I'm a Prime subscriber but can't watch Prime videos (TV and movies) on my regular Android device, although if I had an Amazon Kindle device I could watch them there. (And Kindle devices are an Amazon fork of Android, thus benefiting from Google's work.)
When it comes to physical streaming devices, I can use my Prime membership to buy an Amazon Fire TV, but I can't buy an Apple TV or a Google Chromecast. I could understand if Amazon wants to sell only their own device, but they do sell third-party Roku devices ("ships and sold by Amazon.com"), which means they are selectively targeting certain products.
This is pretty clearly a case of Amazon trying to use its leverage to improve its position in the streaming hardware and streaming content markets.
Arguably Google went too far by blanket blocking based on device, but it might have been the only viable option available to them. Now that Amazon has folded and made the app a wrapper to the YouTube web page rather than accessing the videos directly, I expect Google will enable access again.
What was Amazon thinking?
Google has a point about Amazon not carrying their devices, but I'd take a different approach - I'd lead every YouTube video played through a Fire device with an ad for Google's devices.
Amazon punishes Google directly as a company: users wanting Google product only have to change the URL in their browser.
Google in return punishes customer having already bought their Amazon device.
If the customer uses a Fire stick for intance, the only alternative to have youtube on the tv is to buy another dongle.
The level of fucking with the end customer is disproportionate.
For most customers, that's about as "doesn't work" as it gets.
I disagree. On the "open web", users must have the right to consume the content the way they want to. Or do you also think that adblockers, user styles, and the like are "clearly a foul"?
The fight is understandable, but that's why I'll always choose to consume content using a general-purpose computer instead of these restrictive appliances.
I'm very open web in concept, but just because I want the web to be open doesn't mean I'm entitled to everyones content for free with no restrictions.
As a content provider, you should be allowed to put whatever restrictions on it that you want - just like the real world. Just keep your restrictions off of my computer. Eg, I DO NOT want to see DRM chips on my PC to protect companies. I am certainly fine with them requiring a DRM specific browser though, I can choose not to go to their site and not to use their browser.
In the real world, I can sell you a paper magazine or give it to you for free. I cannot prevent you from ignoring the ads or hiring someone to cut them out with scissors.
If a site wants to require me to pay in order to access it, that's valid. But if they want to say "you must instruct your computer to download and display our ads", that's not valid, IMO.
My browser is an agent that works for me. The server is an agent that works for the site. We should each be free to instruct them as we wish.
// We should each be free to instruct them as we wish.
That's not what you are claiming at all. If the company's server determines you are preventing ads then it is within the company's rights to instruct the server to stop serving your browser content.
Why not? I can sell you a video stream without ads for $1. Or I can let you watch it for free with the implicit agreement that you'll watch ads (which will cover the costs of the bandwidth you are using). You want the best of both worlds - you want to watch it for free and not watch any ads. How is that not stealing my bandwidth? If you are going to block the ads, that's fine, but it's your moral obligation to back out of my site and not to consume my bandwidth.
I understand what you're saying about the producer's dependence on ad revenue. But never before has a media existed where someone could force you to consume advertising against your will.
If you provide content with ads and people decline to look at your ads, you've got a problem with your business model.
And by the way, I don't block ads on, eg, StackOverflow, because the ads are tasteful and useful. But if a site with news articles wants to show me animated, sexually suggestive ads for cheap pharmaceuticals, yes, I'm going to block that. I'm not going to let them steal my bandwidth and my mental calm for that.
> If you block ads on my website and I detect it, It's fully within my rights to blacklist you for stealing.
Other than the word "stealing", I agree. It's fully within your rights to block or allow access however you want. And it's fully within my rights to decide whether to look at your ads.
You control your server. I control my browser. This is good.
It's a terrible analogy that people should stop using in this debate. You can debate about whether it's good business on their part. You can debate about whether they should force drm onto your computer. But you can't reasonably debate that just because it's on the web they shouldn't be allowed enter into a financial exchange with consumers and that they shouldn't be able to refuse to do business with people who do not wish to enter into that exchange with them.
...until they find a way to detect whether you actually viewed the ads, or maybe even retained any of the content from them.
But you can't reasonably debate that just because it's on the web they shouldn't be allowed enter into a financial exchange with consumers and that they shouldn't be able to refuse to do business with people who do not wish to enter into that exchange with them.
