Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Amazon has caught a lot of flack today for selling the controversial WikiLeaks diplomatic cables in its Kindle store just days after kicking WikiLeaks off its servers for publishing those same documents.As Peter Kafka reports for All Things D, however, that isn’t quite what’s happening. Someone is selling a book on the Kindle store containing excerpts from, and commentary on some of the cables.
It’s actually perfectly consistent for Amazon to make a big deal of that distinction. As we saw in Amazon’s defence of The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure, the company has no interest in banning material for being vile or advocating evil. (Though the company happily turned its back on that principle when the pressure really heated up.)
But, for obvious reasons, its terms of service do forbid people using its servers to break the law. There is clearly nothing illegal about excerpting from and commenting on the cables, or The New York Times and just about every other media organisation in the world would be in a lot of trouble right now. The government is maintaining, however, that WikiLeaks is breaking the law.
But Amazon has no reason to get involved in that fight.
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