Is PodShow Hijacking Podcasts?

Jul 7th, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Podcasting Law

Podshow logoSome podcasters are “pissed” at PodShow, a podcast portal founded by podcasting pioneer Adam Curry. The site appears to be republishing podcaster’s podcast feeds, with changes, under PodShow URLs.”What was Podshow thinking?” asks Geek News Central’s Todd Cochrane. “Podshow has hijacked every listed podcasters RSS Feed, stripped out data and inserted their own info.”

The republishing of podcast feeds under different URLs has raised controversy in the past because it can infringe on podcaster’s copyrights, confuse listeners about the correct source for the podcast and make it impossible for podcasters to know how many people are subscribing to their podcast.

“I am sitting here beyond pissed,” writes Cochrane. “This makes people assume that my podcast is part of Podshow, and diminishes my brand.””It’s 100% unacceptable,” said Cochrane. “I can accept almost anything, but the RSS feed hijacking has me angry.”

A Programming Error?

PodShow is characterizing the “hijacking” as a programming mistake.

“There‚Äôs stuff to do and things to patch/fix/glue on,” said Podshow’s Adam Curry. “The most obvious being that external feeds should of course link to the original external feed.”

Some podcasters think the bug explanation is credible.

“We don‚Äôt know that it was intentional by any means,” said Ookles’ Scott Johnson. “Before we pile on lets give them time to correct it. If they don‚Äôt correct it then, by all means, flame away.”

Many podcasters aren’t buying this explanation, though, having seen similar approaches to retaining visitor’s attention previously.

“That is not an innocent mistake,” said podcast pioneer Michael Geoghegan, (Reel Reviews, Disney). “Someone had to plan which RSS channel elements to pull and which to ignore. The cast and crew at PodShow have been around long enough and, frankly, dealt with the issues of RSS feeds enough times to know better.”

“For anyone that is launching a podcasting site of any magnitude today to not be aware and cognizant of issues surrounding RSS feed Hijacking or to deny that they don’t know about the sensitivity of RSS feeds would simply be lying,” said Cochrane. “At this very moment my and thousands of other feeds are being mis-represented and this, in my opinion, was and is a deliberate act, and to say it was not would, in my opinion, be cynical. ”

Dave Winer, who is considered by many, along with Curry, to be one of the “fathers” of podcasting, thinks that PodShow is doing nasty stuff.

“I’m not happy that they’re taking over my content, putting their copyright notice on it, creating their own version of my RSS feed, adding their crap, and taking out my copyright. They’re really asking for trouble. On a massive scale.”

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  1. […] In addition to specific complaints about SplashCast‚Äôs new service, the overarching concern of many podcasters is that SplashCast is hijacking their content and that the company should know better. In 2006, PodShow found itself in a similar podcast hijacking controversy when it introduced a new version of its directory that republished podcasters‚Äô content under URLs. […]

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