Feeds

eBay bans CD sales of metal band Burzum, citing offensive material

Meanwhile, sales of Mein Kampf going strong

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

eBay has banned auctions of CDs and merchandise by Norwegian musician Varg Vikernes, on grounds that Vikernes holds views that the company deems offensive.

Heavy metal fan site MetalSucks.net was the first to report on the ban, after an anonymous reader said that when he tried to list two CDs by Vikernes' one-man band Burzum for auction, he was shown a message saying that "based on references to particular organizations," his listings violated eBay's policy against offensive material and could not be submitted.

Searching the auction site still reveals plenty of listings for Burzum-related material, yet while those items have not been removed, attempts to add new listings are now being automatically rejected.

When El Reg asked eBay for confirmation, company rep Ryan Moore told us via email: "eBay has determined that Burzum-related items are associated with views of an individual that violate our Offensive Materials policy, including the promotion of hatred and violence."

Warning message about eBay's Offensive Material Policy

Don't even think about trying to sell your old Burzum CDs on eBay

To be sure, Vikernes has done enough in his time to offend most anyone. An admitted racist and outspoken anti-Semite, he most recently made headlines when a French court found him guilty of hate speech offenses for blog posts described as "inciting racial hatred and defending war crimes."

Vikernes has denied writing the blog posts in question, but his own website includes a "library" of articles and writings to which he lays claim willingly, several of which fit the court's description.

He's also a convicted murderer and arsonist, who is out on probation after serving 15 years of a 21-year sentence – the maximum penalty allowable in Norway.

And yet, despite being an awful human being, Vikernes' music reflects little of his actions or his ideology, focusing instead on themes of fantasy and escapism. His most recent releases have all been interpretations of European pagan myths and folk tales, while early Burzum albums drew inspiration mainly from Dungeons & Dragons and novels like The Lord of the Rings. The music's aesthetic is dark, but much of it isn't even particularly violent. (One track from Burzum's first, eponymous album is called "The Crying Orc.")

Meanwhile, it doesn't take much searching on eBay to reveal plenty of material that can be considered offensive or that promotes racial hatred, including T-shirts endorsing neo-Nazi punk band Skrewdriver, CDs by racist country singer Johnny Rebel, and more than 200 copies of Mein Kampf.

If eBay's offensive material policy appears to be somewhat selectively enforced, however, there may be a simple reason why Vikerenes' music has been singled out: apparently, in Burzum's case, somebody complained.

As eBay's Moore explained to The Reg, "eBay policy does not allow items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance. Listings that are brought to our attention that violate these policies are removed from eBay." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.