Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Boycott Amazon.com

Updated December 2, 2009: Amazon.com has lifted their ban on The Secret of Oz so the boycott is now off.

Bill Still is a former newspaper editor, publisher, writer of 22 books and creator of two documentary films. His latest documentary film, The Secret of Oz, argues that our current economic problems are caused by the debt based monetary system found in the United States. The US cannot issue money directly but it has to issue debt, which it then must pay interest on. This debt has piled up to the point where the interest is crushing the economy.

With neither warning nor provocation, The Secret of Oz was banned from sale on Amazon.com after being featured on the site for only three days.

Amazon.com has not responded to Mr. Still as to why the film has been banned, which can only lead us to believe that the film was banned for political reasons. Click here to view the Amazon.com page which now lists the video as unavailable. The reviews of the movie found on that page show that customers are quite upset that Amazon has decided to ban the movie. One person noted that "As a longtime customer of Amazon, I am deeply disappointed with them for this action. I'm afraid I'll have to reconsider how much of my money I spend on purchases through this website." We are ready to go one step further - an official boycott of Amazon.com.

I first heard about the ban from Nathan Martin of Nathan's Economic Edge with his post The Secret of Oz Banned on Amazon . Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker is already on board with a call to boycott with his article The Secret of Oz.

Here is how the boycott will work. You must agree to not purchase any items from Amazon.com until the ban on The Secret of Oz is lifted. Most importantly, please send an email to Amazon letting them know about your boycott and the reason for it. If you are a regular customer and were planning on making holiday purchases through Amazon.com, let them know that they have lost your business. You can email them by clicking on the help link on the top right corner of their website and then selecting the Contact Us button in the middle right portion of the Help page.

The following letter is what I have just sent to Amazon:



Hello Amazon.com staff. I have been a regular customer of Amazon for over ten years where I have purchased everything from books, DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, video games and household items. I also regularly recommend Amazon.com to friends and family. Amazon.com is one of the great business success stories of the past twenty years and deservedly so.

That's why it is unfortunate for me to notify you that I am now boycotting Amazon.com and I am advocating that others do so as well. This includes canceling my yearly Christmas shopping with Amazon, which I planned to do in the next few weeks. The reason? It has come to my attention that the DVD The Secret of Oz, found at http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Oz-James-Robertson-UK/dp/B002WLS890/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1259166984&sr=8-1, has been banned from your website. Several attempts have been made by the seller, Bill Still, to find out why his account has been shut down. With no response after several days and multiple messages sent by Mr. Still, I can only assume that the decision was made for political reasons.

The financial blog community has been made aware of this situation and is not pleased. I have called for a boycott of Amazon on my financial blog: http://soyouthinkyoucaninvest.blogspot.com/2009/11/boycott-amazoncom.html. Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker has called for a boycott as well: http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1665-The-Secret-Of-Oz.html. Another popular financial blogger, Nathan Martin of Nathan's Economic Edge, has voiced his displeasure on this issue: http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2009/11/secret-of-oz-banned-on-amazon.html.

I have yet to watch this movie but if Michael Moore can freely distribute his films then The Secret of Oz deserves to be freely available as well. This is an issue of free speech and free markets.

If Mr. Still's account was closed by mistake, please rectify the situation so that I can offer a retraction of my boycott. If, however, the ban is not lifted within the next few days, I will begin to contact additional individuals in the financial community, certain political organizations and various media outlets about this issue.

Thanks and regards.



By boycotting Amazon.com you are sending them a powerful message - we will not stand for strong armed censorship and we are prepared to fight it by spending our hard earned money elsewhere.

Here is the trailer for the movie:



If you would like to buy The Secret of Oz directly from Bill Still you can purchase it here.
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