Amazon selling? Are they kidding?!

by kda1
29 replies
The Sellers Agreement on Amazon is ridiculous in the extreme!

Under the General Terms paragraph "4. License" you essentially give to Amazon the right to all that your sell through them. That "right" allows them to use your trademark, materials, data or anything else you're selling.

So, if you're selling a gadget you patented or made yourself then Amazon can copy and reproduce in quantity whatever you're selling through them.

Will they do it? If the idea is good they will!

Anyone have any comments about this?
#amazon #kidding #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Amy Harrop
    Amazon has a lot of restrictions for sellers. They are very customer-centric. However, many sellers work with and put up with their restrictions because it's worth getting your products in front of so many buyers. I wouldn't worry too much about them taking your idea and manufacturing it, but I suppose it could happen.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858015].message }}
    • I've never looked into selling anything of my own on Amazon, but I am big into their affiliate system. I guess this is how some of these big companies tend to roll these days...look at the Big G..they pretty much do what they want purely because they have the number to do it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5876872].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kittmulcahy
    Seriously??? That seems crazy, I can't imagine that all of the brands that sell their products on amazon are giving up the rights to their products. If I were you I would contact an Attorney to read through the legal mumbo jumbo. Good Luck!!
    Signature

    Be the Change you want to see in the World...Ghandi

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858031].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by kda1 View Post

    So, if you're selling a gadget you patented or made yourself then Amazon can copy and reproduce in quantity whatever you're selling through them.

    Will they do it? If the idea is good they will! Is this your Opinion ?

    Anyone have any comments about this?
    Why would Amazon want to get into Manufacturing ? Even if the product is a huge profit maker Amazon would rather sell it than build it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858074].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author robyna
    They're ridiculous. I once had a website where I wanted to sell groceries off Amazon but I had the word "Amazon" in my url. I had to shut the website down because you can't use that word in your url. You would think if someone wanted to sell something on their site they wouldn't care about the url!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858134].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by robyna View Post

      You would think if someone wanted to sell something on their site they wouldn't care about the url!
      I wouldn't honestly think that, at all, Robyna.

      There's a legal issue, here, which makes that irrelevant.

      I'm not a lawyer but it seems to me that one of the points about trademarks is that they effectively confer obligations, as well as rights, on the trademark owner. When Amazon apply to get their trademark renewed, if it could by shown by someone that they'd knowingly failed to prevent, or failed to act over, a breach of it, they might be in real trouble - as people have been before, in those circumstances.

      This is why so many businesses defend their trademarks so vigorously, even when people are using them in a domain-name in an attempt to sell the company's products.

      The superficial logic of "Well, we should allow it because this person's helping to sell our stuff" simply doesn't apply at all. "Just saying" ...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858266].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ExpressFans
    This can't be true Is a crazy idea
    Signature
    Cheapest Facebook Fans / Twitter Followers / Google + / YouTube services ONLINE! 500 Fans only $7!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858299].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Can you give us a direct link to the Amazon policy?

    Without seeing it for myself, I can only guess what they are talking about.

    What they may be saying is that if you have a product that you want to sell on Amazon, then you are giving Amazon the right to use your trademark in the selling of your product. For example, if you are Coca-Cola and want to sell on Amazon, then you are giving Amazon permission to use your trademark, images, descriptions, and so on.

    How could they sell Coca-Cola WITHOUT that permission?

    Then there is the other possibility: it's to help sellers against 3rd parties acting in a bad way. Let's say an Amazon affiliate is trying to sell Coca-Cola products on their own page, but they have a bunch of stuff that besmirches the name of Amazon and Coca-Cola, then it's possible that the Seller's Agreement would apply to how 3rd parties can sell via Amazon.

    My guess, and without a link it is ONLY a guess, is that this is much ado about nothing.

    All the best,
    Michael
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858334].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kda1
      Here's Amazon's seller agreement. Take a look at paragraph number 4 and also the definitions. They aren't fooling around- they're serious. So if you have a very good product they can take it and manufacture it and there's nothing you can do about it.

      The "they probably won't" argument isn't one I want to test.


