As March 15, 2012, Digital Manga Inc.’s account has been suspended from the Kindle platform. While we’re working to try and amend the situation, we will not be able to publish titles to the Kindle for the foreseeable future.
For those just tuning in, Amazon has long used vague content rules to pull ebooks which they don't like. The rule in question truly is vague, and it has never been applied fairly. For example,it should come as no surprise that Amazon has pulled DMP titles before, for the exact same reason that DMP lost their account today, while at the same time leaving up titles with similar and equally risque content. But it does make today's new particularly disappointing; DMP had been trying to toe the line.
Unfortunately, DMP had the deck stacked against them. You see, they published yaoi manga, which is a particular type of Japanese comics that focuses on gay romance. Someone in Amazon clearly disapproves of it.
Do you know what? I've realized that my initial sentence calling this act of censorship prudish behavior is not true.
The word I should have used was homophobic.
You see, Amazon is still selling many different books that fall into the category of pornography, including Shades of Gray, the infamous ebook that is even now at the top of bestseller's lists. No offense to the people who read it, but that book is far more graphic than most yaio manga. In fact, aside from the minor detail of the stories being a romance between 2 men, number of the stories are rather tame. So why were they banned?
Aside from the homophobia of someone inside Amazon, I cannot think of a reason. I hope Amazon will enlighten us. I have contacted them and await their response.
DMP's complete complaint follows:
To all our fans:
As March 15, 2012, Digital Manga Inc.’s account has been suspended from the Kindle platform. While we’re working to try and amend the situation, we will not be able to publish titles to the Kindle for the foreseeable future.Our account was suspended under troubling circumstances - we have had titles cited for “content violation”, and while we screen every title to ensure they adhere to Kindle’s standards, their guidelines are notoriously vague, and prohibit “Pornography and hard-core material that depicts graphic sexual acts.”
There is no definition of “pornography” versus “erotica” officially available from amazon. In the past, we considered our titles the latter, and strive to comply with Amazon’s guidelines. However, with such vague guidelines and a veritable library of erotica in written and drawn form already available on the Kindle, it is difficult to discern exactly what rules Amazon wanted us to comply with. We also find it disheartening that our titles depicting male homosexual romance have been banned while erotica depicting other forms of intercourse flourishes. What makes relationships between men more objectionable than erotic tristes between men and women? This is a question we imagine you’re all asking yourselves right now, and a question that we need Amazon to answer for us.
While we work to restore our account, we encourage yaoi fans to explore alternate platforms for reading manga. Our titles are available on emanga.com, Nook (including free apps for your PC, iPad, or Android tablet), and on the DMP App for Apple products and Android Tablets. This event has also led us to pursue the possibility of making digital manga available through other platforms. We look forward to continuing to bring you all the best in manga content, yaoi or otherwise, and appreciate your continuing support.
If you would like to make your voice heard in regards to this issue, we encourage you to contact Amazon at [email protected]. Vote with your voices and your wallets, and help us ensure that Amazon doesn’t censor the content you want to consume. We know our fans are intelligent adults, and we feel that it’s wrong for a big company like Amazon to dictate what is proper for adults to read.