Due to repeated Content Guideline violations with respect to books you have submitted through your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, specifically submission of content that is freely available on the web, we are terminating your KDP account and your KDP Agreement effective immediately.
As part of the termination process, we will close your KDP account(s) and remove the books you have uploaded through KDP from the Kindle Store. Subject to the KDP Terms and Conditions, you will receive any unpaid royalties you have earned.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, please email us at email@example.com.
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I recently received notification that my account with KDP was being terminated "Due to repeated Content Guideline violations with respect to books you have submitted through your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, specifically submission of content that is freely available on the web, we are terminating your KDP account and your KDP Agreement effective immediately."
I would never knowingly do anything to violate the Amazon KDP Content Guidelines. I have read the Content Guidelines (found here) and the Terms of Service (found here) and I do not understand what I have done to be in violation.
My account generates over 90% of its revenue from my own original content (humorous poetry and popular mathematics flash cards) that I offer exclusively through KDP. The other 10% is from Steve Pavlina articles that are in the public domain.
These articles are available for free on the web, albeit in an unedited and non-ebook form; in fact, nearly all of the public domain content on KDP is available for free somewhere on the internet in some format. Steve Pavlina articles are useful, well-written, and had not been previously available in the Kindle Store. I was honestly trying to improve the customer experience by offering customers the opportunity to read and benefit from his wise words.
Nearly all of these articles were published thru my Amazon KDP Account roughly one year ago. They passed the KDP review process then and had been available for sale in the Kindle Store ever since. I had no idea that this sort of content was forbidden. Currently, if you search for 'Steve Pavlina' on the Kindle Store, all of the results (with the exception of his book Personal Development For Smart People) are public domain works that are freely available on the internet.
The first notice I received that there was an issue with this type content was the notice of termination of my Amazon KDP Account. This surprised me greatly, since I held the necessary rights to those articles and classified them properly as public domain on my Bookshelf. I have never tried to enroll them in KDP Select. However, all of my original content is enrolled in KDP Select.
Please help me understand what specific part of the Content Guidelines I have violated. I have read the guidelines and see nothing that implies that because something is available for free on the web, it is unacceptable to be published for the Kindle. However, if these works do violate Content Guidelines, then please remove them from my bookshelf and allow me to continue publishing quality original content.
I humbly request that you review the decision to terminate my KDP account. I will not, have not, and would not knowingly violate any KDP guidelines (because the privilege of publishing through KDP is far too great an opportunity). I hope this is just a misunderstanding, but in the meantime, I am fearful at the thought of not being able to publish my own original content on KDP.
Please let me know what actions I may take to correct this error.
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I have received no reply and all of my content has been deleted. Please share your thoughts (anonymous or otherwise) regarding this process by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
The problem lies in assuming that just because something is posted for free on a website that it is in the public domain. Public domain refers to works that are decades old and no longer 'owned' by the person who composed them. The words I write are mine and if I post a story to my blog for free and someone else publishes them on Amazon for money, it is a violation of my ownership of those words. Same if someone takes my free stories and publishes them as paid.
It was a mistake, but one you didn't mean to do. I would beg Amazon to let you back. Say that you didn't realize that it was a violation and of course, won't do it again. Also, if you've got the same material posted in B&N or Smashwords, pull it now before they do the same...
It might hurt the pocketbook, but agree to transfer funds to Steve Pavlina or contact Steve yourself and tell him what happened, offer to pay him what you made from his work, and ask if he will go to Amazon with you. That will correct the error for all parties involved. Any money made from those works needs to go to him.
This is definitely part of the misunderstanding... read the full statement from Steve Pavlina here.