      General Terms

      4. License.
      You grant us a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, perform, display, distribute, adapt, modify, re-format, create derivative works of, and otherwise commercially or non-commercially exploit in any manner, any and all of Your Materials, and to sublicense the foregoing rights to our affiliates and operators of Amazon Associated Properties; provided, however, that we will not alter any of Your Trademarks from the form provided by you (except to re-size trademarks to the extent necessary for presentation, so long as the relative proportions of such trademarks remain the same) and will comply with your removal requests as to specific uses of Your Trademarks (provided you are unable to do so using standard functionality made available to you via the Amazon Site or Services); provided further, however, that nothing in this Agreement will prevent or impair our right to use Your Materials without your consent to the extent that such use is allowable without a license from you or your affiliates under applicable law (e.g., fair use under United States copyright law, referential use under trademark law, or valid license from a third party).
      If Your Elected Country is the United States, conditioned upon your compliance with the Trademark Usage Guidelines, Amazon grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, revocable right and license during the term of this Agreement to use the Amazon Marks solely in connection with your use of the Services for which the Amazon Marks were provided to you. You must use the Amazon Marks solely in the manner in which they were provided to you, meaning you may not change, alter, amend, vary, or modify the Amazon Marks in any way, at any time. You may not use any Amazon Mark except as expressly provided herein, and may not sublicense these rights or otherwise permit any party to use the Amazon Marks. You acknowledge that Amazon and its affiliates are the sole owners of the Amazon Marks, and you agree to do nothing inconsistent with that ownership. All goodwill arising out of your use of the Amazon Marks will inure to the sole benefit of Amazon and its affiliates. Amazon may revoke your license to any or all of the Amazon Marks at any time in its sole discretion. Upon the termination this Agreement, or termination or suspension of the Services for which any Amazon Mark was provided to you, you shall immediately cease and discontinue all further use of the Amazon Mark.



      "Intellectual Property Right" means any patent, copyright, Trademark, domain name, moral right, trade secret right, or any other intellectual property right arising under any Laws and all ancillary and related rights, including all rights of registration and renewal and causes of action for violation, misappropriation or infringement of any of the foregoing.

      "Your Materials" means all Technology, Your Trademarks, Content, Your Product information, data, materials, and other items provided or made available by you or your affiliates to Amazon or its affiliates.



      "Your Product" means any product that is made available for listing for sale, offered for sale, or sold by you through the WebStore Service or the Selling on Amazon Service, and/or fulfilled or otherwise processed through the Fulfillment by Amazon Service.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5876685].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author joseph7384
        [DELETED]
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883674].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by joseph7384 View Post

          Wouldn't it have been enough to just show #4 above, rather then making us scroll through the entire policy, just saying.
          After I read the M-Edge lawsuit, there's no way that I would sell on Amazon.com. #4 spells it all out. They can steal your product and bury your sales page and that's exactly what they did with M-Edge.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883703].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author kda1
          Originally Posted by joseph7384 View Post

          Wouldn't it have been enough to just show #4 above, rather then making us scroll through the entire policy, just saying.
          No, it wouldn't. The link changes constantly to the entire agreement. Also, I would've quoted Amazon out of context to make my argument better. That wouldn't be right.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883975].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    I doubt that their license gives them any right to reverse engineer a patented invention.

    However, "extreeme" TOS for people wishing to use Amazon to market, sell, process, and fulfill products are designed to allow Amazon to freely, without fear of infringement, adapt offers to various marketing and sales strategies and technologies that they sydicate throughout the internet.

    For example... if you list something on Amazon they do not want to be sued for trademark infringement because they offered it using new marketing and sales formats.

    Pretty much any online marketplace needs extreme terms to try and protect themselves from known and unknown liabilities and though they may sound like they go a little too far... since Amazon is taking all the risk they want to cover their butt so that you do not sue them for doing what you asked them to do which is help you sell your stuff.

    But like Michael says... if you want to discuss the terms and what they really mean then include an actual link or quote them verbatim.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5858811].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zaco
    I don't think they mean to takeover your trademark or have the right to use the patents but you never know..its not only Amazon..its everybody now is doing this..

    Look at Google and their privacy policy..they have the right to use u r personal data to their advertising advantage and you agree to it because you want to use their services, Amazon might be the same, if you want to take advantage of their service then you will have to pay the price..I am not saying its right but they have the power and someone needs to stop them
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5876724].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kda1
      You're right. All they have to say is, "If you don't like it- sue us". I wonder who'll win?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5876739].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    The restrictions irk me as well, though I've never sold there directly. I do have many contacts that do. I can understand why many people deal with it, considering the amount of potential buyers on Amazon, but for me the restrictions are excessive.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5876756].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    First, whenever you agree to any term of service with a big company, you literary have made an agreement with the devil.

    Their Term of Service is too wide and give them too many rights. People don't read, because their mentality is "What other option do I have ?".

    So, to come over themselves, everybody start asking himself what harm does it do ? Well, maybe nothing for now, but what about in the future ?

    Let us look on the biggest company in U.S. (Wal-Mart) each single company in usa is dying to give them their best price because, they need walmart to distribute their products. If you read a little about Wal-Mart history, they actually have stolen products before and rename it under their name (Why will they do that ? because they can). I came a cross an article about them taking over a cat food company, replacing their bags with the save money bags of WalMart. Why the company will not sue ? I would doubt if walmart is their biggest distributor if not the only one, that they take such a risk.

