Thursday, October 26, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Amazon Revokes Delicious Library API Access

Amazon:

We are writing to tell you that effective as of today’s date, Amazon is terminating your Associates account. Under the terms of the Operating Agreement, we may terminate your account at any time, with or without cause. This decision is final and not subject to appeal.

[…]

You are using Content or Special Links, or otherwise linking to the Amazon Site, on or in connection with a browser plug-in, toolbar, extension, or other client-side software.

Wil Shipley:

The stated reason (above) that non-North-American Amazons dropped us appears to be that we’re linking to Amazon from a program instead of from a website, which isn’t something we can change — Delicious Library is definitely a program! (I believe North America hasn’t dropped us because they understand our business model better, and because we have managed to turn off our advertising fees in the U.S. We’d love to turn them off in other countries, if we knew how, and were accepted back.)

It’s an odd and unfortunate situation. The API for searching Amazon’s catalog is only available through the Amazon Associates program, which pays a commission fee when a customer clicks through to Amazon from a tagged link and then makes a purchase. Delicious Monster is not abusing the program/API to get more commissions—indeed, they’re willing to decline the fees entirely—they just want to use the API to look up barcodes in Amazon’s catalog. It would be beneficial for all the parties concerned for the app to keep working, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to communicate that.

John Gruber:

I told the story a few months ago that I got dumped from Amazon’s affiliate program because of a single article from over a decade ago where I encouraged DF readers to bookmark my Amazon affiliate URL. I actually think that was allowed back when I wrote it, but apparently now it’s against Amazon’s terms. That’s fine. But the way they dumped me was a bit unsettling[…]

Apple’s practice is also to close an account without prior warning or a way to appeal. For better or worse, developers don’t have separate Apple accounts for different countries.

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