You're implying that it's OK for consumers to essentially be force-fed ads, if these companies eventually develop such technology that lets them do so. Do you really want to live in such a society?
You're implying that it's OK for consumers to essentially be force-fed ads
And yes I am fine living is such a society. I can always choose not to enter into the transaction. No one is forcing me to watch Youtube, Or read a blog, Or listen to a podcast.
I think everyone can agree that adblockers go far beyond these examples you listed. Adblockers are an automated, shareable process.
> But never before has a media existed where someone could force you to look at advertising against your will.
Last time I checked nothing is stopping you from muting your computer and going to the bathroom during ads. Like I said, you just want your cake and eat it too. If you block ads on my website and I detect it, It's fully within my rights to blacklist you for stealing.
If Walmart only let you "buy" DVDs at the checkout by watching ads that the cashier shows you, how is it okay to just steal the DVDs because you don't want to watch the ads?
I can buy DVDs somewhere else, while most Internet videos are only on YouTube nowadays.
Probably they won't. WebViews don't return device ids amd don't let you set persistent cookies which are basically what's needed to get ad targeting correct on mobile.
If I owned the Youtube, I'll block Amazon too. They're practically taking advantage and not want to give anything back. Don't want to sell google appliances, don't want to participate in youtube ad program. Only word that came to mind is to describe such a attitude is leech.
This is false, the app on the fire tv is simply a webview of https://www.youtube.com/tv that is publicly accessible
They are not doing any, no my knowledge, more than wrapping that page up in a webview
I do not know what will happen on 1/1/2018. Redirecting to YouTube main page is likely not a very good option because the UI would be almost unusable on TV. I have seen some people suggesting the Silk Browser as a work around, I have tried it is it not very user friendly and does not work at all with the youtube/tv interface.
I am likely ordering a Roku Today to see if I like them, Amazon is risking alot here, this YouTube situation may be the final straw for me (and many others I suspect). They started putting ads on the FireTV Device, they are spending a crap ton of money to get Sports I have no interest in, now YouTube is pulling out. It seems every day the FireTV ecosystem get worse and worse, time to move on i think
In short Roku and nowtv is dead to me.
Google making FireTV worse means I'm not going to buy Google - I can't endorse that behaviour - so what else is there? Just no-name android devices??
Probably I'll use a hack; presumably using a proxy to mask FireTV, or stripping UA info is going to work.
From the article:
> Amazon has responded, and its response points to the unfair nature of Google effectively blocking access to the YouTube web site based on the type of device being used to access it. "Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube's existing website," Amazon's statement reads. "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible."
1. Google effectively blocking access to the YouTube web site based on the type of device being used to access it.
2. Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube's existing website
I understood it, that Google blocked Amazon to access youtube via native app. And Amazon reaction was to switch their youtube app to webview, which basically renders web version of youtube.
I feel like the web as we know it should be abandoned to coorporations and people that want an open platform for knowledge sharing should start something new that has to stay open.
"corporate interests" haven't trapped the web.
Just because mainstream viewing habits tend to converge towards a few corporate owned social media sites does not mean the web has become owned by corporations, it just means people have gotten lazy and don't want to work to discover new content.
We are building drm into the browsers themselves now. We are letting companies tell people that "there is no way to access media, unless you go through our walled garden" and defending the company! The open web is farther gone than it's ever been.
No one is putting a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to use EME when they distribute media, and it certainly will no more be the case that all media will be forced through DRM and a walled garden than it ever was. The companies that will use this are the companies that would have used DRM anyway, just in another form. The web, as a whole, is unaffected.
We don't need to "start something different" we just need to ensure that what's there can still be used for both corporations, and the public at large.
Of all these alternatives, I think bitchute.com is really innovative in that it has a Bittorrent video viewer that solves the bandwidth usage problem by going p2p. Not a lot of stuff on there yet. For now, that site is mostly full of political content that would get banned, or at least demonitized, on YouTube.
I have a hard time getting over the irony that the alt-right are going to be the ones to save the open Internet while the rest of Silicon Valley sits around and does nothing because they need to be protected by the machines of loving grace  that are the vast content moderation and filtering apparatus of the major social networks.
Of course it will be a bit slower at startup times, but it's still faster than a video that has been removed in your country or removed due other arbitrary reasons.
How moving to a new, less popular distribution mechanism would make that any better is not clear to me.
I don't think that's a particularly bad thing.
The web runs on any platform with a web browser (for the most part), native apps only run from one platform. Crippling the Web leads to more silos.
We really need to start seeing the internet as a dark and scary place again. There's too much blind trust nowadays.
yeah, all of those plain html attacks have been pretty damaging.... oh, wait, there are hardly any, because html makes sense, and is designed with the user in mind. JS is the opposite.
> including every other kind of executable code that can run from the web, such as java applets, flash and silverlight.
Those are shitty too. But just because they are worse, doesn't make JS acceptable.
I'm not overstating the malice of forethought. I get that 99% of JS is by people who want their site to work well, and use it with good intentions. But even good intentions, done wrong, lead to bad results.
Also you have to use a native app for Netflix and if they wanted to, they could also stop supporting Amazon devices at any time. There wouldn't even be a work-around thanks to EME.
The YouTube TV service doesn't use EME, no. And isn't terribly relevant to this thread either.
2. I firmly believe now that EME is standard YouTube will start using it, especially as they start rejecting independent creators in favor of more High Budget Commerical Creators and Tradional media whom they already show a preference for. These Companies will demand it just like the big Movie Studios
3. I am not subscribed to YouTube TV service so I can not confirm but do you have a source or technical document showing they do not. I would be shocked if they were allowed to get Commercial deals to carry main stream cable channels and stream then in the clear with no copy protection.
A company can introduce additional constraints on top to limit access. However this should still be done based on standards. Using a variety of derived properties to block specific device type is evil in my book. My 2c.
Of course, "all" does not include 1080p playback on Netflix unless you use Edge or Safari
(Almost everything these days is a general purpose computing device, even our "specialized" hardware is general purpose.)
Has a GPU to run games/movies? Fine.
Has an "Amazon" logo so it won't load any Amazon competitor's websites? Bull. Hocky.
This is so weird and dumb it's unbelievable. There is an Amazon Video app for iPhone and iPad why are they not supporting Android?
There is one for Roku but they have been dragging their feet with supporting the AppleTV even though they promised one "by the end of the year".
They support AirPlay to AppleTV but not ChromeCast.
Edit: it is on Play Store apparently. Might changed recently
the "standard" one just ships to certain countries, the "basic" one only ships from certain places to certain other places
I installed it from there on my devices when Prime Video launched worldwide in Dec 2016.
So there is at least an amazon video app on android in general, if it can't be on the google store I don't know.
Maybe they've got a deal with Amazon to pre-load the app? I did sideload the Amazon app store.
The iOS app works, but you can't purchase from it (I speculate because Apple would get a cut). Same goes for the Kindle app.
What are you talking about?
Either in a browser or via https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.avo... - both are working fine, even on systemless rooted android.
You can't call something open source and get all the benefits of that, while also allowing statements like this. Forking is fair play in open source, and if you don't like it, don't make your thing open source.
Or you use the GPL license instead of Apache.
FYI, Amazon finally released their app on the US Play Store a couple of months ago. Not that this excuses all their other crappy behavior, and the years it took for them to finally do the right thing.
That being said, Amazon (I believe) started this duel with stopping sales of various Google devices on their website.
This spat is dumb.
You've been able to do this for at least 3 years. Not one-step-you're-done-easy, but officially supported with no magic incantations required: https://www.theverge.com/2014/9/9/6126165/amazon-prime-insta...
200,000 reviews over that time is a lot.
Why not? I regularly watch Prime Video on Android.
But I already have Chrome installed and use Chrome 90% of the time. I just find fantastically irritating to be badgered every time i don't use it. Now i see they are upping the ante and disabling accessing services because of corporate rivalry...
Amazon/Apple/Google are all engaging in this kind of passive aggressive low-level battle where they use their own consumers as weapons to fight each other and its a method that unfortunately works
I just hope that there will be some kind of backlash against this practice in the future, but given the level of Amazon-Apple-Google fanboism going around i'm really doubting it..
Actually when you reinstall windows10, and open up browser, the first thing the browser does, is show some marketing about how much faster edge is than chrome and firefox.
And surprisingly Microsoft hasn't actually limited me with the apps i can use, services or buying physical products with
Today you have the closed-app store system's, restricted services to preferential devices and not even being able to buy products from one of the world largest outlets. They do this because in the past these companies have gained loyalty and now use that loyalty like cattle funneling customers away from competitors
It's especially annoying for desktop versions of Google web offerings. When asked about it Google cite "low market share" as a reason for lack of support, but if one excludes mobile browsers FF still has a very respectable userbase on desktops.