    Now, I don't say Amazon will want to take over your trademarks, but these term of service is not only to protect them, but to give them leverage over you.

    if you have your own product, I would say you are better in your own. Amazon / eBay are no longer the ultimate marketplace, and people do look elsewhere.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5876914].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author focused
    It's a trade-off that many marketers are more than willing
    to agree to. Just accept the low potential risk of Amazon
    grabbing your product in order have access to their valuable
    marketplace.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5882911].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Read that fourth paragraph again. It says nothing at all about reverse-engineering, manufacturing, or anything like it.

      It says that if you sell your product via Amazon, they get to use your advertising copy, product photos, logos, etc. to promote your product. They expressly deny themselves the right to violate your trademarks, and offer the option to cancel said licenses at any time.

      In return, you also get the right and license to use Amazon's marks in your own promotions, should you choose to do so.

      It's pretty simple once you deconstruct the legalese. And not the dastardly plan to steal IP that some make it out to be...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5882967].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author kda1
        Your opinion is not the interpretation the Amazon representative told me.

        They've made their intentions and interests clear. That's good enough for me to stay away from them.

        Stealing, in any form, is wrong.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883951].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Yep, like I said in my first post. Much ado about nothing. This is simply a clause that allows Amazon to use your images, or to reproduce some of your book (such as the "Look Inside" feature) to help sell it.

    It looks like my guess was right, and now that I have read their terms, I agree with John McCabe's take on it.

    Of course, we're not lawyers, so if Brian Kindsvater would like to jump in, that would be great.

    All the best,
    Michael

    p.s. A LINK to their terms would have been just fine instead of the 30,000-word behemoth you posted. Whew!
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883149].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kda1
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Yep, like I said in my first post. Much ado about nothing. This is simply a clause that allows Amazon to use your images, or to reproduce some of your book (such as the "Look Inside" feature) to help sell it.

      It doesn't say that at all.

      It looks like my guess was right, and now that I have read their terms, I agree with John McCabe's take on it.

      McCabe isn't Amazon.


      Of course, we're not lawyers, so if Brian Kindsvater would like to jump in, that would be great.

      All the best,
      Michael

      p.s. A LINK to their terms would have been just fine instead of the 30,000-word behemoth you posted. Whew!
      It would've been nice but the link changes so you wouldn't have seen the same thing I saw.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883960].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
        Originally Posted by kda1 View Post

        It would've been nice but the link changes so you wouldn't have seen the same thing I saw.
        Fair enough. Then I will say thank you for posting it.

        Perhaps it's a matter of how we are interpreting what it says. While it seems like over-reaching to me, it doesn't seem to be a cause for serious alarm.

        That being said, it's good to see that there are people who actually read the terms of an agreement.



        All the best,
        Michael
        Signature

        "Ich bin en fuego!"
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5884059].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Read this:

    M-Edge Files Lawsuit Against Amazon For Patent Infringement, Fraud

    Amazon Accused of Extortion, Patent Infringement and More in New Lawsuit | Techland | TIME.com

    The Maryland-based company is accusing Amazon of unfair competition and threatening to hide its products in search results after M-Edge denied Amazon’s request to increase its commission on Kindle cases from 15% to 32%. Sound ridiculous? It gets weirder: According to the lawsuit, M-Edge paid Amazon $6.5 million to remain visible in its marketplace only to discover that its products were suddenly listed as unavailable, just as Amazon launched its own version of the product.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883578].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Eleanor
    It's about weighing up the benefits of selling on Amazon vs the chances of them "stealing" your idea/product and selling it for themselves.

    I think it would depend a lot on the kind of products you are talking about selling on Amazon - some are more at risk of being recreated by Amazon than other.

    As usual it's a risk vs reward thing - just like most things in business.

    However, I will say that it's probably not a risk I would take
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5883784].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    Try not to take to heart everything that is spelled out in the sellers agreements....

    If you avoid using Amazon in your domain name as well as any other trademarked term, you'd be 99% in their good graces. Domain name usage is the one area that they enforce vigorously so be careful!
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5884737].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author hellohellosharp
    Originally Posted by kda1 View Post

    The Sellers Agreement on Amazon is ridiculous in the extreme!

    Under the General Terms paragraph "4. License" you essentially give to Amazon the right to all that your sell through them. That "right" allows them to use your trademark, materials, data or anything else you're selling.

    So, if you're selling a gadget you patented or made yourself then Amazon can copy and reproduce in quantity whatever you're selling through them.

    Will they do it? If the idea is good they will!

    Anyone have any comments about this?
    This is nothing to really worry about. This is mainly just to protect crazy sellers from putting a product up and then suing Amazon for having copyrighted images or something.

    Extreme times call for extreme terms of use
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5884747].message }}

Trending Topics