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Amazon App Store terms would let Amazon force DRM

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.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    So?

    Developers could choose to make apps copyable but would have no choice but to use Amazon's choice of DRM.

    And what they're doing here is saying "If you want DRM on your apps, you need to use ours. We aren't going to be supporting 628 different types of DRM on our store."

    I don't get the problem here.

    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.

    What the h*** is 'list price'? Is Amazon going to have all apps 'for sale' such that they are "List price: 59.99, Your price "5.99", you save 90%!" ?

    but the rules would impose many of the behavior from the iOS App Store on a platform characterized as open.

    The only "behavior" that is being imposed is on the selling of the apps in Amazon's store. Just like people say Apple has the right to decide what they will or won't sell at the Apple store, or Macy's has the right to decide what to sell at their store.

    However, all of this has no relation to the 'openness' of a platform. That is determined about what is allowed to run on it. You don't have to buy from Amazon, and developers don't have to go through their store, just like they don't have to go through the google market place or any other site. Most of the rules around the AppStore aren't about the sale, but whether an app is or is not allowed to be on the platform in the first place.

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