from the with-strings-atached dept.
theodp writes "On Tuesday, Amazon received a patent on 'Customizing Gift Instrument Experiences for Recipients', which allows a gift card giver to not only recommend items via the gift card but also to restrict the types of things the card can be used to buy — and to get a report back on what the recipient purchases. From the patent: 'The rules could also specify that the available media be constrained by a rating, such as a parental rating (e.g. G, PG, PG-13, R, etc.) or media that excludes explicit lyrics or language. In other examples, the gift instrument purchaser directs that the gift instrument can only be redeemed for books (e.g., not video games), books of a selected genre (e.g., romance, action, historical, etc.), books having a selected author, etc.'"
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