And yes, just as in Opera days a User Agent switch magically lets you in and everything continues to work.
I honestly don't get why they continue with these practices. Chrome quickly approaches a monopoly position in browser space, and there are precedents what happens after. Besides, Mozilla and Google often align their interests in various standards groups and together push a common agenda for Web technology progress. I don't see why Google treats Mozilla as an enemy.
And Google supports Net Neutrality too. Isn't what it is doing exactly opposite to the spirit of Net Neutrality?
Just because your opponent did something bad, doesn't mean it's ok to sink to their level.
A store that dominates its market tends to cause competing stores to close. Which creates the problem in that customers get fewer choices in stores to buy products. This would create the possibility that a dominate store would take steps to cause the competition to shut down; such as price dumping or other unethical things.
But that problem doesn't happen on the web. There's absolutely nothing Amazon could do to prevent Google from selling their product on their own site. I mean, price dumping could still be an issue but it seems no one considers that one anymore. So how can it be proven that Amazon is anti-competitive by refusing to sell a product on their site that competes directly with one of their products sold on their site? Especially when the competitor has no barrier created by Amazon to prevent them from selling the product on their own site?
After all, to be fair, shouldn't I be able to purchase an Amazon product on Google's site?
I'm pretty sure you need a lot more market share than that before any judge is going to rule your behavior as anti-competitive.
That said, I also think that regulators should keep a close eye on what's going on in online retail, particularly when it comes to specific sections of the market like books/publishing.
Google should do what Amazon does and when search for a Fire give the person a chromecast.
No, not in general, but have you seen the comments on this story? I wouldn't call them stellar and well thought.
Just because it's an invaluable service now core to using the internet, doesn't make it a public utility.
Here's the actual difference:
If Google started blocking Amazon search results there would be an upoar.
Amazon has blocked selling certain Google items, and there is barely a whimper.
Here's the other difference: When GOogle shows Amazon search results, and users go through those results to make an Amazon purchase, Google gets a cut. That's how e-commerce works on the internet.
I don't have any horses in this race, so I am not trying to take anybody's side, but since you ask, here is my opinion:
A retailer is by default selecting what items to sell.
A search engine is by default crawling everything.
So one is kind of opt-in and the other opt-out.
In response to a competitor being a big meanie, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read about why they smell in our blog.
They already got in trouble with the European union for promoting their own sites in search due to their market share.
There is a point where the EU may have to take steps beyond fines, and bar Google from doing business in... effectively, an entire continent. I don't know where that point is, but if a company doesn't really care about the fines for it's illegal activity and continues to violate the law, you've got to escalate.
And that wouldn't just impact Google's global profits, but it'd likely entail shutting down multiple Google offices in multiple countries, and if their employees weren't interested in immigrating to another country, they'd potentially lose a lot of talent as well.
I just had a look at Alphabet's stock graph from this year. I couldn't tell from it when the fine happened. So I guess they can afford another two of those.
> There is a point where the EU may have to take steps beyond fines, and bar Google from doing business in... effectively, an entire continent.
I doubt that we're anywhere near that point. Google is way too important, I also guess that the population wouldn't like everything-Google gone.
Google could even threaten to brick all Android phones in the EU, no one would risk that.
At risk of losing their data due to a legal fight, everyone would migrate their email away from Gmail. Businesses would transfer away from G Suite.
Google would never even threaten to brick all Android phones, because even threatening it would likely put them out of business.
If Google couldn't do any business in the EU, they would be going out of business anyway. So they might as well leave with a bang ;)
I mean, sure, their stock price would probably crater if they got kicked out of the EU, but they've got half a trillion dollars lying around, it's not like they're actually in need of money.
But such a outright hostile act as you suggest would lose them every partner and resource they have on a global scale.
The same applies for the EU though: It would be quite a hostile act to ban Google from doing any business in the EU, so I think this won't happen either.
Google could remove Amazon app from play store. Or remove Amazon from search. Or change terms of Android that Amazon uses for the Fire and Echo.
Did they block them, or do they simple not carry them? It is completely different.
2. Not carrying them, is Amazon simply not having an interest in carrying the item as a retailer.
Aren't they two completely different things?
No-one, Amazon directly or Marketplace resellers, is allowed to sell Chromecast on Amazon.
