Amazon's Dirty Little Secret

This post is more than 2 years old.

I don't normally point to other blogs, since I assume most people who read this blog probably read the same blogs I do, but I just had to share this link over at Brandy Fortune's blog. Apparently Amazon is using a simple CSS trick to prevent people from printing pages from their new "Search within Books" feature. Does Amazon really think this will stop the casual user? How many times must people be told that security through obscurity is not a solution?

In the past, I've made the point that these types of things are better than nothing. However, this is a special case. Amazon has offered up thousands of books to the world, and they are, or should be, thinking about all the copyright owners out there. Do we really need "proof" with a page screen shot? Heck, why even have a screen shot of the whole page? It is obvious that Amazon has a database with all the words AND the screen shots, so why not simply return just the paragraph of the match, or even just a few words surrounding the match? I don't really see a need to return the whole page, and in a fashion that is so easy to rip off.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA