Update: The Kindle edition is back
. Amazon PR person Brittany Turner wrote, "Wanted to let you know that this book is now available in the Kindle Store." Ms Turner didn't offer any further explanation.
Gib Van Ert sez,
Amazon has decided to remove the book I self-published on Kindle, "A Long Time Ago: Growing up with and out of Star Wars", from their store for an unspecified trademark issue. Their emails are vague, but they seems to being saying that I have to have Lucasfilm's permission before selling on their store a book that talks about Star Wars. It's a crazy position--Star Wars is a massive pop cultural and generational phenomenon, as my book tries to explain through a personal narrative.
No one has a right to have their book sold on Amazon, of course. It's their store and they can decline to sell things if they like. But given how they dominate the book marketplace, being banned from Amazon is a major problem for an independent author. And when it is done on a spurious ground--Amazon has never said that Lucasfilm themselves have complained, and why would they?--it verges on a free speech issue.
"A Long Time Ago" is in my review pile, and has survived several purges of books of similar vintage (I've had it there for a long time!), because it looks awfully good, and got a great review from Wired's GeekDad. I hope that this is just some junior functionary at Amazon having a freakout and that someone higher up will see sense and realize that there's no reason in the world not to carry Van Ert's book.
Weirdly, Amazon is still carrying the print edition of the book, which makes things even more inexplicable. If Amazon faces some risk from selling an ebook, it faces the same risk from selling the print edition.
Amazon removes A Long Time Ago from Kindle for supposed trademark infringement
Evidently, the sets built for the original Star Wars famed Tatooine location were simply abandoned.
Beautiful to look at, impressive in how well they've held up and are instantly recognizable; these well-built shelters appear to have attracted quite an interesting slice of Tunisian culture to move on in. I'm sure there must be a great story that went into their design and build.
Rocketnews24's youtube channel contains several more amazing segments. (Thanks, Eric Weiss!)
Writer and comics creator Brian Michael Bendis (Twitter) is in Tokyo, and tweeted a series of infringment-spotting snapshots today. The Stormtrooper/Star Wars shirt he found and photographed, above, makes me weep with desire.