Adam Curry Speaks Up About Podshow Podcast Hijacking Controversy

Jul 10th, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Strange

Adam Curry's second comingBeset by bad press in the blogosphere about this past week’s launch of PodShow + and its apparent hijacking of podcasters’ RSS feeds, PodShow founder Adam Curry addresses the issue in Saturday’s episode of his podcast, Daily Source Code.He talked about being away, attending the memorial service for his mother, who passed away last weekend, and his eventful trip back home.

“When I got back, ‚Ķ I popped open the browser only to see that I was ‘evil’; I was a ‘hijacker’ and ‘stealing feeds’ and being a bad dude, and uh, there‚Äôs a couple ways I could‚Äôve gone at that point. So I looked to the heavens and said, ‘Ok mom, give me some fucking strength, because now we‚Äôre in for a ride.'”

He explains the situation, which he describes as the “tinfoil hat moment” this way:”We pull all the info in from the original RSS feed, the podcast feed if you will, and… you have to have a local copy. Because the reliability of external feeds is just not that high. When we have the information, you want to hold onto that info for at least 15 minutes or until it‚Äôs requested again, so we can do all kinds of stuff with it, like simple ways to add it to channels, to share it with people‚Ķ

“We basically cache that, no different from what iTunes does.

“You go searching for a show, and you find a couple ways to play the show: click Play and it‚Äôll fire up our mash board (a way to play episode and look at whole feed or channel); also we are transcoding the feed, we give you a way to play it in Windows Media Player, winamp, Real Player, we also give you an XML button which means ‘here‚Äôs the raw data’…

“Those 4 or 5 buttons are next to each other, and underneath there‚Äôs a ‚ÄúPlay‚Äù button on our mash board. All of those work on this internal copy we have, the most recent copy of the show‚Ķ which is the only way we can reliably produce a good experience for someone who wants to just listen to the show.

“What should have happened was that the link underneath the orange on white XML button‚Ķ should be a direct link to the original, with original information, no added bits from us, original copyrights etc.,‚Ķ. Instead of linking to the external feed, it went to the internal feed ”

“It wasn‚Äôt a bug, it was a dumb mistake, it slipped through.”

“What was interesting, was that a number of people in the podcast community immediately said ‚Äúyou‚Äôre thieves, you‚Äôre stealing, stripping out copyright‚Äù ‚Äì we‚Äôre not stealing out copyright, it‚Äôs just an internal feed ‚Äì it has different information — it‚Äôs not your original feed ‚Äì if we were going to republish that as your feed, it would be completely wrong.

“It was just as I said on my weblog, just a mistake.””

“Only a few people, it was nice to see, they said, ‘Maybe this is just an honest mistake.’ And that‚Äôs where you see what people are really made of.”

“When they come out and say, ‘this is not unintentional, curry is way too smart for this. Since they couldn‚Äôt steal our content with contracts, they‚Äôll doing it with our feeds’.”

“It was hard to fix this–this code hits five different places, and you have to be careful fixing things in a live environment.. it was a relatively simple change to link back to the original feed, and with that, it all kind of went away.”

“But, Boy ! did I learn something about a few people.”Adam Curry's second coming

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