A quirky change in Amazon’s Product Advertising API is having a huge, negative impact on Apple developer Wil Shipley.
It looks like Shipley will have to scrap eight months of development on the iPhone version of his killer app Delicious Library, because of this sentence in the Amazon Advertising API guidelines:
You will not, without our express prior written approval requested via this link , use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device.
TechCrunch reports that Shipley tried to obtain permission from Amazon but it apparently said no exceptions were being made, adding “they told me to remove it today, or they’d shut me down.”
Amazon has been limiting access to its product data for mobile devices for nearly two years. At the time it claimed that it was "still thinking through how to best serve customers who want to use mobile devices to shop on Amazon.com."
In other words, Amazon doesn't want mobile apps to use its product database because it may want to develop a similar app some day. Amazon should allow developers to use the data in mobile applications but add a clause gives them the opportunity to turn off the faucet if they decide to compete down the road.
I don't see Amazon ever creating an app like Delicious Library, so what's the harm? DL doesn't compete with its Amazon Mobile app and if anything, DL for iPhone might encourage people to buy more products from the Internet shopping goliath. What a shame.