PodShow And Copyright, I’m Non-Plussed

After much promotion and delay PodShow finally launched a revamped directory today. All kinds of stuff going on that I assume is aimed at the new podcaster. Not really sure of the target demographic, but my guess is the My Space crowd. Anyway, I had a few minutes to look around and noticed something interesting. Not only do you have to dig and dig to find an outbound link to the actual content producer’s website as in this picture:

Podshow Visit

The aptly titled “Check out the show’s site” link doesn’t go to the Reel Reviews homepage but to a PodShow produced page for the show. OK, Apple does something similar, maybe PodShow should just put “Check out our page for this show.”

The next one takes the cake though. When you get to the page you can subscribe to the RSS feed by hitting an orange XML button. Easy right? Sure as a user it is no big deal. As a content producer you will find something disturbing. PodShow builds its own RSS feed for your podcast with all your content, using the information your RSS feed provides and removes much of your info in the process including all the copyright details.

Podshow Copyright

As a comparison, here is what my RSS feed for my content actually looks like.

Podshow Copyright 2

That is not an innocent mistake. 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. I expect you’ll hear more about this.

And yes, I know I didn’t include any hyperlinks.

Update: My friend Paul Colligan feels people may be too quick to judge. My words, not his. My answer is simple, posts like these are how things get fixed. (I am confident this will get fixed.) It is the way of the blogosphere baby. And to point of fact, it is not a line of code, all kinds of stuff is stripped out of the RSS feed as well as the webMaster being replaced by webmaster@podshow.com. Everything else about the feed would make you think it was mine, come to think of it, why wasn’t mine good enough?

Update 2: Looks like lots of people are talking about PodShow+ tonight. I had a few free moments and finally figured out how to find the equivalent page to the one I referenced above for a PodShow contracted podcast. (You do have to dig.) I was curious if, as some had suggested, the copyright tag issue was just a system wide “hiccup.” On PodShow podcasts (DnD, DSC etc.)the copyright tags are in place: © 2006 podshow.com. They have plenty of great folks over at PodShow that know better – what happened?

Final Update: (Hopefully) Order has been restored.  The feed icons now link directly to the content producer’s RSS feed. PodShow did the right thing. Thank you. The “Check out the show’s site” buttons are still misleading but we will patiently wait and see what they do with those.  They are smart guys and I have faith it will all work out in the end. As for the explanation that it was just a “bug”, I still don’t buy that.  I can’t imagine a bug that scrapes a feed, parses it and rebuilds the content injecting some of the host’s data and then serves it from their own URL when it should have just been a simple hyperlink, but then I am not a programmer.  Let’s let bygones be bygones.  I wish PodShow and their entire team the best of luck with the new site.

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Comments

  1. says

    Michael

    As I looked at the site my concerns grew until I found the Hijacked RSS feed. Knowing who is on the team, this RSS Fiasco was beyond deliberate, it was the kind of in your face we don’t care type of move that is going to cause legal letters to fly. I am sure they will fix it, but the question has to be asked who did this and what were the real intentions.

    I am obviously not part of podshow but the way the site looks it sure makes it appear that they want everyone that is listed there to be locked in. I’ll be watching thats for sure.

  2. says

    Too quick to judge is part of it – too lame to matter is the other part. The thing is a mess a stinking mess.

    O.k., it’s lines of code missing – and not just in the RSS part. It’s easy to tell that they only got about halfway through the RSS rewrite program.

    I can’t login, I can’t view anything, I can’t find anything, I’m seeing dates of 1969 for some Podcasts.

    I’m just not gonna worry, write letters, pay a lawyer to do so, etc.

  3. says

    Hi Michael.
    I’m responsible for podcast.com and was wondering what your take on our version of your page was?

    http://podcast.com/show/722/

    We’ll be adding an interstitial page soon with a list of chicklets to subscribe with.

    Then, naturally a way for members and curators to add your feed to a their directory, once we open that up.

    I think providing a direct link to a cached version of theirs is probably not wise – almost disrespectful.