Here is an excerpt of his words:
"I hereby release my copyrights to, and place into the public domain, all of the following:
•the 1000+ articles I’ve posted to my Blog and in the old Articles section (all are linked from the Archives page)
•the articles I’ve published in my Newsletters
•the podcasts I’ve posted in the Audio section
•the Videos I’ve posted to YouTube
•the articles I posted on my old computer games site that I wrote from 1999 to 2004 (site is no longer online)
•the compilation of tweets I’ve posted on Twitter and the status updates I’ve posted on Facebook
•the forum posts I’ve written (just my posts, not the ones made by other people)
I estimate that the article collection alone is around 2-3 million words of content, enough to fill about 25-30 books. So this is a lot of material.
Unless I explicitly state otherwise, all future content I personally create and publish shall not be copyrighted and shall instantly be placed into the public domain. This includes future blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, ebooks, etc. If I decide to copyright something new, I’ll include an obvious copyright notice. Otherwise you can safely assume it’s in the public domain.
This does not, however, apply to my book Personal Development for Smart People, which shall remain copyrighted for the time being. The book is still actively published by Hay House and other publishers in various languages.
What Does This Mean?
It means that I no longer “own” this work as my intellectual property. You now have as much right to it as I do.
Here are some of the things you can do now with the content I created if you so desire:
•Repost it on your own website as much as you want
•Translate it into other languages
•Transfer it to different media (articles-> audio, books, etc.)
•Make money from what you create (sell it in ebook form, post it on your website and make money from advertising)
•Create derivative works based on my content (i.e. books, movies, software, etc.)
Here are some more specific examples of what you can do:
•Package the polyphasic sleep articles into an ebook, and give it away free or sell it
•Create a website to share my content in another language, translating as much of it as you desire
•Include some of my articles in your company newsletters
•Turn my subjective reality articles into an audio program
•Turn 1000 of my Twitter/Facebook updates into an iPhone Daily Inspiration app
•Develop a workshop or seminar based on my productivity content
You don’t need to ask my permission to do this. You can simply go ahead and do it now.
I’d rather that you not ask me permission anyway. I don’t need the extra email.
If you’re not sure about something, consult your inner guidance and make whatever decision you believe is right. Or talk to a lawyer if you’re concerned about legalities.
Definitely don’t ask me to do anything that would involve lawyers, contracts, exclusivity, or obligations."
I would send the excerpt you just posted below to Amazon in another email. The customer service team may have misunderstood like I did. If you can get a phone number, call.
It may also be that Amazon is in a review process. I would imagine before they restore your account they have to go through several steps to prove that they did 'due diligence' in correcting any possible infringements (especially on the heels of the Megaupload guy getting arrested in New Zealand, even though he wasn't specifically involved in any infringement himself (well, I'm assuming he wasn't, just his company...)
It sounds like you're doing everything right to try and correct the situation. I agree that you should try to get a hold of an actual representative by phone as your next step. Have the emails you sent on hand when you call.
Mostly because public domain stuff is such a gray area. For example, I heard that the copyright laws protecting works before a certain year were extended. Why? Because Disney was about to go into the public domain. And that's one company powerful enough to rewrite copyright laws. Probably a good thing their interests fall in line with author's interests.
If Amazon is going to terminate accounts subjectively (i.e. letting some people publish public domain works while forbidding others from publishing public domain works from the very same author, then I would prefer that no public domain content be allowed to be published.
Hey thetimucuan, did Amazon ever respond to your emails about having to re-upload that book back in January?
Any sage advice out there? vlgallas, notjohn, I avert my eyes from your general radiance...
Women wore a short fringed skirt, perhaps of some bark fibre, with their hair flowing loosely. Men went naked, except for the breechcloth, but had the whole body elaborately tattooed. They bunched the hair in a knot on top of the head, and wore inflated fish-bladders through holes in their ears. They were tall and well-made, described as of great strength and agility and remarkable swimmers. Scalping and mutilation of the slain enemy were universal, and the dismembered limbs were carried from the field as trophies or to serve for cannibal feasts. Polygamy was customary. Gross sensuality was prevalent. Functional literacy was abhorred.