According to BloombergAmazon has dropped its policy of acquiring nearly unlimited rights to any games created by employees outside of business hours and outside of its offices. Under the old rules, the tech giant forced staff to work on personal projects using Amazon products and distribute them through the company’s services.
According to the text of a letter sent to employees recently, Amazon Game Studios head Mike Frazzini said the company is immediately ending the old rules:These provisions began to be applied more than ten years ago, when we had much less information and experience than we do today. As a result, policies have been shaped with broad interpretations“.
Amazon got angry “feedback”Thousands of people after an engineer interviewed by the company revealed Amazon Personal Games’ employee game development policy.
While the rules formally left the employee ownership of the game, in fact, Amazon was entitled to a completely free, perpetual, worldwide license for the intellectual property associated with games created outside of business hours – in other words, free copying and distribution of content.
It is reported that the developer was obliged to use Amazon tools whenever possible, for example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services, place mobile games in the Amazon Appstore, PC games on other sites of the company. At the same time, the employer himself reserved all the rights to determine the policy of promoting and distributing employee games.
Some developers called the policy “draconian”, and the engineer himself, for some unknown reason, deleted a tweet telling about Amazon’s rules. It is noteworthy that this is not the only company that applies such rules. Google has repeatedly been accused of fully or partially appropriating projects implemented by the employees of the tech giant at their own peril and risk outside of working hours.