    We do have a way of providing a simple url for people’s feeds ie yours:

    http://podcast.com/show/722/feed

    but it simply bounces you to your url

    Having churned through the world of rss feeds out there while building podcast.com, I can see why there is a need for feed ‘sanitization’, but I can see a few people not being too happy about they’re doing it.

    Cheers,
    Kosso
    http:;//podcast.com
    http://blogs.opml.org.koz
    http:;//podcast.com/show/1

    great show btw ;)

  4. Doug Dobbins says

    Like Todd, I’m not happy that they’re rewriting the feeds for shows I produced or manage like Spokane Public Radio’s Movies 101, Alternative Source (Frank Sennett), etc.

    I notice on Podshow’s guide pages for the shows they are redoing the RSS feeds are called “The Unofficial Guide” eg. The Unofficial Guide to Movies 101. While that might be used as an out by them that they are not claiming the shows to theirs, they are giving out their own version of the RSS feeds from podshows servers to the users.

    Removing copyright notice is not something that should be taken lightly and something that should have been tested by Podshow before this system was released. Apple does not remove any copyright statements of any the shows I have listed in iTunes.

    Michael hits the nail on the head, “That is not an innocent mistake.”

  5. says

    They also mangle the enclosures on the wrong posts for those of us who still use the default WordPress feed as our podcast feed. I’ll have to change to a dedicated podcast feed to avoid such issues, but these indexes will continue to exist. After all the time and money spent on this, I find the effort to be not a step forward and share your concerns with the choices made in filtering our RSS feeds.

  6. says

    Michael and Todd, I’m so glad there are podcast geeks who spread the truth like this Podshow RSS fiasco, the Podcast contract, wikipedia etc. Thanks for the books and keeping small vidcasters like myself up to speed with the techy/politics.

  7. Anonymous says

    Sadly, this part of the story doesn’t get told as much. I guess everyone loves drama, even in the blogosphere.

Trackbacks

  1. […] And if it were just the usual band of complaining suspects, I’d chill. But Michael “Jimmy Stewart” Geoghegan had the following to say: When you get to the page you can subscribe to the RSS feed by hitting an orange XML button. Easy right? Sure as a user it is no big deal. As a content producer you will find something disturbing. PodShow builds its own RSS feed for your podcast with all your content, using the information your RSS feed provides and removes much of your info in the process including all the copyright details. […]

  2. What was Podshow Thinking Hijacking my RSS Feed!

    First things First if you have a Podcast that is listed on Podshow good luck in the people that visit that site ever finding out what your home page is, as it is buried beneath a couple layers of web…

  3. […] Whoa big fellas, Dave, GeekNewsCentral, CronCast, Michael, Paul and others, lets not assume that Podshow “hijacked” your feeds. Don’t get me wrong I don’t agree with what Podshow did. I can understand some of it though, a podcast directory, by its nature, should have feeds. And, perhaps, there was a reason either technically or from the perspective of url consistency for rehosting a user’s feeds. What is wrong, however, is the replacing of the copyright element. Here’s an example of Dave’s podcast on Podshow versus Dave’s podcast on its original domain. […]

  4. […] I took a look at the new Podshow.com directory this morning after reading through a bunch of blog posts(here, here and  here for example) about their “hijacking” of podcast feeds.  That problem has apparently been fixed, with the usual controversy that surround most Podshow things – (maybe it’s part of the Podshow promotion standard operating procedures for generating links to the site) With that mess out of the way – I a look at the site, which also seems to be a bit of a mess. I found the pages way too complicated and confusing.  There is too much going on for me to know what to do next.   Every page I go to seems to be overloaded with information and links. […]

  5. […] When they relaunched, they added the ability to pick up other sites’ RSS feeds, but apparently added in a feature by which they effectively claimed them as their own.  For a whole 3 days this was big news in lots of places, it inspired a cartoon, but then in just-as-blogworthy fashion, they fixed it with big news and coverage. […]

  6. […] “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.” […]

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