Amazon Vine clarifies rules

Dear Vine Reviewer,

We are contacting you to let you know that there have been some changes to the Amazon Vine Voice Participation agreement.

Please note the following changes:

1) The ownership status of Vine products and the circumstances in which you may dispose of Vine products has been clarified. Ownership of Vine products supplied by Amazon or one of its subsidiaries (such as AmazonEncore books, AmazonCrossings books and Amazon Basics) transfers immediately to you upon receipt of the item and you can dispose of them at your convenience, but you may not transfer ownership to another person at any time. In the case of products provided by other suppliers, the product supplier retains ownership for six months from the date of your review, after which you may keep or destroy the product, but again you may not transfer ownership to anyone else.

2) You may submit Vine reviews on other websites, but not to any online or offline channel that advertises or offers the Vine product for sale except in the form of a link to a website operated by Amazon or its affiliates.

Please review the updated Vine Voice Participation Agreement.

You don’t need to take any further action to continue participating in the Amazon Vine programme. However, your continued participation implies acceptance of the updated agreement.

Thank you for being a Vine Voice.

Kind regards,

The Amazon Vine Team

12 thoughts on “Amazon Vine clarifies rules

      • Well, slightly on- or off-topic, I tried to order Indridason’s new book Outrage from the Book Depository.
        There is a notice on the book saying “Not available.”
        Then I wrote to them, and they answered me saying that it is available and to check on their links. I did. They sait “Not available.” So I wrote again.
        Someone else wrote back and said that they cannot sell that book to anyone in the U.S. due to country restrictions.
        I said “But it is published by Random House Canada.” The U.S. is right next door, and you can’t sell to them?” “Why not” No reply. They just said there is nothing they can do about it.
        BD’s price — when I saw it earlier — was less than Amazon US. But now that is blocked to me. So annoying.

  1. Yes, it is very annoying, Kathy, I agree. Happens the other way round, too. I hope the book is published in the US soon, or that you can buy it second hand on Abe or some marketplace. Good luck. (I would offer you my proof copy but I have already passed it on to another reviewer, sorry.)

  2. Fair enough that they don´t want reviewers to sell ARCs, but they should know how many extra reviews they have got out of your policy of sharing. And I think that is what most bloggers do.

    • I wonder if there is any legal definition to transferring owndership, though, Dorte? For example throwing a book away, or giving it away – what’s the difference? I am not going to keep many books that I’ve read whether or not I got them from Vine. And I would rather take these books to the charity shop, library, or give to a fellow-reader than put them in the bin which would seem like sacrelige!

  3. Interesting. I pulled all my reviews from Amazon a couple of years ago when I read their T&Cs and discovered copyright reverted to them and that they were “selling” these as feeds to subsidiary sites. Um, no thanks. What I write belongs to me and goes on my blog and nowhere else without my express permission. I would urge other Amazon reviewers, who also blog, to do the same.

    • Yes, I know what you mean, Kim. I only put them on there if I’ve reviewed a Vine book (and then I publish a longer review elsewhere), or I use Amazon as an archive for older reviews as a backup. I’m happy for them to sue me if they don’t like what I’m doing! However, selling my reviews is a bit rich, if they are doing that. I wonder if they’d tell me if they did do that and get any money for it? When I’ve reviewed for newspapers, they’ve often put my reviews on their syndication services (after asking me first) – I’ve seen the reviews pop up here and there in local papers as a result, but have never seen a penny for those (not that I mind, as I was paid for the first publication).

  4. Lately the things Amazon has been doing has left a very bad taste in my mouth. I’d avoid them if I could but at the rate they’re going they’re going to be the only game in town.

    • i have to admit to rather liking Amazon in most ways, though I’ve had the odd glitch in my relationship with them. Vine sends you free books, it is easy enough to quit it if you don’t like their T&Cs but I do find them a bit confusing as to what they do and don’t mind you doing with the books after you’ve read them. In the industry as a whole, it is not the done thing for a publisher to try to control what happens to the review copies of books they send out, but Amazon is acting as a publisher’s agent in this context. I don’t see why this gives them the right to try to control the disposition of the books, as they are merely the postbox not the content producer (publisher, author) – and Amazon gets the book reviewed in return for posting it to you.

      • I have sort of a love hate relationship with them–when they first came on the scene they were really a godsend as so many more books were available to me, and then when the UK store opened it was even better as that opened an entirely new market to me–one that I discovered I liked very much. Their books are cheaper, you can get them faster than most places and generally they are easy to deal with. However, I guess it’s the way they buy up the competition that has made me step back a bit. I know they’re a business and it is only natural for them to want to get as many customers and sell as much product as they can. But there is just less choice these days–and it seems as though they are manipulating the market and driving it–making all the rules. It seems like they are becoming a behemoth and I sort of fear what will happen they really do become the only game in town. Of course I suspect I am just being overly pessimistic! 🙂 I do still order from them frequently, but I can’t afford their UK store anymore (postage is too expensive)–which is why I was sad when they took over The Book Depository, as they’ve now put restrictions on what can be ordered and sent to the US that were not there before. (Sorry about that long reply–honestly don’t mean this to be a rant at all–just thinking about the situation and I can totally see how they’ve made vast improvements to book ordering for lots of people).

  5. Thanks for posting this – you’ve just dissuaded me from joining up, which I’ve been thinking about, and saved me a lot of hassle!

Comments are closed.