Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amazon.com and New Zealand Government Attempting to Censor Uncle Fester's Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture! And Other Reasons to Boycott Amazon


I am friends with Uncle Fester, and have been stocking and selling his books for many years now. Below my italicized diatribe are the transcripts of several e-mails between myself and Uncle Fester, and between Uncle Fester and Amazon.com (yes, the fascist corporate whores). Despite whatever your personal politics and ethics may be, freedom of speech and of the press should not be censored, period.


As a bookseller, I can honestly say that the vast majority of folks who buy this book are law enforcement personnel, government officials, and professional chemists in Switzerland. And the other idiots who are actually going to cook it up are stupid enough to order the book online and have it shipped straight to the address at which they are building their meth lab. So... wouldn't it be in our government's best interest to have the book sold on Amazon so that they can merely subpoena one corporation to obtain customer shipping data, rather than several hundred fiercely independent, stubborn, patriot-act-hating booksellers?


Amazon has personally sold untold tens of thousands of copies of Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture, lining their pockets with monies for this book they magically decide is unethical after over ten years as a bestseller. This move only serves to hurt the author and several small independent booksellers, but perhaps it will benefit us in the long run, as now folks searching for this excellent chemistry guide will have to shop direct rather than go through Amazon as a corporate third party that rapes us honest booksellers and authors on the back end!


Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture, along with Fester's other titles, can be obtained at the author's website, at LastWordBooks.org, at LastEarthDistro.net, or at a variety of other small seller's sites.


As if one needed any additional reasons to boycott Amazon, check this link out from Housmans: http://www.housmans.com/boycottamazon.php


Between unjustly censoring Wikileaks, torturing their employees and screwing over my buddy Uncle Fester, I wish that our bookstores were not so intimately tied to Amazon and that we could just sever all business dealings with them. Alas, that is not the world in which we live. So let's rise up and force the machine to change their wicked ways! Enjoy the transcripts below and let me know your thoughts.


-Sky Cosby, radical bookseller extraordinaire


From “Last Earth Distro”

to Unclefester@XXXXXXXXX.com

12/5/2010

What's goin' on dude? Where's yer books on Amazon?


the only version of Secrets 8th edition I can find is the Kindle edition! (The Kindle Edition has since been removed from Amazon's website as well.)

___________________________________________________________

12/6/2010

From Unclefester@XXXXXXXXX.com


thanks for the alert! I will get right on it...they still order a bunch, but I will see what is up.

Fester



From: "Amazon.com"

To:

Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 4:35 PM

Subject: Your Amazon.com Title


Dear Publisher,


We are contacting you regarding the following DTP title that you have submitted for sale in our Kindle store:


Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture 8th Edition [Kindle Edition] (ASIN B00305GTWU)


During our review process, we found that your title contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. As a result, we have removed the book from our store.


Please note that if you continue to submit content that violates our content guidelines, we may conduct a general review of your account. Actions resulting from such a review could result in a termination of your account.


You may reply to title-submission@amazon.com if, after reading our content guidelines, you believe this decision has been made in error.


Best regards,


Amazon.com


From: Uncle Fester

To: title-submission@amazon.com

Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 8:53 AM

Subject: Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture ISBN 9780970148599


Dear Amazon,

I am suprised by your recent e-mail declaring that "after a review" my book has been found in violation of your content guidelines. Amazon.com has carried this book from the very first days of amazon.com, starting with the first edition and continuing into the present 8th edition. Each time it was submitted for approval by amazon and approved. The latest approval was two years ago for the 8th edition. All these approvals far predate the working tenures of anybody I am sending this e-mail to at amazon.

My book is a chemistry book, and is the standard textbook in the field. How the study of chemistry can be called objectionable is beyond me. You will note from the reviews for the book which you have removed, that a degree in chemistry is required to actually use the material in the book. Chem degrees do not grow on trees, but attorneys find it useful in the defense of their clients accused of meth crimes.

You should reconsider this neo-luddite censorship of my book on your site. The study of organic chemistry is a wonderful thing and should not be obstructed by whoever made this wrong headed decision.

