Really Simple Stealing (RSS Theft followup)

Quick followup on my recent post on enforcing your rights against RSS republishing and RSS readers putting ads against your content. Now, I’ve only found one tiny, tiny RSS reader that put ads against content. Everyone in the game knows this is illegal, and all of the major RSS readers have told me personally that they would not sell ads against our feeds without permission. Heck, Google doesn’t put ads against their *excerpted* Google News productlet along a reader with full-feeds that are given explicitly for END USER, NON-COMMERCIAL use.

Anyway, here is what the rouge RSS reader creator send me after I brought some other major publishers into the discussion with him about what he was doing:

Jason,

I think I fixed it. I pulled ads off of that page. Let me know if there are any more issues on WeblogHub. You can contact me at [email removed]

I am not sure I will keep the site going, anyway, it may not be worth the effort.

//<![CDATA[ <!– D(["mb","
Thanks,

Will

— ”

jason@18.234.176.227</a>” <jasoncalacanis@gmail.com</a>>
wrote:

</span>”,1] ); D([“mb”,”> Dear Webloghub.com</a> <http://Webloghub.com</a>>,
“,1] ); D([“mb”,”>
> Please remove all copyrighted Weblogs, Inc. content
> (including stories from
</span>”,1] ); D([“mb”,”>
www.engadget.com</a> <http://www.engadget.com/</a>>) from
“,1] ); //–> //]]>

Thanks, [NAME REMOVED]

The big lesson here is that content owners need to stick together and present a united front on how RSS should be used. When someone steps over the line groups of publishers should speak to them, and if that doesn’t work groups of publishers should call them out. Finally, if people don’t respect the rights of content owners the content ownersas a groupshould take legal action. Sure, one blogger/publisher might not be able to float the legal fees to stop someone, but if 10 of us give 1-2k to a lawyer to manage the issue things will get a lot easier for everyone.

Frankly, I think this is an educational problem more then anything. 95% of the folks doing this are unsure what the rules are. They are thankful when they get an email explaining the rules, and in many cases ask to work with us. So, it’s our job as publishers to explain to people that RSS is not Really Simple Stealing but Really Simple Syndication, and syndication comes with rules.

Perhaps we should put the syndication rules into the RSS feeds. Dave can you get to work on that?

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