1. Is there a way to do this, or is it protected info?

    I'm using Gryphonheart Items, and it seems to use channels somehow to do this, but it's a couple hundred lines of code, not to mention it's glitching.

    There must be a simpler way to get a yes / no for a particular addon?

    If you are actually the author of the addon, you could look into addon messages, but otherwise no.