Self-censoring and book burning

Over at GoodReads, Manny self-censores his reviews for violating the corporate terms of use.

I have removed this review, which violates Article 2 of the Terms of Use:

You agree not to post User Content that: (i) may create a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to you, to any other person, or to any animal.

Looking at the comment thread, it is abundantly clear that the review not only may, but indeed has caused emotional distress to several Potter fans. I would like to offer my apologies to these unfortunate people, who had every right to expect better service from Goodreads.

In the unlikely event that anyone wants to read my tasteless and dangerous piece of writing, they will be able to find it in last year’s published collection, What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations

All is well, Manny. Yes, the Terms of Use of GoodReads/Amazon can burn down your reviews.
Your book, chapter by chapter.

Luckily we live in times when the download of an ebook and continue sharing by electronic copies are cost-efficient.

Unluckily we live in times when publishers/sites take control of distribution, by copyright law. They retain the ability to burn down your book. Authors cannot stop them, once they sold their rights.

Luckily we live in times when Creative Commons has spread awareness of sharing and free culture. No one can forbid sharing a book anymore, once authors grant a license allowing sharing.

Unluckily there are not yet business models that allow the author to make a living other than by restricting sharing, by copyright law.

We live in interesting times.

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