Cory Doctorow has closely read the license agreement that accompanies Amazon’s movie download service and he doesn’t like it.
“I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. A lot. I won’t ever be buying one of these movies. Amazon has a great and well-deserved reputation for amazing customer service. The rare occasions where I’ve gotten a lemon or ordered the wrong product from Amazon, I’ve been treated like royalty, with Amazon making every possible accommodation to help me out. Their Look Inside feature and the used goods marketplaces are a tremendous boon to me.
“The difference between Amazon and Amazon Unbox is like night and day. When you sign onto Unbox, you sign away all the amazing customer rights that Amazon itself is so careful to protect. Amazon Unbox takes away your privacy and every conceivable consumer right you have, and then tells you that the goods you buy from them don’t belong to you, and they can take them away from you at any time, or change the deal you get from them without any appeal by you.
“Amazon Unbox’s user agreement isn’t just galling for its evilness — it’s also commercially suicidal. No sane person will agree to this. Amazon Unbox user agreement is only a couple femtometers more dignified than being traded to another inmate for a couple packs of cigarettes.”
There’s a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the legalese, and an interesting “feature” of the service – all movie purchases use Amazon’s “1-Click” feature, so an errant click of the mouse results in a final purchase and a charge to your credit card – no shopping cart, no cancel button.