Porn, or Porn-Lite, Creeping Into the Kindle

Amazon will have a decision to make eventually

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 2, 2010 2:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Some unexpected titles have charted high on the Kindle's bestseller list, notes James Ledbetter in Slate. Take Compromising Positions, about an "international fitness company" executive who gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to help a friend demonstrate Kama Sutra positions for her yoga class—you get the picture. It's not so much porn as a typical romance novel, a genre that often has explicit scenes, and it's doing well because its publisher is using the e-reader trick of temporarily giving away free downloads.

But racier titles are on the list—again because they're giveaways or near giveaways—that further blur the line into porn. This is bound to catch up with Amazon because the Kindle pushes the company "over the line from mere enabler of erotica to promoter and producer," writes Ledbetter. At some point, conservative groups will probably squawk, and the company will have to figure out how to balance its profits with its reputation.

A file photo of a Kindle.
A file photo of a Kindle.
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Amazon is distributing men's erotic fiction, and its bargain-basement Kindle pricing—in many cases, this material, too, is given away for free—means that some of it shows up on "best-seller" lists.
- James Ledbetter, Slate

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