Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Delicious Library restricted to looking up items on Amazon US and Amazon Canada only.

Hello friends,

Today I have unfortunate news: the Amazon sites in Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Spain, and The United Kingdom have all decided to terminate their relationship with Delicious Monster this week. This means Delicious Library can no longer look up or recommend items in those stores.

Amazon sites in the United States and Canada continue to work for all users of Delicious Library 3 worldwide (but obviously are largely only in English and carry mostly items for sale in North America).

I received a variant of this notice from five of the affected Amazon sites at 11:54AM on October 25, 2017:

Amazon Associates
Your Associates Account - deliciousmons-21
To: William Jon Shipley

Hello from the Associates Program,

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.

It is important that you immediately remove all Amazon Content from your Site(s). Please be aware that any other accounts you have, or may open in the future, may be closed without payment of any fees. Amazon reserves all other rights and claims.

Because you are not in compliance with the Operating Agreement, Amazon will not pay you any outstanding advertising fees related to your account. Amazon exercises its right under the Operating Agreement to withhold fees based on violations, which include the following:

-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.

Thank you for your participation in the Amazon Associates Program.

Warmest Regards,

Since 2004, Delicious Library has used Amazon’s Product Advertising API to look up the titles and authors and cover images of items that users scan in. Over the years Amazon has changed how they want their Product Advertising API used, as is their right as the owners and maintainers of this database. Delicious Monster has tried to make sure our relationship with Amazon has stayed beneficial to them, by providing back-links inside the app to Amazon (and only to Amazon) for recommended items and items on our users’ wishlists. We do refer quite a bit of business to Amazon; that isn’t the issue as far as I know.

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.)

Again, this is their right — it’s their database, they can set any rules they want, and change them if they want.

I urge customers to not write to Amazon about this: the last time I had issues with Amazon’s Product Advertising API I got e-mails from Amazon saying they did not appreciate having Delicious Library’s users writing them mean notes, and it wasn’t helping my case — I am absolutely not issuing a call to arms against Amazon. Yes, I think it’d be great if they wanted to work with Delicious Monster but it’s totally their call if it’s not worth it for them!

If, however, anyone at Amazon would like to talk to me, I’m at I’d love to work something out.

I’d like to close by apologizing to my customers worldwide for this loss of functionality in Delicious Library. I have tried everything I can think of but I will continue trying to think of new things.

-Wil Shipley
Chief Monster
Delicious Monster Software

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