what the response said and stated it could in no way be read as a sensible answer to my email. He even stated that sometimes publishers pulled titles and they had no control over that. I said, no, this is the publisher stating YOU are removing the titles.

    Not long after the phone call I got this email:

    Hello,

    Your direct feedback to the publisher is helpful.

    Occasionally books are removed from the Kindle Store for various reasons. We don’t have any details about why books may have been removed.

    You may see a link labeled “Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle” directly below the product image on some book detail pages Please click the link to let the publisher know you’d like a Kindle edition of the book.

    We will continue to work with publishers directly and ask that they make their content available on Kindle.

    Thanks for using Kindle.

    Thank you for your recent inquiry. Did I solve your problem?

    In response to that email I wrote a brief note restating that the publisher was stating that Amazon was removing these books. I also attached my original email and asked that it actually be read. I closed by saying that if I received another “canned” response that bore no relation to what I wrote I would take that as an indication of what Amazon thought of my “valued opinion” and how much they cared about my future business.

    I’m 44 years old. I’ve been reading yaoi about 4 years now. I have over 500 yaoi print books in English, about 200 in Japanese and about 200 various Japanese yaoi magazines. I’m not sure how many digital yaoi books I have, but I’d guess around 30. I have plans to buy more digitally as I’m sure you can imagine how crowded my bookshelves are…and I haven’t even mentioned how many mainstream manga I have both in Japanese and Englsih…and add to that my regular English books and it adds up to about 7-8,000 books in my house. I mostly buy my yaoi, both English and Japanese, from Akadot Retail, but I also give a lot of business to Amazon on the Kindle and in other genres of print books, especially books for studying Japanese. I’m disabled and rarely leave the house so the Internet is the only way I can really buy books. I have yet to definately decide to no longer use Amazon at all, but I do plan to download the Nook app for my iPad and certainly will be giving B&N my digital business.

    As I told Amazon I’m in no way ashamed of reading yaoi. My family and friends know what I read. I’ve had some spirited debates with my Dad who was at first shocked to find out what I was reading, but after reminding him of his liking for female/female porn he conceded my right to read m/m (and watch the animes as well) even if he found it distasteful. My husband is very supportive of my reading/watching yaoi. He has said that even if he is my husband he has no right to say anything about what I choose to read and watch. Nowas a common courtesy I do not read yaoi in the living room either at home or when I visit my parents which is often. I read it in my room. The posters I get from the Japanese magazines are hung in a place in my room where my husband rarely goes.

    I definately plan to follow this issue closely. I told Amazon that I did not intend to be quiet about it and planned to talk about it in the various yaoi forums I frequent. We may not be as large a group as those who read romance or mystery novels, but I doubt Amazon wants to lose any business at all. It seems that I’ve noticed quite a lot of attacks on various forms of free speech in the last few years. I dread the day when it is no longer possible to not only be able to say, but also read/watch what I choose. I used to think that wasn’t possible in the United States but even before this issue I had begun to wonder how long we will enjoy those rights. I have no desire to live in a plain vanilla world.

    Sorry for such a long post (you should see the email I wrote Amazon!), but I firmly believe we need to continue to be vocal both in forums, but also directly to Amazon. Because if they continue along these lines it will be harder for publishers to stay in business. I already mourn the loss of TokyoPop/Blu I don’t wish to see any others go out of business.

    Pamela Joy

    [Reply to this comment]

  • First of all, I’m a writer and I love manga like everyone else. However, I never felt the need to buy a Kindle. I guess because I like the art work of that comes with books and I like flipping the pages myself. I like actually owning the book! As far as manga goes, I’ve never actually owned any. However, if I did, I again wouldn’t want it on a screen like the Kindle. I’d want the booklet. But again as was stated, for those who don’t mind the reading it on screens like the Kindle, there are better options (apps) out there to choose from that don’t have bans.
    Anyway, I’m one customer that Amzon never had, haha :)
    Here is my favorite quote from HBO’s series Bored to Death:
    “Didn’t you tell them no body’s reading anymore? Even I’m not. I got a Kindle, but I dropped it in the tub.”—Someone should post this on Amazon’s website, muhahah

    [Reply to this comment]

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