Decades later, it’s weird to see that individuals, developers, and corporations still don’t seem to agree on what RSS is for.
I’ve pretty much always been of the philosophy that if you provide an RSS feed, it’s there to be used; I’ve always assumed that’s why software tools typically offer a choice between providing full-text feeds or excerpt-only ones: the feed is there to be read, but some writers and publishers want readers to come all the way to their own website for the full post.
The key part there, however, still would be that the feed is there to be used. There might have been competing (b)acronyms, but to me it was always Really Simple Syndication.
I can see the argument in favor of apps providing a list of suggested feeds from which the user can select all, some, or none rather than just providing a default set of feeds, but I don’t feel strongly one way or the other on that point. On the general, though, I’ve always felt that if you don’t want people using your RSS feeds, don’t provide them.
I’m very open, however, to the idea that this is just a mental holdover from the wilder early days of the web, which were more deeply informed by the more cyberpunk ethos of the pre-web internet.
Copyright holders of course can insist upon whatever form of licensing they want; I’m just used to the early idea that providing an RSS feed at all in and of itself was a license for use.
That idea can fall apart pretty quickly, though, since you’re typically not providing an RSS feed, say, for the purposes of other people wholesale reproducing your content on their own sites for commercial purposes. But is offering default feeds in an RSS reader really the same thing?