I have compiled specific Scriptures on a particular subject and am going to publish it on Amazon.com. I personally wrote a short introduction. Do I have to list my book as public domain or do I retain all the rights for publication?


1 Answer 1


IANAL but, as an anthologist, you automatically own a copyright on the anthology -- not on the passages themselves, but on the particular collection and arrangement of those passages you have made. The anthology is new and original work even if the pieces in it are not. This is true regardless of whether the translation you used was public domain or is licenced from the copyright holder.

However, you may have a different problem. It seems that Amazon does not accept books with public domain content into the kindle store, per this author's post and the links it contains to amazon's rules. https://www.facebook.com/mariaealexander/posts/303554153087452

This makes sense. People repackaging public domain material and reselling it has been a significant usability and customer experience problem for Amazon in the past.

  • Yea, I've asked relatives why they think it was a bargain to pay (some small amount) for a book that's free on Project Gutenberg. It seems they can't (or couldn’t originally) get content onto their Kindle from any source other than Amazon store.
    – JDługosz
    Dec 28, 2016 at 2:54
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    Your second paragraph does not match what the reference says: Amazon does publish books with public domain content if it is clearly differentiated and he explains how he made the determination that it’s PD. The issue is with a licenced anthology where copyrighted stories are also available elsewhere.
    – JDługosz
    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:01

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