Amazon has announce that they will finally call an end to junk content on the Kindle Store, including things that are available for free on the internet. This includes public domain titles and “fast cash” internet garbage.
They have set new rules for public domain and “other non-exclusive content”.
Amazon made the announcement through an email to Seth Godin at The Domino Project:
Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content
Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We will not accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are the copyright owner of that content. For example, if you received your book content from a source that allows you and others to re-distribute it, and the content is freely available on the web, we will not accept it for sale on the Kindle store. We do accept public domain content, however we may choose to not sell a public domain book if its content is undifferentiated or barely differentiated from one or more other books.
Amazon appears to be officially banning private-label content. This is could be bad news for legitimate private publishers. Although, it does say that if you are the original copyright holder and it is not available for free on the internet, you will be able to sell it. Who they are really trying to weed out are content mills that buy articles online and quickly format them into an e-book. Public-domain titles like Moby Dick and the works of Edgar Allen Poe are also prohibited for sale. The company has taken steps in the past to limit this kind of content, but this is a stricter policy.
Amazon has banned undifferentiated public-domain works before. But spam e-books have started making their way into the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which may be the cause for newer, stricter policies.[via: paidContent]