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Netflix ToS Tweaks Don’t Mean Any Xbox Live Changes

The streaming video service will remain an exclusive for Gold members.

Netflix rolled out some changes to its API and Terms of Use on Friday, which included language that suggested the service could no longer be made exclusively available for Xbox Live Gold (read: paying) members.

On XBL, Netflix is not available to free Silver members--it’s a Gold exclusive. That’s not the case on PlayStation 3 or other streaming devices like Roku, but Microsoft hasn’t shifted its stance on the issue.

The language in question was this bit from the tweaked Terms of Use, in which Netflix is now blocking the following:

"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);"

Naturally, some started to wonder whether this would force Netflix from Gold to Silver territory.

Netflix told me this afternoon that will not be the case.

“This change to our API program has no impact on our device partners like Microsoft,” said a Netflix spokeperson. “It also will have no impact on anyone who develops applications and sells those directly to consumers. The updated terms of use only restrict business-to-business type transactions.”

The change seems to have more to do with preventing companies from scraping Netflix’s proprietary data and selling it. A company that’s using Netflix’s API to surface Netflix-driven data but charges consumers to download that application remains fair game. Thus, no changes for XBL.

Additionally, Netflix does not consider its service on XBL as "third-party," so the rules wouldn't apply.

It still bothers me that Netflix is locked behind Gold, but that’s an argument for another day (or another console).

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

Netflix rolled out some changes to its API and Terms of Use on Friday, which included language that suggested the service could no longer be made exclusively available for Xbox Live Gold (read: paying) members.

On XBL, Netflix is not available to free Silver members--it’s a Gold exclusive. That’s not the case on PlayStation 3 or other streaming devices like Roku, but Microsoft hasn’t shifted its stance on the issue.

The language in question was this bit from the tweaked Terms of Use, in which Netflix is now blocking the following:

"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);"

Naturally, some started to wonder whether this would force Netflix from Gold to Silver territory.

Netflix told me this afternoon that will not be the case.

“This change to our API program has no impact on our device partners like Microsoft,” said a Netflix spokeperson. “It also will have no impact on anyone who develops applications and sells those directly to consumers. The updated terms of use only restrict business-to-business type transactions.”

The change seems to have more to do with preventing companies from scraping Netflix’s proprietary data and selling it. A company that’s using Netflix’s API to surface Netflix-driven data but charges consumers to download that application remains fair game. Thus, no changes for XBL.

Additionally, Netflix does not consider its service on XBL as "third-party," so the rules wouldn't apply.

It still bothers me that Netflix is locked behind Gold, but that’s an argument for another day (or another console).

Staff
Edited by charlie_victor_bravo

Wut? Get it sorted MS.

Posted by Witzig

That's a bummer 

Posted by MooseyMcMan

'Tis unfortunate indeed.

Posted by joelalfaro

Today my Gold expired and I got booted out of watching something. I decided not to renew. I'll keep watching on PS3, or my computer, or my phone, or my ds, etc etc.

Posted by Brodehouse

Microsoft needs the Xbox to be the plug and play one stop media solution to everything in a home far more than they need extra Live fees.  They should be slaughtering their competitors, not barely edging ahead.  Foolish.

Posted by crusader8463

I know it's not going to happen, but I hope to christ that the next gen consoles don't have a live service equivalent. Paying to play the games you buy online, as well as locking features behind a pay wall, is so dam stupid. One of the major reasons my 360 has been collecting dust for years.

Posted by Xaviersx

I'll stay silver and just use Netflix everywhere else but Xbox. As policy stands, it's just my gaming system and nothing more.

Posted by MediumDave

You know, I'm ok with it being behind Gold, just make it not suck. Last iteration is laggy horseshit. Can't pick episodes unless something starts running, too few on screen, too sluggish to scroll through, no more party mode...it sucks a major amount of ass. I've basically stopped using it and just use the PS3's which is, now, VASTLY superior.

Posted by Lobster_Ear

How about they bring back Netflix parties? That was pretty much the only reason I ever turned on my piece of shit 360.

Posted by Zaxex

I use Netflix's UK offering. The selection is awful compared to the US version, but it's a start. The service itself is fantastic, specifically the low price (£6 per month) and how quickly a video will start and commonly start spitting out HD.

I don't really use the Xbox 360 version, despite having XBL Gold, it's just easier to use the PC version, and I've got my PC hooked up to a 50" TV with 5.1 speakers so there's not much use in using the Xbox for it.

