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Giving back, Marketing, and Community Good Will.

Discussion in 'Notice Board' started by JCFarnham, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    If you're uncomfortable doing reviews, there's no reason for you to do reviews.

    Personally, I don't think there's any reason to stop. If you write solid reviews that have merit, I do not feel like Amazon is going to have any reason to act against you. I think that, if they did act against you, public opinion would be on your side, not theirs (again, if you're not abusing the system).

    The advice given in that chapter of Make a Killing on Kindle should NOT be followed. Every review on the book says that Amazon takes a very hard stance against doing what he suggests.

    I also agree with Steerpike that Amazon does not "own" my reviews. They have the right to use your review. That does not mean you give up your right to use it yourself.

    Again, though, if you feel uncomfortable with doing something, the solution is simple - don't do it. You're probably not going to have a lot of luck, however, convincing the rest of us that your opinion is the correct one.
     
  2. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    So by "own" I think I can clarify by saying "have the exclusive rights to in perpetuity." I don't have a problem writing a different feel review for Amazon on what I do review and will continue going that route.


    So I'm not sure how opinions can be correct. But as far as evidence of this actually happening, here is the Guardian's article with links to the original author that popularized the story: Amazon removes book reviews by fellow authors | Books | guardian.co.uk

    And I was misremembering when I said this would result in my books possibly not being sold; in this instance and in other instances of people not being able to review that I've read the threat was made to the person doing the review, but was directed at the work they were reviewing.

    But regardless of this or not, it is right there that Amazon does not allow you to write reviews on products that can be considered competing with yours. Since they can fairly arbitrarily decide what is competing or not (or use their many algorithms to mathematically support their argument), they can remove the reviews at will. I will stick with Goodreads and my blog and if people don't want reviews in those venues, then that is their choice before asking me to review it.
     
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    So it took a while, but more support for what I was saying concerning Amazon owning your reviews.

    From Amazon.com Help: Conditions of Use

    COPYRIGHT

    All content included in or made available through any Amazon Service, such as text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, digital downloads, and data compilations is the property of Amazon or its content suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws. The compilation of all content included in or made available through any Amazon Service is the exclusive property of Amazon and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws.​

    Furthermore, this includes the service "Your Profile" which is where your reviews are made available through. This suggests to me that Amazon believes they own your reviews that you made available through their service.


    ...not that I have a problem with them owning a review I wrote for their website. I actually don't care. I just brought this up as a tangential point to support the fact that Amazon is a little bullish with their reviews. This policy has nothing to do with why I won't write reviews on Amazon fantasy, sci-fi, horror and math books. For that, see my previous post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    If this article is correct, this is an egregious abuse by Amazon. I'm already ticked about some of their heavy handedness. This could easily cause me to go into full boycott mode.

    I read the article and did not see a report of any such threat.

    I'll let Steerpike weigh in on this because I'm sure his interpretation of legalese is much better than mine, but, by your reasoning, you need to immediately cease and desist using your avatar. As a part of the icon you use to advertise your book on Amazon, it is graphics used on Amazon. Therefore, Amazon owns it. If you do not have their permission to use it here, I'd advise you to stop at once.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    As I said above, you need a written agreement. Here is the applicable portion of the Copyright Act in the U.S.:

    Also, if you look at the excerpt Zero Angel posted carefully, you'll see they are claiming copyright in the "compilation" of content on the site, which is something they provide and may have some copyright interest in. That would prevent you reproducing the compilation of content on the site, but not your individual review, for example.

    In the section before it, they say "All content included in or made available through any Amazon Service, such as text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, digital downloads, and data compilations is the property of Amazon or its content suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws." (emphasis added).

    If you provide the review, you're the content supplier with respect to that review. Those are my arguments.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  6. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    You have to read the original blog report with copied e-mail from Amazon: Do Some Damage: Amazon Deletes My Review of Karma Backlash

    Hello,
    We have removed your review from Karma Backlash.
    We do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product. This includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product. As a result, we've removed your reviews for this title. Any further violations of our posted Guidelines may result in the removal of this item from our website.​
    The last line is the "threat" I was referring to. I also saw this in a recent story here: The Kill Zone: Et Tu, Amazon?

    As I said before, I don't really care much about the copyright part, but in this case the Terms of Service using KDP trumps the Conditions of Use I referenced above, which is also backed up in the Conditions of Use documentation where they say the Service Terms for any particular service take precedence over the Conditions of Use when the two are inconsistent.

