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back to article Amazon accused of knocking off AWS customers' products

The torrential growth of Amazon Web Services' cloud is coming at the expense of the web giant's customers, some of its partners contend – and they're not happy about the tactics being used by the company. For several months, Amazon has been encroaching onto the turf of other companies, typically by producing knockoffs of …

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Anonymous Coward

Yup, because what cloud providers really need is more doubts about their trustworthiness. That will surely make more people hand over their data.

When it comes to cloud based storage, especially public facing services such as SkyDrive, Dropbox & Google Drive, my tin foil hat is firmly attached.

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Anonymous Coward

Its not just cloud services amazon are rumoured to do this with.

Their core retail business is rumoured to do something similar. I've heard of marketplace sellers who have found their fast moving items sooner or later appearing for sale direct from Amazon.

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Anonymous Coward

Just cos it's big doesn't mean it's best

Amazon lol.

http://mattconnolly.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/comparing-amazon-ec2-to-joyent-smartos/

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Holmes

Shocked, shocked I tell you!

That is like a car company offering a stereo as standard equipment on every car instead of allowing you to choose which one you want and having it custom installed. Or including wheels and tires (tyres?) with every car.

That is like Apple or Dell or HP including an operating system in the price of their computers, destroying the market for 3rd party operating systems. Companies like Ubuntu would have to just give their stuff away for free.

Or including a web browser with every operating system; if they did that, it would just destroy Netscape as a viable business.

That is, it is business as usual. There's no crying in baseball. Sorry about your investment. And, by the way, if Amazon copied and released your stuff in two weeks after you did, you had nothing so original to begin with; you as likely copied them.

It's fine for El Reg to report the discontent, and not a bad article. But if this is the first time this occurred to you, do not be investing large sums of your own money in this sector.

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Re: Shocked, shocked I tell you!

How to sum up the entire article

TL;DR Business as usual.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shocked, shocked I tell you!

Agreed.

As a start up you can create new space very rapidly because stuff like AWS is doing the heavy lifting.

Barrier to entry is low though - especially for the folks under your own value chain.

So unlikely the money will keep rolling in after the initial success unless a) you keep moving fast b) you have a large and very sticky customer base or c) you're so disruptive the big folk don't spot your success until you're one of them.

So, for most of us that means find a buyer before you get eaten!

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Facepalm

Not just Amazon, its partners too

So, the "partners" are quite happy to make use of what they think Amazon has, for their own profits, but feel that Amazon won't want to do likewise?

No one forced them to be partners, did they?

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Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: Not just Amazon, its partners too

You make sense to a degree, but the uproar isn't about that. What is happening is that you have smaller companies doing all the R&D and advertising to find markets, then AWS swoops in like a bottom feeder and says "Thank you, no go out of business!". You bet your ass as soon as the little guys go under, Amazon's prices go up, up, and up.

I'm not a lawyer, but there might be a certain amount of anti-trust occurring. As a company, can you supply services to another company and then rip off their ideas? Is this even ethical by business standards? There seems to be enough grounds to make a case that this is Amazon's intent....to steal your idea.

FUCK AMAZON !! I hope people pass this information around so people think twice before signing up.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Not just Amazon, its partners too

Oh, I would like to add, that although what Amazon is doing is horrible and unethical, look who is feeding them! The encoder business knew that this was a possibility, yet they went ahead and gave Amazon their money! Come on, how dumb do you have to be to finance this sort of paradigm.

Fail, because the encoder company is part of a much larger problem (Ignorance).

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Alert

Re: Not just Amazon, its partners too

"...You bet your ass as soon as the little guys go under, Amazon's prices go up, up, and up..."

I don't want to come across as an apologist for Amazon, or their allegedly shady business practices, but credit where it's due. I've been using S3 for backup storage for several years now and, in all that time their prices have actually been going down, down and down. I now pay less than $3/month for slightly more storage than used to cost me about $11/month a couple of years ago.

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Bronze badge

Re: Not just Amazon, its partners too

@Mybackdoor: I'm not a lawyer, but there might be a certain amount of anti-trust occurring. As a company, can you supply services to another company and then rip off their ideas? Is this even ethical by business standards?

Yes, you can. In fact it's even commonplace. Of course to protect small businesses from this kind of behaviour there is a form of legal protection, known as patents. Which leads to the catch-22 situation of the same people whinging about Amazon doing this, simultaneously whinging about software patents which could potentially protect that investment.

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Facepalm

Something doesn't stack up here

They claim Amazon launched the same product 2 WEEKS after they did and tgus Amazon ripped them off.

Honey, if it only takes 2 weeks from seeing your product to spec, develop, test and release a copy, then your product ain't all that much, especially as it won't have taken you more than a couple of weeks yourself.

Sounds more like unfortunate coincidence than industrial espionage.

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Gold badge

It's deja vu all over again..

You know, this is all so familiar. Theft and imitation as a business model, where did I hear that before, hmm.

It was some outfit in Redmond, I think. Couple of years back. Mostly survived because it could simply keep complainants in court until they were bled dry..

C'mon on people, "those who do not learn history are bound to repeat it" applies to IT too.

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Silver badge
Mushroom

Bad laws need changing

Frankly, I'm pissed off with the excuse that "Megacorp X are duty-bound to make a profit for their shareholders" being wheeled for every affront to human dignity perpetrated by one of these out-of-control monsters.

If that's really what the law says, then it needs to be changed. A corporation's responsibility, first and foremost, should be to respect the standards of the environment which deigned to permit it to exist in the first place. Delivering a profit to shareholders should be optional. And if a corporation crosses a line in pursuit of profits, then sanctions need to be applied.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad laws need changing

Frankly, I'm pissed off with the excuse that "Megacorp X are duty-bound to make a profit for their shareholders" being wheeled for every affront to human dignity perpetrated by one of these out-of-control monsters.

It would be rather nice if shareholders got joined responsibility for what a company does, and company board and directors were made personally responsible. As long as a director can wreak havoc and then retire on a nice comfy pension when he or she gets found out (even with a few years in a plush jail), nothing will change.

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Bronze badge

Re: Bad laws need changing

You have to realize that "shareholders" is another word for senior management. A large and sometimes obscenely large salary is only the icing on the cake for many senior executives in large corporations. Payments in stock or stock options can be a much larger piece of their compensation. How much down-side did you see for the senior staff of the large banking firms responsible for our current sluggish economy? Absolutely none. They have no problem acting immorally or illegally as the company will bear the brunt of any fines (usually light if at all) and they will likely get a nice fat bonus at the end of the next quarter whether the company makes a profit or not. It's in their best interest to get stock prices up as high as they will go by any means.

If Amazon wants to work with technology partners to provide high level tools to their basic infrastructure, that's one thing. If they are using their partners to skim ideas from while charging THEM to do the work, that's another. All of the companies involved with Amazon should evaluate the possibility of getting copied by J. Bezos' gang and formulate plans to move their product focus elsewhere.

Patents are not often the best idea. For small companies they are an expensive waste of time. If you receive a patent and find that another company has copied you, you MUST take them to court. If you do not, you will forfeit your patent. The minimum cost for patent litigation is around US$300,000 these days and could go much higher. The cost is mostly too much of a burden for small companies. Large company's attorneys can drag cases out and decimate smaller firms with ease. Even if you have the funds to fight you could still lose.

How many sharks eat a few remora now and again?

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