Besides, the Xbox version, even were it available to Silver members, is a lot slower than the PC version for me; the only advantage is that I have Xboxs in several rooms, unlike my PC, and I must say the UI is really nice. At the end of a TV show episodes, it shrinks the video, tells you what episode is next and lets you just click one button and start it, all while the credits are playing. I'd be hard pressed to watch a show more efficiently than that.

Online
Posted by spiceninja

Eh, I use my PS3 for Netflix. It has a better UI anyway.

Posted by Napalm

@Lobster_Ear: Why did they remove those features?

Posted by Redsox44

@Lobster_Ear: Yea Netflix parties were awesome.

Posted by Kerned

Scoops is on the case!

Posted by Enigma777

Shame. Even though the new Netflix 360 app is junk and a pain to navigate, Kinect voice controls has made it my favorite way to watch by far.

Posted by teh_destroyer

I use netflix on my 360 and on my blu-ray player, it depends for the most part.

Posted by JasonR86

Hey guys I hear Netflix is sexist and needs to grow up. Discuss.

Edited by CptBedlam

Double subscriptions ... yay! Thanks, Microsoft, for being so customer friendly!

At least it doesn't affect me since we hardly get any of the 360 app/video/music stuff over here in Germany anyway, not even Last.Fm. Thanks again, Microsoft! At least we get the slow-ass and confusing dashboard filled with huge ads, right? I'm such a happy subscriber!

Posted by WrenchNinja

Subscriptions on top of subscriptions.

Posted by Ouren

@WrenchNinja said:

Subscriptions on top of subscriptions.

The Microsoft way~!

Posted by Roodog

I use my PS3 for all movie media.

Posted by Lobster_Ear

@Napalm said:

@Lobster_Ear: Why did they remove those features?

Because they're dicks.

Posted by Alphazero

I use it on my PS3 pretty much exclusively. It's so much quieter.

I did buy my Xbox in 2007, though. I've heard the new ones are quiet too.

Posted by Anwar

I forgot what it was, but there was a service which refused to come to XBL, because MS would only allow them on the 360s if they were behind a paywall, they didn't want that and declined being on the 360. This is just fucking outrageous.

Posted by TadThuggish

lol Xbox Live

Posted by Anwar

@CptBedlam said:

Double subscriptions ... yay! Thanks, Microsoft, for being so customer friendly!

At least it doesn't affect me since we hardly get any of the 360 app/video/music stuff over here in Germany anyway, not even Last.Fm. Thanks again, Microsoft! At least we get the slow-ass and confusing dashboard filled with huge ads, right? I'm such a happy subscriber!

That's not Microsoft's fault. Those movie/music/tv companies are making it a huge hassle for every content provider with their legal mumbo jumbo. Regionlocked media is some stupid shit, but try to tell that some CEOs of Disney or whatever.

Posted by KaneRobot

@Lobster_Ear said:

How about they bring back Netflix parties? That was pretty much the only reason I ever turned on my piece of shit 360.

Yeah. I love how Microsoft jacked the price up from 50 to 60 bucks a couple years ago, and since then has dropped things that people actually used like 1 vs 100, and removed things for no reason like Netflix party watch.

Posted by mrpandaman

@Anwar said:

I forgot what it was, but there was a service which refused to come to XBL, because MS would only allow them on the 360s if they were behind a paywall, they didn't want that and declined being on the 360. This is just fucking outrageous.

Maybe it was Steam? Because that is one of the reasons it's only on PS3, console-wise.

Edited by Ehker

I let my Gold run out recently. Even with $35 deals for a year, I have way too many other options for multiplayer and steaming apps.

Have to see what MS can add to justify LIVE again, but more media services and NuAds aren't it.

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Posted by mrpandaman

@KaneRobot said:

@Lobster_Ear said:

How about they bring back Netflix parties? That was pretty much the only reason I ever turned on my piece of shit 360.

Yeah. I love how Microsoft jacked the price up from 50 to 60 bucks a couple years ago, and since then has dropped things that people actually used like 1 vs 100, and removed things for no reason like Netflix party watch.

There's just not enough incentive or benefits for signing up to Xbox Live anymore, for me at least. Other than playing games with friends, what else is there? I can do that without paying a middle man on PS3 and PC.