Steve Preisler (Uncle Fester)

the author and publisher of the book in question

ps...I will be writing to Jeff Bezos about this matter




From: "Amazon.com Advantage Member Services "

To:

Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:34 PM

Subject: RE: [Case 28959751] Item Management - Other: Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture ISBN 9780970148599


Greetings,


Thank you for writing to us.


I observe that our "Editorial Content" team is already working on your issue. They will write back to with an update in few days. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused.


We appreciate your participation in Amazon.com Advantage.


Best regards,


Gautam K.

Member Services

Amazon.com Advantage


To:

Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 8:17 PM

Subject: RE: [Case 28266321] Item Management - Other: no listing for the paperback edition


Dear Mr. Preisler,


We are contacting you regarding the following title(s) that you have submitted for sale in our books store: 0970148593.


During our review process, we found that your title contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. As a result, we have removed the book(s) from our store. Please note that if you continue to submit content that violates our content guidelines, we may conduct a general review of your account. Actions resulting from such a review could result in a termination of your account.


Best regards,


Sam

Member Services

Amazon.com Advantage


Original Message ----- From: "Uncle Fester"

To: "Amazon.com Advantage Member Services "

Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 8:20 PM

Subject: Re: [Case 28266321] Item Management - Other: no listing for the paperback edition


Dear Amazon,

You have given me no rationale for this censorship of my book. As I noted to you previously, this book has been on sale from the very first days of Amazon, and if I had to guess, I would say you sold roughly 50,000 of them from your site over those years. It is still the same book...a chemistry book, with citations to the scientific lit for virtually every process presented. What about this book troubles you? Can you read Organic Chem? Can you do Organic Chem? This author is puzzled.

Steve Preisler

____________________________


Original Message ----- From: "Amazon.com Executive Customer Relations"

To:

Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:06 AM

Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry


Dear Uncle Fester,


I'm Deborah Hankins of Amazon.com's Executive Customer Relations team. Jeff Bezos received your letter and asked me to respond on his behalf.


I've reviewed your account and understand you're concerned about the removal of your book, "Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture." While I know you're disappointed with our stance on this matter, I want to assure you the response you received from our Advantage team is correct.


As mentioned, during our review process, we found that your title contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. As a result, we have removed the book from our store.


Uncle Fester, I’m sorry for any disappointment caused and appreciate your understanding. While we won’t be able to comment further on this matter, we’re always happy to help if you have any other questions - you can click a button to contact us by e-mail or phone from any Help page on our website.


Regards,


Deborah Hankins

Executive Customer Relations

Amazon.com


And, just for an added bonus and for the record, here's a copy of the letter Uncle Fester sent to the New Zealand government, who is also acitvely trying to censor the sale of his books down under.


To: information@censorship.govt.nz

Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:40 PM

Subject: Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture 8th Edition


I am Steve Preisler, aka Uncle Fester, the author of the book Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture. I recieved notice from your office that my book has been nominated for censorship in your freedom loving land. The concept of censoring a book is alien to we Americans because we have a Bill of Rights which protects us from meddling ninnies determining for us what is fit or not for us to read. It seems you are not so blessed.

I have read over the list of criteria sent to me which spells out what types of books can be banned. I simply can't find anything in your listing which applies to my chemistry book. That is right...it is a chemistry book. My website may well proclaim I produce "porno for chemists", but the content is not at all pornographic. Rather it is a source of information in the field of chemistry largely gathered from the open scientific liturature. I note under Section 14 of your "Bill of Rights' that everyone has the freedom to seek, recieve and impart information and opinions of any kind. Under this section, my chemistry book is specifically exempted from your attempts at censorship.

Virtually every "copy" of Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture in your country is obtained by download from copyright pirate sites such as the Pirate Bay. This is because the people living in your country are so terrified of the thought police that they dare not show in plain sight that they possess such a book. They fear the border guards and the post office and everything in between. They then seek to get a copy they can "hide" on their computer disk. Your notice should then have been sent to the Pirate Bay and other copyright pirate sites, since they are by far the number one "publisher" in your country of my book. If you would like to prosecute these pirate sites as the copyright thieves that they are, you certainly have my license to do so. I would say good riddance to them all. In the meantime, let your people be, and let them read whatever chemistry books they would like.

Steve Preisler a.k.a. Uncle Fester

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