The MADA has anticompetitive terms, not just prohibiting signatories from developing Android forks, like Fire OS, but requiring any devices with Google apps include all of Google's mandatory apps, including many apps which compete directly with Amazon's own offerings. In short, it is not reasonably possible for Amazon to sign the MADA.
Amazon is therefore blocked from offering apps like the Chromecast app to set up Chromecasts for use with their hardware. Just as Apple does not sell hardware in it's stores which don't work with their devices, and Google does not sell hardware on their site which doesn't work with their devices, Amazon chose to not sell products which don't work with their devices.
Big Amazon customer but their behavior hurts all of tech and hope Google can straighten them out.
Google has a lot of leverage and Amazon has none as they used what they had by banning Chromecast in their marketplace.
Google should have removed the Amazon app from the play store the day Amazon started the anti competitive behavior.
Google could block their services from the Echo. Amazon is now using Chrommium for their browser and do something here. Fire is really Android and an option.
I get Google wanted to take the high road but Amazon needs to be forced to behave and hope Google has the balls to force it and we get Twitch back on the Roku.
BTW, Google came out with the chromecast 2013 and then added the YT app to the Roku or the opposite of Amazon behavior.
Amazon Pulls Their Twitch Channel from Roku - Cord Cutters News
Ergo, you can't buy an Amazon device, buy a Chromecast, and get them to work together without another outside device. And there is no technical reason for this limitation.
How is this even allowed? Is there any law on this type of stuff? Meaning as a consumer who is essentially held hostage?
I have seen cable networks do this with channels, but never this.
If MS was abusing it's market dominance then, so is Amazon now.
Amazon is big, but still is only about 36-40% of the e-commerice market share, and far far less of the over all retail Market Share which is still dominated by Wal-Mart
With the IE case, you start off in a position where you already have a browser and you have to perform an extra step to get a different one.
This ignores the most salient part of the whole scenario.
It's too bad Americans don't have some sort of organization that could protect American consumers from companies like Amazon and Google who are breaking antitrust laws in this manner.
It sure would be nice if we had some some sort of commission on trade at the federal level, to enforce the law and fight for the rights of citizens.
A crazy idea, I know, but one can dream.
> "Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube's existing website," Amazon's statement reads. "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.
Google is saying Amazon customers can't view one of their websites. That's as anti-web as you can get.
I understand Google is angry at Amazon, and maybe has good reason, but it crossed a dangerous line here.
In a kind of similar tune:
Netflix some time now refuses to run on Firefox on non Windows/Mac OS platforms. They claimed originally DRM issues, which was not the case.
I am not sure if you can bypass the block in this case by altering the application's agent entry (which you can do in the case of netflix).
1080p only works on chrome on chromeos, edge and safari. while 4k only works on edge.
"However, a source familiar with YouTube’s thinking told Variety Tuesday that this newer implementation also violated YouTube’s terms of service by layering voice control onto a web app that wasn’t designed for voice interaction."
Well bob, it's called DRM and DMCA.
Don't want it? Stop buying products that use it. Richard Stallman was right. Again.
"(A)to “circumvent a technological measure” means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner; and (B)a technological measure “effectively controls access to a work” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work."
: (a)(1)(A) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/1201
The comical turn of control that Twitter instituted around their APIs for example. Oh, Twitter likes to control its own service and network? Big surprise right.
If Comcast should be semi-nationalized into a heavily regulated public good, then why shouldn't every major web company be similarly nationalized? From Yelp to Zillow to Dropbox to Airbnb to Uber to Lyft to the giants like Google. These are big companies, what's the moral basis to force a telecom carrier to obey a net neutrality concept, but to not force huge services like Twitter or Snapchat to have to operate their own services on a strictly wide open basis such that they're barred from restricting or throttling any connections to their services? Why shouldn't all Internet services be forced by law to provide fully open API access to all of their non-sensitive data, with zero restrictions and throttling? They shouldn't be allowed to discriminate in any manner on the ability to access their data. It's an entirely arbitrary line being drawn, derived from subjective bias of the supporters.
With these companies it's always do what I say and not what I do.
If Amazon can block Google products from their marketplace, can't Google also block Amazon from showing in the search results?
If blocking Amazon from search results falls under anti-trust laws, why doesn't the first one fall under same laws?
Amazon has less than 20% of the consumer electronics market share. Google has more than 80% of the search market share. It makes a real difference. No one cares if a small store with no market share refuses to sell something. Amazon is big enough that there's some concern, but 20% to 80% is a big difference.