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Atlanta Falcons QB Being Advised to Take Plea and Amazon Still...

With the third co-defendant taking a plea (likely in exchange for testimony against Michael Vick, the embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback is said to be working out a plea deal with the federal government. Vick, for those who aren’t following this story, was charged with engaging in a dog fighting conspiracy. The allegations in the indictment were very ugly.

For a particular dog fight, the participants would establish a purse for the winning side, ranging from the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Participants and spectators would also place side-bets on the fight. The dog fight would last until the death or surrender of the losing dog. At the end of the fight, the losing dog was sometimes put to death by drowning, hanging, gunshot, electrocution, or another method.

Amazon.com is the “sole retailer of subscriptions to the animal fighting magazines and the only outlet for animal fighters to obtain subscriptions over the Internet.” It also sells dog fighting and cock fighting books and DVDs. The Humane Society filed suit against Amazon, publishers and distributors back in February arguing that by selling the products, Amazon is engaging in conduct outside the protections of the First Amendment because “it promotes and incites criminal animal cruelty.” In light of the national attention focused on how abhorrent dog fighting is given the Vick indictment, the Humane Society sent out emails encouraging people to send a message to Amazon to stop providing this material for sale.

Ron at GalleyCat, while not being in favor of Amazon selling such items, noted that to force Amazon from selling such material might have a chilling effect:

As a former Amazon “book review editor,” I was present for internal arguments about books dealing with equally controversial subjects, particularly books about pedophile culture. And if you give in on the really blatant “boylove” stuff, the reasoning ran, eventually somebody comes after you for the Jock Sturges and Sally Mann books, so you had to keep the goalposts all the way at the end of the field to keep everything in play, if I can strain a metaphor badly.

I’m probably more of the opinion that Amazon should desist from selling this type of material, even though I am a staunch defender of the First Amendment. It does strike me as closer to materials promulgating the pedophile culture than an educational look into the dog fighting phenomenon.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

4 Comments

  1. Angela James
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 11:08:09

    I agree with you. I understand the “slippery slope” but I think something like this goes hand in hand with not wanting to see something like underage pornography or “diaper” porn magazines for pedophiles being sold. Why? It’s just wrong.

  2. Jayne
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 13:30:38

    I had no idea Amazon was doing this. Bastards. I will not buy another thing from them until they stop.

  3. DS
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 18:22:14

    I’ve emailed my complaint. I think I’ll send another one direct to Jeff Bezos. The Amazon id number shows that the magazines are not something Amazon loaded but the seller as a marketplace partner has created the ad page himself. It has a lot of letters unstead of a UPC or ISBN number format and is generated by Amazon’s software when the page is created.

    I’m usually a rabid first amendment supporter but frankly my tolerance stops with animal cruelty.

  4. AAR Rachel
    Aug 17, 2007 @ 14:38:31

    I don’t give a crap about the 1st Amendment rights of these sickos. You don’t hurt animals or molest/exploit children and make money off it. And if you do you should be put in a ring with other such sickos and made to fight until mortally wounded.

    I would think Amazon would want to be separated as far as possible from these types. Dog fighting magazines – makes my blood boil, the whole thing. I don’t understand how anyone would ever want to hurt innocent animals and I never will.

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