CBCnews

A new way to profit from other people's blogs?

It's been hard for bloggers to make money off their online writings.

But it looks like online book retailer Amazon may now have made it easier to make money off blogs – even if they're not yours.

Amazon launched Amazon Kindle Publishing for Blogs on Wednesday. The program allows anyone to publish their blog to the Amazon Kindle Store by creating an account and filling in a few simple fields such as its title, web address and description. Previously, only large, select blogs were offered at the store.

In theory, Amazon validates each entry, sets a price, and then offers it for sale through its store from 99 cents to $1.99 per month.

Customers who choose to subscribe get the blog sent wirelessly and automatically to their Kindle e-book reader throughout the day, and the person who uploaded the blog gets 30 per cent of the proceeds.

In theory, you need to agree that you have the rights to the material you upload, but in practice, you don't have to prove it. At least, that's what Josh Fraser, founder of the company EventVue, discovered when he uploaded the TechCrunch blog to Amazon as an experiment.

He alerted TechCrunch blogger Erick Schonfeld, who successfully tried the same trick with the New York Times Bits blog and wrote about it late Thursday.

That prompted journalist Paul Carr to chime in via an email to TechCrunch that this doesn't just work with blogs – it's also easy to upload and offer someone else's book for sale through the Amazon Kindle store.

Amazon later removed the "unauthorized" blogs from the store, sending a statement to TechCrunch that said the system is designed "to help rights holders launch their content as quickly as possible."

It added that people "occasionally" publish material to which they do not have the rights, but the company reacts "vigorously" to remove that copyrighted material.

It's not clear if Amazon tries to identify such material on its site or whether it simply waits for complaints.

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