Posted by PenguinDust

I don't stream Netflix these days, but when I did I went through a Western Digital TV Live box. No noise problem associated with consoles. I'm a Silver member these days because XBL doesn't offer a single thing I really want or can't have for free over on Playstation. Oddly enough, I'm a PS+ member now because they gave away all those free games. Free games trumps streaming media apps.

Posted by Anwar

@mrpandaman said:

@Anwar said:

I forgot what it was, but there was a service which refused to come to XBL, because MS would only allow them on the 360s if they were behind a paywall, they didn't want that and declined being on the 360. This is just fucking outrageous.

Maybe it was Steam? Because that is one of the reasons it's only on PS3, console-wise.

My memory is really vague and maybe wrong, but I recall it being some kind of streaming thing(documentaries or something). Free video service of their content.

Edited by Let1Down

@Anwar: I believe you're thinking of BBC iplayer. State funded British television which is not allowed to advertise etc. and so of course the catch-up service could not come to the 360 behind a pay wall. I have a weird feeling that it got sorted out, but I haven't unpacked my 360 yet and so can't go and check. Probably just wishful thinking.

The fact I set my PS3 up as soon as possible to ensure I had all such services easily accessible and free (unless they have their own subscription) probably says something. Then again what do Microsoft care? I'm not a major multiplayer gamer and so don't see the point of Gold, but I will dabble from time to time. Forces my hand on getting most of the games for PS3.

Online
Posted by poheroe

meh!

Posted by Nightriff

That sucks for Xbox owners. I thought about connect Amazon Prime on the 360 to my account then I realized I would have to pay for a gold membership just to add another app that I pay for too. I think its starting to get to the point that the only thing worth paying for is just xbox services. You shouldn't need to pay extra for Netflixs, HBO, Amazon Prime, etc when you already have to pay a fee to have those products. If they came with a gold membership then they have an argument. They don't so fuck microsoft. Amazon Prime on PS3 is perfectly fine for me

Online
Posted by iAmJohn

@Brodehouse said:

Microsoft needs the Xbox to be the plug and play one stop media solution to everything in a home far more than they need extra Live fees. They should be slaughtering their competitors, not barely edging ahead. Foolish.

Yup.

Posted by Creamypies

@Let1Down: It's on XBL now.

Edited by ShinjiEx

Just to make it clear you still need to be a paying member of NetFlix to use the service on Xbox 360 but need gold to access the service which is stupid cause this is a non issue on PS3 or Wii

Posted by MetalGearSunny

Boo.

Posted by ds8k

*Silver

Posted by Curufinwe

@Anwar: I think that was the BBC.

Posted by LikeaSsur

Netflix: "No longer will you be charged just for access to our service that you're already paying for! ....Unless it's Microsoft, then that's okay."

Good job guys.

Posted by iam3green

o i was kind of when i read it quickly to realize nothing changed.

i've been thinking about joining netflix and use it on my ps3. my friend uses it and i've watched shows with him. it seems great service, sometimes i find that there isn't anything on tv.

Posted by Enigma_2099

@charlie_victor_bravo said:

Wut? Get it sorted MS.

Whadaya mean? This is EXACTLY what they meant to do. They're holding Netflix hostage from Silver Members. Think of the silver membership like the XBox360 Arcade system...

Posted by onan

@joelalfaro said:

Today my Gold expired and I got booted out of watching something. I decided not to renew. I'll keep watching on PS3, or my computer, or my phone, or my ds, etc etc.

Or on IE on the 360 once that gets pushed out.

Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx

Stop using Xbox, simple.

Posted by matti00

Ugh, you suck Microsoft. I've been really wishing I had a PS3 recently.

Posted by DelroyLindo

@Zaxex said:

I use Netflix's UK offering. The selection is awful compared to the US version, but it's a start. The service itself is fantastic, specifically the low price (£6 per month) and how quickly a video will start and commonly start spitting out HD.

I don't really use the Xbox 360 version, despite having XBL Gold, it's just easier to use the PC version, and I've got my PC hooked up to a 50" TV with 5.1 speakers so there's not much use in using the Xbox for it.

Besides, the Xbox version, even were it available to Silver members, is a lot slower than the PC version for me; the only advantage is that I have Xboxs in several rooms, unlike my PC, and I must say the UI is really nice. At the end of a TV show episodes, it shrinks the video, tells you what episode is next and lets you just click one button and start it, all while the credits are playing. I'd be hard pressed to watch a show more efficiently than that.

Just change your dns settings and your console thinks you are in America. Then you get US Netflix content and still pay your £6 a month, it makes it so much better.

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