The Price of Amazon Connect

Authors who’ve taken advantage of Amazon’s Blog service need to be careful what they post — because they’re forfeiting any rights to their work. I’ve just been alerted to a troubling clause in the Amazon Connect Terms of Service:

"For all Author Materials that you post or submit in connection with the
Program (including any trademark or similar rights in them), you hereby grant
Amazon a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual and irrevocable right and
license throughout the world in any media to: (1) use, reproduce, publish,
translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display all of your

I think the Amazon Blogs have helped publicize me and my books (I’ve seen an uptick in my Amazon sales rankings and in traffic to my website since launching the blog). I’ve been mostly "repurposing" material from this blog over there.  But now I will seriously curtail the kinds of things I’m posting, holding back anything that might have value if compiled into another literary work  (like anecdotes about the TV biz, screenwriting advice, essays on the mystery field, etc.). I don’t want to grant Amazon free rights to my writing. It’s a shame, because the Amazon blog will suffer because of their ridiculous copyright grab.

6 thoughts on “The Price of Amazon Connect”

  1. Frankly, who gives a shit, besides yourself? These Amazon blogs are pure self-promotion. I happened to interview two authors of a book about the making of Rebel Without a Cause last October and recently happened to see some of their Amazon posts. Empty, puffy, without substance.
    Furthermore, these blogs have a very limited life. Once an author is done promoting his book, I their blog will become moribund.

  2. There’s a troubling contradiction between the restrictive prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence, and the expansive phrase at the end: “all of your Works.”

  3. Danny speaks like a true lawyer…naturally! I hope “Works” is defined somewhere? …Especially since we’ve got a little Amazon blog of our own. Not that I think anyone reasonably would construe that to mean Amazon has, through sloppy drafting, acquired those rights in ALL your WORKS, but it is funny.
    ~your sister the lawyer

  4. Question for the lawyers out there: is this enforceable? I was under the impression that, in order to be a valid contract, there needs to be some kind of consideration. (Thus, the “I’ll sell you this for $1” contracts.)
    I suppose it could be said that they are providing the server and bandwidth, but given the affiliation with their sales outlet, that seems like a stretch to me.
    Not that you, Lee, shouldn’t do as you are doing, and try to avoid litigation in the first place.

  5. You admit an increase in sales when you blog at Amazon so I believe they are owed something, but they don’t have a right to hold you and your work hostage.

  6. Well they are at least demanding only “non-exclusive” rights, so they couldn’t block your publication. It seems highly unlikely that they would somehow try to compete with anything you put out as a compilation. The only real concern is whether your publisher would consider it a detriment. If you e-published on your blog already, I don’t quite see how that’s such a problem.
    Truly the wording is frighteningly sloppy though.


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