Amazon Is Selling My Article?

Hi Angela,

I found out something upsetting today. Amazon is selling an article of mine, How Busy Parents Squeeze in Fitness, that I never gave them permission to sell. I was never contacted at all. I first found out about Amazon doing this through the ASJA newsletter and have sent a message to amazonwatch(at) as they instructed. Also, wanted to let you know so you can inform your readers to do a search under their name and see if any articles come up.

Had you heard about this?

Melanie Bowden

Hi Melanie,

I looked it up on Amazon. It says: This digital document is an article from Vibrant Life, published by Review and Herald Publishing Association on May 1, 2003.

It appears another company may have sold your article to Amazon. They should be the first company you contact. But, also contact Amazon immediately and tell them they’re selling something that they don’t have the rights to sell! They usually remove items immediately when alerted to a possible copyright dispute.

Let me know what happens!


UPDATE: The American Society of Journalists and Authors is tracking this situation to estimate the scope of the problem. If you find your articles for sale on Amazon and didn’t sell all rights to those articles, contact

Here is the statement about this from the website (click HERE for entire issue).

Navigating the Amazon

Continuing the discussion on secondary and subsidiary rights, we were surprised the other day to find that is selling copies of articles. Given Amazon’s hunger for revenue and exploration of presenting content online, even in terms of searchable books, this shouldn’t be surprising.

But in some cases, articles are appearing even though the writers never assigned these additional rights to anyone. Chances are that Amazon made the deal with some consolidator, but that doesn’t help the writer who receives none of the revenue.

ASJA and the Author’s Guild are looking into this situation. We’d ask that writers go to Amazon and search under their names. If you find that your work is up there and you know that you never licensed such uses, we’d ask you to send an email to We’re trying to get a scope of the problem to find an effective and equitable approach to resolving it. Please note if you actually registered the copyright on any of the pieces before February.