CBC threatens podcast app makers, argues that RSS readers violate copyright


I have absolutely no idea why a sane human being would endure added ads for the not-terribly-cutting edge ability to handle RSS feeds; but that doesn’t change the fact that CBC needs to DIAF in this case.

They are asserting the right to demand the removal of software on the grounds that it doesn’t exhibit the rendering behavior they want when interacting with certain RSS files.

That is a genuinely audacious claim, akin to demanding that a web browser be pulled from the market because it doesn’t handle your page’s layout the way you want; or allows users to force custom CSS.

If they want to take their ball and go home(and risk cratering their audience, and having to do extra work, which is probably why they haven’t); they are welcome to instruct their servers to stop dishing up the RSS they feel is being rudely used and put it behind some sort of authentication scheme or API keys. I would think less of them for doing so, and I suspect that they would lose rather more than they would gain; but if they want to change their server’s behavior, that’s their call.

Insisting on having veto power over any and all clients that annoy them, however, is utter bullshit; and while it is unacceptable enough here, the success of such a notion would be truly chilling for basically any tech standard designed to allow multiple client and server implementations to work together properly thanks to a defined protocol. It’d be a bloodbath of control freakery.

(Again, this comment is not an endorsement of RSS feed applications that inject even more ads into the process, I’m not sure why anyone would suffer them to live; but whenever somebody tries the “We should have both the convenience of public distribution and however much control over client behavior as we want” argument they need to be cluebatted into a homogeneous reddish paste; and quickly. This hardly means that all client decisions are good ones, many are lousy; but if you surrender control of client behavior, you are in serious, serious trouble; and the culling will not stop with the ‘bad’ clients.)


Some sites just don’t know how to configure their RSS feeds.


I think what the author of the letter means is “the unlicensed use of our products.” If app users were doing what he actually said, “using our unlicensed products,” there wouldn’t be a problem.

closed #24

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