I think you are going off on a tangent. The issue isn't about supporting "free" alternatives; it is about whether XBMC should use the content of any site without expressed permission of the site owner. As related, I highly doubt any site owner would be willing to do that, which means that, if XBMC were to make this a policy--no content w/o explicit permission--then we should all turn off the lights and go home, because there won't be any online content that XBMC will be allowed to access.
As another said, it is a slippery slope when you say that because of the TOS, we can't have the IMDB scraper. Most every site I know of has policies in its TOS against scraping or redirection. Video plugins are even more questionable than scrapers, as substantial bandwidth is being used, but without compensation from ad revenue.
What needs to be done is to disassociate XBMC from any legal liability, either by offloading the liability onto the user ("these are provided for educational purposes only" , or by separating plugins & scrapers from XBMC and making the user manually installing it--eg, provide a link, with appropriate indemnification legalese. But whatever is decided, it should be a policy, consistent to all utilized online resources and not just arbitrary ones.
It seems that the discussion whether XBMC is doing "illegal" things (accessing other sites' content w/o their consent) has been relegated to the dumper. Hey, the deaf-dumb-blind approach certainly works for me. But this is an issue that will rear its head as apps like XBMC get more popular.
Here's a NY Times article on Boxee (XBMC derivative), which is asking the same question the users here were asking (accessing sites' content). It's well worth the read:
This is a discussion that ought to happen now, i.e. whether the TOS'es (which users never expressly agreed to when they get onto sites) are legally binding, or do they have the same status as shrinkwrap agreements--read: not very much. My opinion is the latter. In lieu of that, the "ignorance is bliss" defense was certainly fine, and dropping the IDMB scraper (while keeping everything else) is nothing if not capricious.
Frankly, I see the killing of IDBM lookup capability as nothing more than a power play by the powers-that-be to get more attention for the freebie alternative. That's fine. XBMC is their toy and they can put it out in whatever shape they please. But do realize that the end result is XBMC's capability being degraded, by being shunted to an inferior scraper.
Does XBMC and XBMC Media Center end-users have permission to scrape imdb.com website?
Joined: Nov 2008
2009-01-17 02:52 Post: #51
(This post was last modified: 2009-01-23 16:35 by Voinage.)