Wow, Amazon closed my Associate account because of one-boxing?!


#1

Houston we have a problem:

My Amazon Associate account was closed because of one-boxing.

They claimed that reproducing the logo locally was a violation of their trademark.

I went to the page to find what was wrong and it looks like it was a simple link someone had posted that had been one-boxed … it had uploaded the logos onto the forum presumably?

I haven’t yet responded but that’s pretty unfortunate:

Hello,
After an application has been rejected it can’t be reinstated. We found unapproved use of Amazon in your site example.com/the-page-we-didn't-like. If your website has removed unapproved amazon trademark and now contains unique and original content, please submit a new application and we’ll be happy to review it. Here’s the URL for submitting a new application:
amazon’s-website
Your original Associates ID is no longer active. If you have links on your website that include that ID, you’ll want to update them to use your new Associates ID.
We hope to see you again soon.
We’d appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today.
Best regards, amazon.com

Has anyone else had this experience?

Looks like to achieve compliance I will have to remove all one-boxes from the site? Or is there an easier solution?

I found the blacklist setting :wink: I will still need to go through all old posts or rebake?


(Mittineague) #2

Can you target the logo with CSS and display: none it?


#3

Might be able to, but not sure if they are using tools to find the html, in which case that wouldn’t work as it would still be in the html?


(Mittineague) #4

I guess it would be best to ask them if that would be good enough. If not, maybe it’s as easy as removing line 1 ?

Then maybe a CLI command to rebake posts based on something common to them (links to Amazon?)


(Jeff Atwood) #5

What logo? Screenshot please?


#6

Did they offer to explain how that is different from linking to a product page using the code Amazon provides?

Example:

Same product page as oneboxed by Discourse:

The Amazon Conditions of Use state "You may not frame or utilize framing techniques to enclose any trademark, logo, or other proprietary information (including images, text, page layout, or form) of Amazon without express written consent. " Is that what triggered the violation?


#7

Yes I believe so, its the logo that is rendered in the one-box?

image

The top left one

This was in the original communication of closure:

We have completed our review of your application to the Amazon Associates Program, which included a visit to the website where you planned to create links to our store.
We found you listed the URL for your web site as: https://www.example.com Your web site includes the unapproved use of Amazon.com trademarked words, images, or reviews.
We do not allow the use of URLs, trademarks, logos, etc. that include words that are trademarked by Amazon.com LLC. This includes variations or misspellings of any trademarked words. We are therefore unable to approve your application. Accordingly, we have closed the account under which you had been temporarily approved and that approval has now ended.
If your website has been further developed and now contains appropriate content, you are welcome to submit another application by using the following URL:
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join
Please review our Operating Agreement for further details:
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement
We hope to see you again.

At least they said ‘see you again’ but otherwise, of course, these kinds of communications are a bit blunt!

You also lose all your accrued credit!

Obviously a solution is to:

  • blacklist their URL’s for one box in the Site Setting: onebox domains blacklist
  • search for all instances of at least amazon.co and re-instate the link but this should not now create a one-box?

It’s a bit of shame, because one-boxing obviously makes ad-hoc links look much better!

Does Facebook have a licence for their Amazon previews?


(Jeff Atwood) #8

We haven’t seen this ruling before on any sites that use Amazon affiliates. So either you got a weird / bad / oddball customer service rep, or your site is doing something else Amazon doesn’t like, somehow.


#9

The link they gave me was a user’s post which contained some ordinary text and an amazon link which had been one-boxed … that’s it afaik.

The one thing that I am doing which others may not is using Amazon OneLink which may include enhanced contractual demands or making more of my links visible to them as the javascript they provide your affects your entire site.

I will keep you posted if you like as I’ve amended and re-applied.


(Mittineague) #10

I have difficulty reading minified code. but it looks like the widget you’re using inserts an iframe

https://z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs

It might be best to not enable oneboxing Amazon links if you are using that widget?


#11

I can definitely live without one-boxing of Amazon links, but I’m quite a fan of the one-box previews so it’s a shame.

It’s also more work to manually go in and re-format them to Amazon approved linked images, but there you go.

I don’t get a deluge of them so it should be manageable, but it would be nice if it was automatic.

They seem to be basically accusing me of plagiarism for what is effectively a piece of code that is nicely formatting a preview of the target …

It’s scarily similar to the propsed enhanced digital copyright law elements of the EU want to bring in btw, that demands you seek a licence for such a preview.