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In Amazon's Conditions of Use, the section "License and Access" says the following:

Subject to your compliance with these Conditions of Use and any Service Terms, and your payment of any applicable fees, Amazon or its content providers grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable license to access and make personal and non-commercial use of the Amazon Services.

Also, the section "Your Account" says the following:

You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and for restricting access to your account, and you agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account or password. Amazon does sell products for children, but it sells them to adults, who can purchase with a credit card or other permitted payment method. If you are under 18, you may use the Amazon Services only with involvement of a parent or guardian. Parents and guardians may create profiles for teenagers in their Amazon Household.

However, Amazon Household is limited in how many profiles can be created. For example, you can only have two adult (18+) profiles per household. If a family of more than two adults would like to share a single account instead of getting involved with Amazon Household, would they be in violation of Amazon's terms, whether in the section above or elsewhere?

Update

I have just noticed an additional statement of significance in the terms:

By using the Amazon Services, you agree, on behalf of yourself and all members of your household and others who use any Service under your account, to the following conditions.

Might this suggest that the agreement is broad enough to apply not only to one individual but also to the individual's "household" (and maybe even to "others who use any Service under your account")?

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    I’m voting to close this question because website terms of use are not laws.
    – bdb484
    Jan 6 at 22:31
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    It doesn't seem there is a better Stack Exchange to ask this question than Law. Furthermore, other ToS-themed questions have been asked without removal. For example, see law.stackexchange.com/questions/44333/wag-terms-of-service and law.stackexchange.com/questions/7740/…. With this in mind, is there anything I could do to improve my question and have it reopened? I'm open to constructive criticism.
    – The Editor
    Jan 7 at 4:11
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    I asked on the Meta Law Stack Exchange how I might modify the question to enter on-topic territory. The answer I got is that the question is on topic due to being about the interpretation of binding clauses, a clear example of contract law. The rulings on such questions can even become precedent in case law. Certainly, if Amazon were to sue over a violation of this contract, no court or arbitrator would say, "Sorry, this dispute does not pertain to law and is thus outside our jurisdiction." Here's the thread: law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1385/…
    – The Editor
    Jan 11 at 13:36
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    @bdb484 Yes, the questions "Am I wearing Nikes?" and "Who won the Australian Open?" would not be law questions. However, "Would the Supreme x Nike Dunk Low Pro SB fulfill the shoe criteria for my $50 million agreement with Nike?" and "If I wear Nike shoes during most of the Australian Open but switch to non-Nike shoes during some of the matches, will I still have met the criteria?" are questions about the law. Criminal law isn't the only law. Deciding what qualifies in a terms agreement is also. Otherwise, the terms-of-service and contract-law tags would likely need to be taken off the site.
    – The Editor
    Jan 11 at 20:51
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    @bdb484 questions about terms of service or other contracts are on topic (unless they are requests for legal advice)
    – Dale M
    Jan 12 at 6:44
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Does Amazon prohibit a family of adults from sharing a single Amazon account?

No, or at least it seems unlikely. As outlined in my answer & comments on Law Meta, a domestic or family-oriented character is palpable in the clause. That weakens the notion that Amazon's intent is to preclude scenarios which are of a personal-domestic nature and short of commercial/sublicensed use.

The language "You are responsible for [...] restricting access to your account" seems more permissive than something akin to "only you are allowed to access your account". The former language is consistent with the term "non-exclusive", which otherwise seems to have no relevance or purpose in the clause.

Users' ability (if any) to enter multiple payment methods with different names (i.e., card holder name) could be an additional indication that the scenario you have in mind is acceptable to Amazon. It is easy for a company to implement a validation for the purpose of identifying significant discrepancies of holder names and/or to have the user confirm that all payment methods refer to one same owner. The latter approach is more conclusive for scenarios where a woman has changed names as a result of getting married or divorced. The fact (?) that Amazon declined to include that simple validation weakens the notion that the company is genuinely interested in sticking to a rule of one-person per account.

