updated 03:40 pm EDT, Wed September 29, 2010
Amazon App Store for Android terms leak out
Amazon's upcoming Android App Store will have terms that will let it alter apps against developers' wishes to add copy protection, a leak of the terms and conditions has shown. The tentative developer agreement for the store would give Amazon full rights to change an app to use "technologies enabling digital rights management." Developers could choose to make apps copyable but would have no choice but to use Amazon's choice of DRM, SlashGear's source discovered.
The terms should help users as the store will keep copies of apps for a necessary re-download even if pulled from the store, but they would also ban any apps from launching on Android Market or another store before they reach the Amazon portal. The retailer has often negotiated similar terms for e-books on the Kindle store.
Pricing should match Apple's with a $99 yearly fee, but programmers will have the option of either a typical 70 percent cut of the selling price or 20 percent of the list price.
The rules wouldn't prevent sideloading apps from the web or otherwise outside of a store, but the rules would impose many of the behavior from the iOS App Store on a platform characterized as open. Google has a layer of protection as well but doesn't set a similar level of terms for DRM or for accessing apps beyond its own doors.
The reason for the Amazon store isn't as clear cut, but it may be keen both to get into mobile software as boxed, desktop software declines as well as to lay the groundwork for a tablet rumored to be coming sometime after the store is ready.