Amazon Kills Pocketpedia

For a while now, I’ve been using Bookpedia to catalog Prairie’s and my book collections, and DVDPedia for our movie collection. One of the handiest things about the system was the ability to sync our libraries to my iPod through Pocketpedia and have them available at my fingertips whenever we were out and about. No more trying to remember whether or not we’d picked up a particular book from a particular author or series, just check the iPod. It was one of my most-used iPhone apps.

Unfortunately, that’s not an option anymore: Amazon recently changed their API Terms of Service, and included the following clause in section 4(e):

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.

Since the update to the TOS, Amazon has been aggressively enforcing that clause. I saw the writing on the wall a couple weeks ago when Delicious had their iPhone app pulled, and now Pocketpedia has been killed as well.

This morning we received an email from Amazon requesting the immediate removal of Pocketpedia from the App Store since the program is in violation of their license agreement. (A clause we’re pretty sure didn’t exist when Pocketpedia launched with the App Store in June last year but TOSBack only tracks Kindle and MP3 music service terms of use.)

We’ve logged a request with Amazon that Pocketpedia be exempt from the mobile clause (this is stated as a possibility in the license agreement) but it seems others have tried this before and were shot down so we’re not holding our breath for a favourable response. Hopefully the future will bring a positive change in their policy and we can all go on competing in the App Store.

Pocketpedia Not Available

Unsurprisingly, I — and a number of other previously-happy customers — are none too thrilled with Amazon about this. I’m hoping that some workaround can be found, and that Pocketpedia can continue on (even if that means gutting it to remove all data ever retrieved from Amazon). All I can do now (aside from dropping Amazon a quick complaint e-mail, which I’ve already done) is wait and see what happens next.

Update: Hooray! As of today, Nov. 10th, 2009, Pocketpedia is back! You can download the new, Amazon-free version right here.