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Old 09-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
ahi
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Amazon / Kindle and Public Domain eBooks

Can somebody point me to the recent thread that talked about Amazon no longer accepting public domain books through their regular kindle eBook submission process?

Or did I just dream that?

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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You didn't...but I can't remember what the keywords are. Let me look...
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:34 PM   #3
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Uggh I can't find it...I'm going to lunch now but I started searching posts (not threads) for the keywords amazon and publisher.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Uggh I can't find it...I'm going to lunch now but I started searching posts (not threads) for the keywords amazon and publisher.
Same thing I tried, with no luck as yet... thanks for trying!

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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Here you go (I think)...

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...059#post585059
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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Thanks. Has there been any more news about that?

Or are they just basically going to leave things perpetually in limbo so that only large publishers can upload public domain eBooks?

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Thanks. Has there been any more news about that?

Or are they just basically going to leave things perpetually in limbo so that only large publishers can upload public domain eBooks?

- Ahi
Haven't read anything more about it so far.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
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Sharing the following comment (relative to Amazon/Kindle/PD titles) published by Slashdot on 9/17/09 (for more about John B. Hare, see Sacred Texts Internet Website):
Amazon bans public domain from Kindle[->] on Thursday September 17, @02:27PM John B. Hare
Submitted by John B. Hare on Thursday September 17, @02:27PM
censorship
John B. Hare writes "John B. Hare writes "Many publishers of public domain content on the Kindle are being turned away for reasons which Amazon declines to clarify. In the past two weeks any publisher posting a public domain book (or a book which appears to be a public domain book) have received the message "Your book is currently under review by the Kindle Operations team as we are trying to improve the Kindle customer experience. Please check back in 5 business days to see if your book was published to the store."

Amazon claims that this is a quality control issue, that readers can't figure out on their own that a five page Kindle book for $9.99 is a rip-off or yet another Kindle edition of 'Pride and Prejudice' is pointless. This was supposed to be the point of user feedback and the Kindle return policy: the user can quickly decide what the best choice is, and if they don't like it, back out without any harm done.

I own and run one of the primary contributors of new public domain etexts on the web: sacred-texts.com. When the ban went into effect, I was just back from an intense round of chemo. I was disappointed to get this message. I am (was?) in the process of converting all of the 2000+ ebooks at sacred-texts into Kindle editions. I use a homebrew preflight Kindle filter to construct the Kindle binary from my master files, which we have invested nearly a million dollars into creating. We spend thousands a month in-house doing legal clearance, scanning, OCRing, and proofing, often by domain experts. So we are hardly a fly-by-night operation. In fact, many of the PD texts floating around on the Internet and on the Kindle were originally done at sacred-texts at great investment of labor and time. Our Kindle return rate is close to zero.

This morning I received an email stating:

Dear Publisher,

We're working on a policy and procedure change to fix a customer experience problem caused by multiple copies of public domain titles being uploaded by a multitude of publishers. For an example of this problem, do a search on "Pride and Prejudice" in the Kindle Store. The current situation is very confusing for customers as it makes it difficult to decide which 'Pride and Prejudice' to choose. As a result, at this time we are not accepting additional public domain titles through DTP, including the following: The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ
Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry and Medieval Mysticism
The History of the Knights Templar by Nicolas Notovitch...


If you believe that we have wrongly identified this title as a public domain title, and you are the copyright holder or are authorized to sell it by the copyright holder, then please reply to title-submission@amazon.com with appropriate documentation of your e-book rights.

Thank you, Amazon.com

As can be seen, this brings an entirely new issue into play: apparently, if I owned the rights to a public domain book and can prove it, they will reconsider. However, nobody can own a public domain book. Amazon is telling us that in order to post our books we need to prove a contradiction!

One key point is that Amazon has applied this ban completely non-selectively. Established publishers such as myself and others who have never had any quality control issues whatsoever, and give good value for the price, have all been tarred with the broad brush of 'Public Domain Publisher--do not post'.

By banning new public domain books from the Kindle, they are making an implicit decision as to which books people should read. You can argue that 'you can get these texts anywhere' but by excluding high quality Kindle books of them from the nascent Kindle marketplace, Amazon is implicitly trying to decide what is a valid part of our culture and what isn't. This trend does not bode well for the future of ebooks.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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Hopefully they will clarify their policy in a few weeks.

Not that I have any expectation that the solution will be an intelligent one.

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Old 11-25-2009, 09:22 AM   #10
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This post is helpful and I just posted in the Kindle forum questions about how to do what you are doing and make more obscure PD books available for Kindle. I am sad to hear this news.

Yet, as I think of Houses like Penguin and Signet Classics, I know that they "own" and have copywrite on their texts because they have taken the PD doc and added introductions and at times notes. Does anyone know how amazon would react to this. If someone "publishes" a PD book with "value added" content it seems this could be a different story.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:25 AM   #11
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This post is helpful and I just posted in the Kindle forum questions about how to do what you are doing and make more obscure PD books available for Kindle. I am sad to hear this news.

Yet, as I think of Houses like Penguin and Signet Classics, I know that they "own" and have copywrite on their texts because they have taken the PD doc and added introductions and at times notes. Does anyone know how amazon would react to this. If someone "publishes" a PD book with "value added" content it seems this could be a different story.
I think the assumption is that they would only accept PD books from large established publishers, and not at all from "unknown" publishers regardless of whether there is "value added content"...

Hope I am wrong though.

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Old 11-25-2009, 10:44 AM   #12
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please post any new info!
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #13
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