I think it is a safe bet at this point that everyone is familiar with Amazon and their service known as Amazon Prime. Among other things, Amazon Prime provides a good many of their digital videos available to stream for free as much as you want. Well, until now anyway. News started breaking yesterday that many indie horror filmmakers were having their videos removed from the Prime service in an apparent new policy on the part of Amazon seeing the corporate giant cracking down on more extreme content.
Here is an example of the emails being sent out to filmmakers now, supplied by Scott Schirmer in regards to his film Harvest Lake:
Amazon Video Direct periodically revises our content policy in order to improve the Amazon Video customer experience. Effective March 1, 2017, Amazon Video Direct will no longer allow titles containing persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes (‘adult content’) to be offered as ‘Included with Prime’ or ‘Free with Pre-Roll Ad’.
We have identified the following titles within your catalog which contain adult content:
In alignment with our new policy, the ‘Included with Prime’ and/or ‘Free with Pre-Roll Ad’ offers will be removed from these titles on March 1, 2017.
For any title to remain available to customers with an ‘Included with Prime’ or ‘Free with Pre-Roll Ad’ offer, its content including cover images, metadata, and/or video content must be free of persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes.
For more information, please see our Content Policy Guidelines:https://videodirect.amazon.com/home/help?topicId=201986500
If you have any questions regarding this policy revision and related action, please feel free to contact us.
Thanks for using Amazon Video Direct.
Amazon Video Direct http://videodirect.amazon.com
In other words, most horror films in general. At time of posting, this writer is aware of not only Scott’s film being targeted, but also the works of Dustin Mills, Drew Bolduc, and several more. Note that these are videos which Amazon previously approved and are now doing a 180 on due to a new policy which seems to be aimed at making Prime more tame. It is, however, worth mentioning that videos removed from Prime due to this new policy are, at least for now, still available for rent and digital purchase through Amazon’s standard digital video platform.
While sending these emails to the filmmakers, Amazon does not seem as forthcoming to third party inquiries as evidenced in what is clearly an ambiguous boilerplate response to such questions:Now I have not seen Harvest Lake because the kids are still up but just getting to it on Amazon is now tricky. Typing it into the search bar gets you to screen where there is almost no evidence that Harvest Moon exists. But you can quickly find a link that will get you there, if you look hard for it.
It looks to be high end horror porn. And in practice I don't care that Prime Video is dropping it down to rental/purchase status.
But in theory it's more worrying. What can be done for one reason on Included with Prime...can just as easily be dropped from Kindle Unlimited for another.
It probably won't be today or even tomorrow but it will happen one day. Organizations that are not specifically mission oriented to prevent SJW Entryism are always in the end taken over by them if it it's a high priority for them to do so. Which it certainly is with Amazon.
No need to panic yet but it's a good idea to plan ahead.