Amazon Forbidding Mobile Apps From Using Its Data

Amazon changed its terms of use for its Product Advertising API to not just forbid the use of the APIs from mobile devices, but to forbid the use of data obtained from these APIs on mobile devices. The most prominent app affected by this: the iPhone client of Delicious Library, which was pulled from the App Store today. So the Mac version of Delicious Library can obtain and use information from Amazon’s APIs, but the iPhone version not only can’t call those APIs, it can’t even sync that data from the Mac version.

I don’t really get what Amazon’s angle here is. I can’t see how forbidding this does anything but harm their own interests — selling more products. And what’s the point of forbidding the use of data obtained from Amazon on a native Cocoa touch iPhone app, but not forbidding it on a web app optimized specifically for the iPhone, except that the native app can provide a richer experience?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009