is this legal? is this right?

Checking out :: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web I realized the reviews are Amazon reviews. But […]

Checking out :: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web I realized the reviews are Amazon reviews. But no name is attached. Same for wordboost and anybook4less. Do people know their words will be out there without their names attached? I assume Amazon leases the reviews, and makes a bit of money off it. We sign those releases too quickly… not sure why I am disturbed so much, yet I am… “customer reviews” … whose customers?


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  1. 1
    Gunnar Langemark

    I don’t know about the lawyer stuff, but I think it is fair use when HallHTML has a VERY clear link to Amazon. Aren’t they an affiliate of some kind?
    Clearly Worldboost is. You actually buy the book from Amazon.

    AnyBook4less is not even selling the book afaik. Amazon shouldn’t mind when only wallmart can match their offer, and you probably are a customer at Amazon already.


  2. 2

    thinking further, I realized what bothered me was the lack of credit. I missed the names or usernames of the reviewers. It’s a small thing to write a review, but all you get is credit.

  3. 3
    Adam Kalsey

    Amazon has a public Web services interface that allows people to retrieve product data from Amazon for inclusion on their own sites. There are some restrictions on the use of the data, but as far as I know, attribution for individual reviewers isn’t one of them.

    Sites must indicate that the product data is coming from Amazon, however.

    Shameless plug: If you use Movable Type and want to automatically include Amazon product data or your wishlists in your weblog, try my MTAmazon plugin.

  4. 4

    Last year there was an interesting (and rather tragic imho) court case in which a Danish judge ruled that a news ticker, which charged it users to retrieve the latest news headlines, could not deep link directly to content on the news sites. The ticker site which is rather like Google news (but edited by humans) was told that it could only link to the home page of site and metion what stories each site was running. The judge ruled that by linking directly to the stories the news sites were being deprived of revenue from their advertising streams. This ruling can only increase the need for IA if people are trying to find specific things after being linked to a homepage rather than specific content.

    Personally I think this case was complete overkill and I wonder how long the internet would begin to fall apart if no deep linking was permitted on the internet. Solutions like Geocities (which uses technology) to stop people from linking to particular items such as images is fair, I do not however see legal attacks as justified or reasonable.

    If you compare this to what HallHTML appears to have done, it seems they have literally stolen content from Amazon without actually crediting them at all. Quoting their disclaimer at the bottom of the page “Copyright © 2002 Holomedia, All rights reserved.” surely some of the content belongs to Amazon even if it has been lent.

    My 2 pence.

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