Subscribed to Digg? better get written permission

For all of you who are subscribed to Digg's RSS feed: it looks like you now need written permission in order to use an aggregator.

From their new TOS:

8. you will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without our express written permission.

for some reason they chose not to enforce this rule in their robots.txt though.

Oh, and if you, in an effort to stay fully compliant to their TOS, plan to just manually check their site instead, realize that registration is now required:

As a condition to using Services, you are required to register with Digg and select a password and screen name ("Digg User ID").

I guess slashdot doesn't have to worry about digg overtaking them anymore.

UPDATE: They changed their TOS to allow RSS aggregators to automatically access their site. Search engine spiders officially still need written permission though, and registration is still required for use of their "services" (where services are defined to, among other things, include text, images and articles).

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Hmmm...this is strange. Are they saying that in order to subscribe to their RSS feed, you need to register with them? If so, why do they place the feed link on the front page? Are we not supposed to subscribe unless we're registered? Why not secure the feed/feeds?

Definitely the lawyers getting over zealous. A few years ago, my small company hired a lawyer to draw up licensing agreements for our software products. When our potential customers started looking at them, they came back to us, basically saying WTF. We had to back off the language quite a bit.

Posted by John Walker at December 4, 2005 12:40 AM

They've changed the ToS now:

8. With the exception of accessing RSS feeds, you will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without our express written

Posted by Patrick at December 4, 2005 4:27 AM

This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. Digg is clearly not going to prevent an rss stream to their readers. It wouldn't benefit them and it would create a huge riot. The language is clearly meant to stop all of the crappy spogglers that keep littering the internet. Why don't we wait until they enforce that interpetation of their TOS before we try and get everyone in a tizzy fit over it.

Posted by discfree at December 8, 2005 8:52 PM

So they don't want to be included in search engine results ;)
brilliant, i'm sure they'll have lots of visitors that way :)

Posted by Lee at December 20, 2005 10:57 AM

It says, "With the EXCEPTION of accessing RSS feeds, you will not use any robot..." Read the whole thing, please.

Posted by Dave-Bob of the North at February 3, 2006 2:49 PM

yes Dave-Bob, it does say that... now.

As I stated in the UPDATE to my blog entry (which was there well before you left your comment), they changed their TOS later to allow RSS aggregators.

"Read the whole thing, please"

Posted by Luke Hutteman at February 4, 2006 7:56 PM

Hmm, I think this is definitely against TOS then:

Posted by Pieterr at March 15, 2006 6:35 AM
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