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Amazon suddenly pulls book about guns citing violation of ‘content guidelines’

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A gun book available for sale on Amazon was suddenly pulled by the site which vaguely stated it violated their “content guidelines.”

Available on Amazon since Aug. 1, “The Liberator Code Book: An Exercise in Freedom of Speech” was no longer available on the site as of Wednesday according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The book had previously been listed on a web address that now redirects to an error page. The Kindle book titled “The Liberator: An .STL File Published as a Book” also redirects users to an error page.

“This book was removed for violating our content guidelines,” Amazon spokesperson Jack Evans told the Free Beacon, which reported that the books had been published through Amazon’s self-publication services.

According to the Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski:

Evans directed the Free Beacon to the Kindle Direct Publishing content guidelines, which ban the publication of pornography, offensive content, illegal and infringing content, public domain and other non-exclusive content, and books that result in a “poor customer experience.” Amazon refused to elaborate on how the books violated their guidelines.

 

When the publication asked Evans which guidelines the books had violated, the  spokesman replied, “Don’t have any additional comment beyond what I’ve shared.”

“Link I provided states that books must adhere to our guidelines,” Evans added.

But inside the book, a computer code to 3-D print a plastic gun that fires real bullets could be at the center of the decision.

(Image: Wikimedia)

Other controversial books have long been offered on Amazon, including Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, Marx and Engles’s Communist Manifesto and others such as “the white supremacist manifesto that helped inspire Timothy McVeigh to commit the Oklahoma City bombing,” Andrew Macdonald’s “The Turner Diaries,” Free Beacon reported.

Instruction manuals on constructing weapons have also been readily available on Amazon, including “The U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook,” “The U.S. Army Special Forces Guide to Unconventional Warfare: Devices and Techniques for Incendiaries,” and “The Anarchist Cookbook.”

The Free Beacon noted:

A copy of The Liberator Code Book: An Exercise in Freedom of Speech obtained by the Free Beacon reveals that the bulk of its 425 pages are dedicated to reprinting the raw code of a computer file containing the specifications of Cody Wilson’s single-shot 3D-printed gun design known as the Liberator. Along with a two-page instruction guide on how to assemble a Liberator, the book includes a notice that it was not “created, authorized, or directed” by Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed group, and a one-page editor’s note.

 

“The purpose of this exercise is to give a physical analogy between computer code and books,” the editor’s note read. “Preventing the publishing of code online is no different than banning a book from circulation and pulling it from the shelves of a library.”

An injunction that prevents the code’s creator, Cody Wilson, from publishing it online is being decided on by a U.S district judge in the state of Washington, Forbes reported. Wilson explained that the code was “committed to the public domain under an express open source license in 2013” and said he had “no problems at all” with the book being published on Amazon.

“It doesn’t really matter which side you fall on when it comes to guns. The fact that this book exists forces you to think about how far are we willing to go with gun control as it strays into suppression of free speech,” read only one of seven reviews on the book before it was pulled by Amazon, according to Forbes.

President Trump questioned whether 3D-printed firearms should be legal in a tweet last month.

“Already spoke to NRA,” he wrote, “doesn’t seem to make much sense!”

Frieda Powers

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