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Does XBMC and XBMC Media Center end-users have permission to scrape website?
I don't understand the rationale for the stopped distribution of the IMDB scraper. As said, IMDB didn't initiate contact with a cease&desist, it's actually XBMC that asked. What organization in their right mind would say that it's OK to use their content, w/o the benefit of bannering their ads? No one. I'll bet if XBMC starts asking any of the other content sites, most of them would give a thumbs down. Suddenly elevating this to a cease&desist seems overly paranoid and self-defeating to me. Would Apple be happy and give permission to distribute the Apple trailer plugin? May be we should ask them? How about YouTube? How about any of the content orgs that XBMC has a scraper or plugin for?

Let's be clear, as an open-source app that bypasses most "official" (read: DRM'ed or ad-driven) solutions, no company is going to approve of XBMC. If XBMC gets a cease&desist lawyerese form, fine, it should stop distrib the scraper. But otherwise, keep on trucking. At the least, leave the scraper in the distribution, but don't enable it as a default.
Hi Spiff,

I was just wondering when you were going to stop scraping since it's against their TOS to scrape. Their TOS found here states: "You may not scrape or otherwise copy our Material without permission." Likewise, when does XBMC plan to stop allowing access to Hulu content? Their TOS found here states that you may not scrape their site or playback any content outside of the Hulu video player. You sure you want to start down this slippery slope?
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Like I said before this bongles my head.

It makes no sense why and I'm not even going to get into it.

Everyone use IMDB for that reason.



I can make this list a lot bigger, none them are running around stopping it.

Whatever I'm grumpy today.
I don't think we need to debate the devs decision to remove IMDB (unless they want us to Wink), but I think that it would be wise to carefully consider the alternatives and make sure there won't be any problems down the line. I think the two prerequisites to consider before you contribute and volunteer your time to any site should be:

1) is the content "free"
2) is there a database dump available

This way it is to fork if the site becomes defunct or "evil". I still remember the uproar when CDDB took people's work and became commercial and hopefully we can avoid mistakes like that in the future. uses the Creative Commons "Attribution" license, which is perfect. also uses the Creative Commons licens, but with the "Attribution" and "Non-commercial" clauses. IMHO, the "Non-commercial" clause might be problematic, but is still better than IMDB.

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" Smile, 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.
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