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Here's a good (though long) overview of why Amazon's overall activity is harmful to society overall.
If you want to order a book (or something else), don't buy it from Amazon. If it's a book, order it directly from the publisher or through a local book store. And if you want to send a URL as a reference to a book, make sure it's not an Amazon page.
Here are the reasons — plenty of them.
Amazon publishes ebooks designed to attack your freedom (PDF or html).
Amazon wiped a user's Kindle and deleted her account, then offered her kafkaesque "explanations".
Amazon rents textbooks to students with a requirement not to take them across state lines.
Amazon's new service, that offers you an MP3 for CDs you bought there, respects your rights less than ripping the CDs yourself. Don't use it.
Amazon's on-line music "sales" have some of the same problems as the ebooks: users are required to identify themselves and sign a contract that denies them the freedoms they would have with a CD.
Amazon's shipping in the US is done in a sweatshop. More info, including paramedics standing by for workers who pass out from the heat.
Workers in an Amazon warehouse and shipping center walk all day under the orders of a computer, and are forbidden even to speak to each other.
A stress expert, looking at an undercover report about an Amazon warehouse, says these conditions make physical and mental illness more likely.
Amazon cut off service to Wikileaks, claiming that whistleblowing violates its terms of service. It had no need to go to court to prove this, because if you rent a server from Amazon, you have no rights.
Amazon's complex financial arrangements bypass UK credit card consumer protection.
Amazon squeezes small publishers. For instance, Amazon cut off Swindle sales for an independent book distributor in order to press for bigger discounts. (The article ends by promoting ebooks for another platform, the Shnook from Barnes and Noble. While that company is not as nasty to small publishers, its ebooks do violate your freedom in most of the same ways.)
Amazon charges publishers for 20% sales tax in the UK even though the tax it pays is 3%.
UK independent bookstores condemn Amazon for not paying taxes as they do.
Amazon doesn't just compete with independent book stores, it arrogantly seeks to destroy them. Independent book stores urge people not to buy from Amazon.
Amazon appears to treat self-published authors well, but it can unilaterally cut the price of their books. And when it does, the authors are the ones who lose.
Amazon censored an ebook that exposed how ebook bestseller lists can be manipulated (and therefore are meaningless).
Amazon was a member of ALEC. ALEC is the right-wing lobbying group that promotes voter-suppression laws and "shoot first" laws, as well as attacks against wages and working conditions in the US. Amazon quit ALEC after public pressure in May 2012, but I am sure it still seeks the same nasty policies that ALEC advocated and is waiting for a new tool to achieve them.
Amazon's tax avoidance means it sucks money out of your country's economy.
Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Richard Stallman
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