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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.

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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+