    Didn't see the content supplier part, that was foolish of me. I cannot find any further stories of people not being able to post reviews because their reviews that were up on Goodreads and B&N, so it is possible this was more of a rumor that the Internet has since rectified. As I said before, I don't really care about making a review specifically for Amazon. To err on the safe side, I will continue to make tailored reviews for Amazon, but I appreciate the analysis.

    Without the content suppliers part, I would think that Amazon would argue by signing up for their services you "signed" the document saying they get control so that could be the conveyance, yes?
     
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Keep in mind there is no reason Amazon can't decide to remove reviews that are also available elsewhere. There is nothing that forces them to keep any particular review in place. The same goes for items sold through the site. So there is a risk with Amazon, or any other ecommerce site, that if you do something they dislike they might stop selling your product.
     
  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Great point. To describe what I alluded to, I read a report that people were receiving notice that Amazon was telling them they were taking down their reviews because they were available elsewhere. The argument was made that Amazon owns their reviews when it is published on their site. If that WAS the case, then Amazon would have made the other sites take down their reviews, since they didn't, my second-hand report is logically faulty.

    But they are allowed to use your review in perpetuity even if you take your review down, yes? This is the same reason why Facebook is allowed to keep all your photos and information when you cancel their service as well, right?
     
  9. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    The Kill Zone article is the one I'm more aware of. I think in that case you need to read the comments section closely. A good number of people speak up on this or something similar happening to them. It also happens that the article is part of a joint blogging venture, i.e. a group of authors, similar to Omnivoracious and others. Peer vetted content? I'd hope so.

    Then again some fans like to jump on the bandwagon and agree for the sake of it.

    What ever the legalese of the matter is, I'm still not happy that Amazon refused to explain themselves when asked. Sure, they don't have to. But it's flagrent disregard of customer first or, lets be honest, the entire notion of "customer service"... Of which they seem to have little these days.

    I'm not happy with how heavy-handed they are these. The problem is there is very little competition else where.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  10. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Downloaded Zero Angel's The Change. Will get to it and post a review after I complete an anthology I'm working through.
     
  11. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Thank you very much!
     
  12. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    hey guys, miss me?

    i've been dragging my ass with regard to reading "flank hawk" and i didn't want to show my face around here until i was done. i'm giving final exams this week, which isn't a whole lot of fun for the students, but it means that i finally have some free time.

    anyway... just finished "flank hawk", and i'll heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a good solid fantasy adventure. i'll write a review as soon as i get the kids to bed.

    thanks for being patient, terry.
     
  13. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    sorry. i got caught up playing civ5 last night until i fell asleep. but now it's morning and i just submitted my review on amazon and goodreads. i really enjoyed Flank Hawk.
     
  14. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Robert,
    Glad you enjoyed Flank Hawk and thank you for posting your review of it. :)

    As far as Lilly's age and romantic concerns...

    It's pointed out that Lilly appears to Flank Hawk that she's about 15 years old or so. It's learned by Flank Hawk (as it's a first person POV novel) when he overhears a conversation between Lilly and First Mate on the Sunset Siren, that Lilly's only seen ten summers. It's because of what she is (won't go into it more than that for others that might read/are reading the novel). In Blood Sword more is learned/more detail, but she (Lilly) has a differing lifespan than Flank Hawk. As far as the lack of clothing for her and its affect on FH, remember the event that either directly proceeded it or followed. At least that's my thoughts.

    But no novel is perfect, especially Flank Hawk.

    Again thanks, and thank you for the thoughts on the topic.
     
  15. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    robertbevan likes this.
  16. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    wow, BWFoster78. thanks so much!
     
  17. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Posted a review of Zero Angel's The Change on Amazon.
     
  18. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Thanks TWErvin! I'm looking forward to catching up on some reading over the break and planning on reviewing yours in the near future (although I post my reviews on Goodreads and my blog).

    I appreciate the criticism for the style and know it won't appeal to everyone, but that's what experiments are for. I'm glad you enjoyed the story so much.
     
  19. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Posted a review of member, Map the Dragon's, novel Firesoul on Amazon.
     
  20. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Zero,

    I came across some additional information. This is the link to Amazon's official FAQ on Customer Review Guidelines: Amazon.com Help

    Here's the relevent question and answer:

    This clearly supports the notion that authors are allowed to post legitimate reviews as long as there is no conflict of interest.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.

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