A takedown request from This American Life

Final update: Jared Benedict has made the same voluntary decision that I did, and has an excellent writeup here. He writes, in part:

Contrary to posts on Boing Boing and elsewhere, Jon Udell and I did not receive a "nastygram" or formal cease and desist letter. Rather we received friendly emails from Ms. Meister, This American Life's webmaster, making a request to take down the hyperlinks and RSS feeds, or she'd regrettably have to get lawyers involved.


While I am confident that I am breaking no law, I am respecting TAL's wishes by taking down the podcast and archive page which points to their MP3's. This American Life has decided to take the bizarre approach to Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) by asking nicely -- which I suppose is better than using some Windows only Microsoft Media Player DRM or Sony Rootkit DRM.
Indeed it is.

Further update: At WBEZ's request, I have voluntarily removed the item earlier posted here, which included the notice mentioned in this item's title. Although that notice invited me to "put the word out," publication in this way evidently wasn't intended.

Update: Although This American Life has indeed switched to MP3 format, in a way that enables deep linking and offline listening, the show nevertheless endorses only online listening to what's hosted at its site. The MP3 switch was made for the convenience of listeners who prefer PC-based MP3 players to PC-based RealAudio players.

Conclusion: I'm leaving that RSS feed empty, save for a single entry pointing here. Was the switch to MP3 a tacit endorsement of podcast-style distribution? Certainly a number of people who've communicated with me today took it that way. But however impractical TAL's current policy may be, I respect the show's integrity and idealism, and I hope the podcasting question will get resolved one of these days.

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2006/06/20.html#a1472