The most recent accusation I stumbled across was against Odeo. Peter Van Dijck writes:
I took a look at my own Odeo feed and discovered the following:
- Clicking on the RSS link on my Odeo page brings me to my Feedburner feed, not an Odeo feed.
- If I manually create a URL like Peter indicated (http://odeo.com/channel/rss/62685/ in my case), then I do see what Peter is talking about, but only partly (more on that below)
- Odeo *does* provide auto-discovery to their feed and not my Feedburner feed.
Here's what the Odeo enclosure looks like in my Odeo feed:
I've had to break the lines up to make it display nicely, but the important part is that this is a redirect. If I plunk the enclosure url into my browser window properly, I am redirected to my website and the MP3 file is downloaded directly from my server.
So I will agree that is the Odeo system fails, then the redirect will fail. Further, if Odeo turns to the dark side, they can do all sorts of nefarious things to an audio file request before redirecting it to the actual file (like collecting stats, gasp!)
I give Peter the control issue, but I don't see is any "stealing" going on.
In general, signing up for a directory or service like Odeo will have some benefits. If it didn't, then why would anyone sign up? If any of those benefits involved your audio file (meaning the provision or stats or embedded players and the like) then there's a very good chance that the service-provided feed is going to modify your original feed in some way.
Is that a bad thing? Well, I guess that depends on the individual podcaster and to the extent of which the modification has taken place.
Go in with your eyes wide open. I wouldn't suggest the pain of reading the TOS for each directory, but if you're concerened about your feed then take a close look at the feeds of existing users before handing yours over.