January 18, 2006

RSSing --> It's all good, or is it?

The whole copyright debate is very confusing to me, as I think it is to anyone who throws original content into an open marketplace. Recently the debate's been spinning around Top Ten Sources, for which I proudly serve as a source at Halley's right hand. I was honored to be recognized alongside the others Halley chose.

My only issue would be if suddenly my content was being used in conjunction with a revenue generating doodad - like google ads or something similar - and I wasn't sharing in the revenue in a mutually-agreed-upon way.

Then we'd have a problem.

Top Ten Sources founder John Palfry suggests adding copyright statements to our feeds. I have no idea if this was what he had in mind, but this is what I added to mine (see red below). Tell me how it looks. I don't know if I can make it tiny. I don't really know what the hell this will do. Except I guess it states the mantra of this content owner/sharer pretty well:

(C) Jeneane Sessum / Copyright 2001-2006

Content may not be redistributed or repurposed in any manner that generates revenue for any entity other than the content owner -- for example through advertising, aggregation, redistribution, or any other means -- without the consent of the author.

UPDATE: Try number 2 in consideration of Denise's take:

Bare Statement: You can link to it; you can quote it; you can read it any way it comes to you. But if you're gaining revenue from it, I better be sharing in the revenue in a way that I've agreed to.

P.S., edit: never mind -- the little Blogger RSS footer doesn't seem to work--> the bare statement notice isn't showing up. grrr.

Must Reads:



Denise said...

Hi Jeneane,

I'm scratching my head. First, I'm not sure you've added anything to your feed per se. I don't see anything there, anyway, other than the content of this post. You might want to think about using Feedburner and adding a CC license that specifies noncommercial use is not authorized. See: http://www.burningdoor.com/eric/archives/000759.html If you opt to go this route, it's a good idea to add the same license to your blog pages themselves (i.e., to not *just* have the license in your feed).

The "Notice" you've included in this post is confusing because it's attempting to be a license, rather than a bare statement that all copyrights are reserved. Again, this may be why CC could be a good fit for you; they've got licenses pre-made for your choosing and use (though they are not without their own areas of potential confusion, as Shelley and others continue to point out).

Jeneane Sessum said...

OH! Well I want a bare statement then. Something like, you can link to it, you can quote it, you can read it any way it comes to you. But if you're gaining revenue from it, I better be sharing in the revenue in a way that I've agreed to.

Does that make more sense?


Denise said...

Better, but the bare statement I had in mind was "Copyright Jeneane Sessum 2001-2006, all rights reserved." Anything else is getting into the realm of a license (e.g., "I'm cool with it if you..."), and if you want a license, you might want to consider CC.

Jeneane Sessum said...

And THAT is why they pay you the big bucks! ;-)

Yah, i think i'm going with copyright.

Anonymous said...

You guys have some what missed the point of RSS - which is the marking up of content and meta data such that it can be read by a computer.

Your 'bare statements' etc are all well and good - but with them you assume that a human is going to read your feed.

If someone adds your RSS feed to their top10sources-like website the chances are your feed is going to be just one of 1000's.

It's not going to be read by a human, it's going to be parsed by script - which won't pick up your 'copyright' information.

There's a certain view, that I don't subscribe to myself, that putting data into feeds removes your right to copyright over that data -- you are explicitly putting it out into the ether (if you don't want your data syndicated, don't make it available in a feed etc).

The best way to protect your rights, currently, is to add Creative Commons data to your feed - but with blogger and other managed services you probably don't have access to modify the structure of your RSS feed.

Denise said...

Ben says gets across what I've been attempting to. That's why I mentioned FeedBurner, which makes it easier for ordinary folks to manipulate the copyright data in their feed.