updated 04:24 pm EDT, Mon June 18, 2012
Developers still able to sell apps using Netflix data
Netflix has issued a statement clarifying some controversy over changes to the video service's API and terms of service, according to The Next Web. The changes, announced last week, initially appeared to severely restrict the ability of developers to make money on apps using the API, furthermore removing access to data such as rental histories. Some worried that it could effectively put a halt to apps used to make recommendations or add titles to a person's Instant Queue.
The API will bar access to the rental/instant streaming history of users beginning on September 15th. The controversial paragraph in the terms of service states that developers are unable to "charge, directly or indirectly, any fee (including any unique, specific, or premium charges) for access to the Content or your integration of the APIs in your Application, or use the APIs to build an enterprise application (e.g., that you distribute to other companies)." Netflix's director of corporate communications, Joris Evers, explains that the company simply doesn't want anyone to conduct business-to-business sales of its data, or use the content to advertise a rival service. Third parties are free to show competing services.
Evers adds that Netflix will eventually re-examine the terms in order to make them clearer. The terms may also prohibit apps that use Netflix data to sell DVDs or Blu-rays through sites like Amazon, or allow instant streaming in non-Netflix locations.