Writing online today is not as rosy as in the old days, thanks to journalist who didn't like the change the Internet brought about. In days gone by writers were paid for their work, but then some old school journalist decided that if they didn't want to write a particular kind of content, then no one should, so they started calling some sites "content farms" and bashing those who wrote for them.
In some cases their criticism was justified, but not for the most part. OK, even I admit "How to place a body in a casket" is beyond a stupid title to write about, but even more creepy was that someone had searched for it. You see, the whole basis of a GOOD content farm is to give the people what they want. So, they found out what people were searching for and handed out assignments to willing writers, paying them $15.
Well, again, the "real" journalist got upset because the other farmers were getting paid for that. They thought a writer should be paid hundreds of dollars for that article which was a quick read. So they made enough of a stir that Google pretty much slammed content farms, and almost made them go away. So now you only see a piece by some card carrying member of the press corps, or rather, you can see the syndicated column of one person on a ton of sites. It should be noticed that the main plagiarizers online have been by traditional journalist, since content farms required all content to go through a Copyscape type program.
Demand Studios threw their loyal writers under the bus and other sites have either shut down or now require "unique" (not available anywhere else) content to be posted for FREE or for the promise of "exposure." So, card carrying journalist won sort of, but in a way they didn't since you have sites like HuffingtonPost and Forbes.com with free writers and requiring those writers to bring in readers.
Oddly enough, journalist also had issues with bloggers too, but bloggers (the good ones) have been able to live past the changes and have audiences that can rival some of the best news sites, ie, Mashable.
Amazon has been on a roll lately with blocking, suspending and terminating Kindle accounts. Some with good reason, but others just going way overboard. Let me note, these rules do NOT apply to print editions of books, but specifically e-books. The reason is simple, it is faster to publish an ebook, so everyone has been.
I received this email from Amazon yesterday demanding that I submit the following lines to them, though the book is not available on their kindle site except by me, but since you can get the book after hours of looking, elsewhere, it is now off limits. Thanks whiners who insist you KNOW where to get all your ebooks free.
“I confirm that I will remove any content for which I do not have the exclusive publishing rights and that I will adhere to all terms in the Content Guidelines when submitting new content.”
When you break it down, it boils down to this according to Amazon. ANYTHING that you can find for free including your blog posts may not be then turned around and made into an ebook. It doesn't matter if you add pages, but the fact that the posts were free and distribution encouraged, you may not sell them on Amazon. But wait, there is a work around if you sign up for their blog program where they set the price and give you some money (if you make any).
So, bottom line, all the "ebook gurus" who have been selling you PLRS, evergreen ebooks for you to slap your name on, etc are off limits on Amazon. You may NOT use ANY content which is available freely online unless you translate it, illustrate it or annotate it. Or, as I would think, rewrite it enough that you can file a copyright on it which Amazon can then not argue with.
I applaud Amazon for cleaning up the store, but it is clear they are not really going by their own guidelines and are just throwing everything out including the kitchen sink. Those who send that idiotic line in will get their account restored, and those who don't won't. It's that simple.