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  • FYI, I added an additional quotation from the terms into the question, which says the one agreeing does so on behalf of anyone who uses the account, not just the one agreeing. Perhaps this further supports your answer.
    – The Editor
    Jan 12 at 16:47
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    @TheEditor "which says the one agreeing does so on behalf of anyone who uses the account, not just the one agreeing." There you go! That conclusively strikes the notion of "only one person per account" and reinforces the points developed in this answer. Jan 12 at 23:24
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    @user662852 The central premise is not the company's failure to implement validations, but the language that leaves room for domestic scenarios that involve two or more adults using the service. The company could have been unequivocal instead of stopping at "restricting access". The lack of validations only makes it more complicated for Amazon to persuade that its intent was "one adult per account", but that detail is incidental to the terms the OP initially reproduced. The OP's update is conclusive as to effectively allowing "others [to] use any Service under your account". Jan 13 at 16:22
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    1. Whether my wife orders something on my Amazon account, or she asks me to order it and I order it doesn’t make a practical difference. 2. I suspect the clause would be used if I refuse to pay for things that my wife ordered. I should be the only one able to order according to the t&c’s, so they can argue that I’m responsible for all orders on that account.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 14 at 20:57
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    @user662852 My question isn't whether you "can cruise under their radar indefinitely as a practical matter," but rather if such violates the terms in the first place. Not only is such not enforced; it doesn't even seem to violate the terms to begin with since we're told, "By using the Amazon Services, you agree, on behalf of yourself and all members of your household and others who use any Service under your account, to the following conditions." Thus, it seems to apply not only to one individual but also to their "household" (and maybe even to "others who use any Service under your account").
    – The Editor
    Jan 23 at 22:03
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The original link in the question includes quotes from "Your Account" section but not the entire section. Two sentences were selectively not included in your question which I've bolded.

You may need your own Amazon account to use certain Amazon Services, and you may be required to be logged in to the account and have a valid payment method associated with it. If there is a problem charging your selected payment method, we may charge any other valid payment method associated with your account. Visit Your Payments to manage your payment options. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and for restricting access to your account, and you agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account or password. Amazon does sell products for children, but it sells them to adults, who can purchase with a credit card or other permitted payment method. If you are under 18, you may use the Amazon Services only with involvement of a parent or guardian. Parents and guardians may create profiles for teenagers in their Amazon Household. Alcohol listings on Amazon are intended for adults. You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase alcohol, or use any site functionality related to alcohol. Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, terminate your rights to use Amazon Services, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in its sole discretion.

I read that and understand in some interactions, they may not care about a distinct account or allow sharing; in other interactions, they may care. That's it, that's the answer.

In the last sentence, Amazon has retained the right to refuse service and terminate accounts at it's sole discretion, so whether some case actually violates the terms of the agreement is in one sense a meaningless question: they can cut you off for any reason, you don't need to give them one.

As a matter of revenue protection and cost control, maybe they have a business process to uncover cases where more than one adult is sharing an account against the stated terms of service for those interactions where they do care (or the free Prime shipping or streaming utilization is getting out of control). Sometimes a stadium pays someone to check the cheap ticket holders from moving into empty seats in a better section (and send them back where their license entitles them to be, or kick them out), sometimes they don't.

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    (1) The initial statement you bolded is uncertain (see both instances of "may" in that unspecific sentence) and does not outweigh the other terms that are consistent with the notion of multiple adults using the same account. (2) The matter of "sole discretion" would be null and void to the extent that policies akin to "they can cut you off for any reason" contravene consumer protection laws and the typical legislation against unfair practices. (3) The OP asks whether the customer's acts he mentions would violate the terms, which is independent of the counterparty's sole discretion. Jan 13 at 20:28
  • As Iñaki said, the first sentence says "may," and also, I thought it was simply meaning that some actions require an account. Also as Iñaki said, their sole discretion to cancel an account is separate from the terms, and this question is about the terms. Since ToS says, "By using the Amazon Services, you agree, on behalf of yourself and all members of your household and others who use any Service under your account, to the following conditions," would you agree that you are allowed to let others share your account so long as you agree to the terms on behalf of them and resume responsibility?
    – The Editor
    Jan 23 at 21:52
  • @TheEditor I see the "others" text conveying that if you do share access in a way Amazon doesn't prevent, then if there is a downstream copyright violation or a dispute over some charge, the account holder agrees to be responsible. Overall, what is the point of the question if you're not worried about being kicked out? They tell you not to share the account (but know it's feasible and probably happens). You can cheat your license pretty easily and probably without consequences but it's not the right thing to do and I'm not going to agree that it's the right thing to do.
    – user662852
    2 days ago
  • To make sure I understand where you're coming from, where do they say not to share the account?
    – The Editor
    2 days ago
  • @IñakiViggers What are your thoughts about the "others" section meaning that the terms are merely accounting for if people cheat the license?
    – The Editor
    2 days ago
0

If a family of more than two adults would like to share a single account instead of getting involved with Amazon Household, would they be in violation of Amazon's terms, whether in the section above or elsewhere?

Yes.

The terms are clear that each account can only be used by one person.

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    "Parents and guardians may create profiles for teenagers in their Amazon Household" would seem to contradict that. There seems to be ambiguity in what is allowed to be shared.
    – User65535
    Jan 12 at 11:13
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    Thanks for the reply! What specifically in the terms do you see as prohibiting the use of an account by more than one person?
    – The Editor
    Jan 12 at 13:42
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    I just updated the question upon discovering an additional relevant quotation from the terms, which says the one agreeing does so on behalf of anyone who uses the account, not just the one agreeing. Might this affect the answer?
    – The Editor
    Jan 12 at 16:48

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