All I want…

…is an API for the Internet Movie Database.
Is that too much to ask?

In this age of “information freedom” that seems to be going around, it surprises me that there are still holdouts with massive datastores of information that haven’t taken the leap. Of course, a little googling around came up with a few hints that it might be in the works for IMDB, but nothing substantial. I can see how sites, especially ones that were created for the sole reason of being a datastore, would be fearful of opening up that information to every Tom, Dick, and Mary out there – where’s the value in coming to a site (driven some by ads, etc) when someone could go out and just pull the content they need elsewhere? There’s argumaents on both sides of things, but thankfully, it seems like the “open everything” crowd is working harder at their jobs. More and more sites are exposing their backends to the world, showing off their data in all of their glory, and the people love them for it. Think about the move that eBay recently made to remove the fees on their API – imagine how much more that will fuel their adoption…

But, oh well – back to the IMDB site I go. I guess if I want any content from them, I’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way (just like everyone else) – now where did I put that screen-scraper…

Category: PHP 6 comments »

6 Responses to “All I want…”

  1. Sean Coates

    I once looked into licensing their database.

    It runs > $10,000 per year, IIRC.


  2. enygma

    Ouch…well, maybe the rumors of them opening up their info were just that – rumors. unfortunate.

  3. JR

    If they charge that much for licensing, I want a cut for all of the ratings and comments I have submitted.

  4. Mats

    Have a look at for alternative ways to get IMDB info.

  5. Ren

    Their data is available via ftp on various mirrors dotted about, thou are restrictions on its use.


  6. Serg

    Just ran into the same issue – IMDB mob are idiots.

    Amazon provides identical data content and has webservice API – will be using them!

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