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JulieB
04-17-2006, 08:54 PM
Anyone here heard of ChronicNews.com? A friend discovered through Copyscape that one of their affillate sites was running her blog. She registered with the site and "claimed" her blog so it would show that it was contributed by here and not someone she'd never heard of.

A couple of things bother me: First, that they apparently pick up any RSS feed they want and run the content. I've seen a few text ads. Bloggers can get paid via a tip jar, but I have yet to see evidence that the tip jar works. I could be wrong - maybe you need to be a registered user to make it work.

Their news seems to come from Google and other online sources. They're essentially an aggregator. I don't know if they have any original content. Whois lists their domain as registered with Domains By Proxy, so they apparently want to keep private. (DPB company claims to ditch all postal mail sent to the domain holder except for legal orders.) The site is very skimpy on "about" and contact information, and typos abound. I also don't see any legal information. For example, if I were to contribute my feed, does that mean they have the right to use it however they see fit?

I see a couple of "name" bloggers listed on their sites, but I honestly don't know if they submitted the content themselves or got "contributed" as my friend's blog was.

They claim that they'll remove your content if you only ask.

According to their site, they're gearing up for a big launch in the fall.

So what do you think about sites like this? Is it okay for someone to take your content without asking? My friend's blog was fully credited, and there was a link to her blog, but it wasn't exactly prominent. It's flattering to think that someone would want you, but doesn't it seem that asking permission is the appropriate thing to do?

This set of sites doesn't seem to have questionable content, but I worry that other sites may not be so picky about their content. What's to stop my blog showing up next to an ad for "girls?" Or ON one of those sites? This isn't my idea of exposure, if you'll pardon the pun.

I suppose that my RSS feed can show up anywhere. I do put a copyright notice on it, but is that going to stop someone from posting my blog to inappropriate places? In addition, I just post a summary, so someone would have to click through to read the whole thing.

Just curious to see what the rest of you think about this.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
04-17-2006, 09:15 PM
So what do you think about sites like this? Is it okay for someone to take your content without asking?There's the rub, though. Are "sites like this" "taking your content without asking"? It's a good question, and it isn't necessarily an accepted premise on all sides.

If they were taking the RSS and using it to spew out the blog content within a frame so that it looked like the content was their own, I'd say that's definitely stealing content.

If they were offering the link to the RSS with full attribution, I'd say that's definitely not stealing.

But acting as an opt-out aggregator seems to fall somewhere in a gray area when it comes to steaing content.

I think it's more of a given that they're stealing traffic. And that's a pretty bad thing. Bloggers and podcasters want people to come straight to their own sites rather than get the content via some random aggregator taking advantage of their RSS. If such goes on, bloggers might see legitimite RSS search engines pointing people to the aggregator rather than the blog's own website.

JulieB
04-17-2006, 10:14 PM
I did some more Googling on this and similar topics (anything to keep from writing that quarterly tax check until the very last minute!) and found that this is also happening with video blogs (http://wearethemedia.com/2006/04/08/whats-going-on-with-veoh/).

Nasty stuff.

You are spot on about stealing traffic, which is why I only post a summary instead of exposing (there's that word again!) the full feed.

The problem with opt-out, IMO, is that the content owner may not know that their material is being reproduced without permission. I don't know about you, but it shouldn't be my job to visit one site after another and opt out.

L M Ashton
04-18-2006, 10:14 AM
The problem with opt-out, IMO, is that the content owner may not know that their material is being reproduced without permission. I don't know about you, but it shouldn't be my job to visit one site after another and opt out.I completely agree.

In my opinion, if these sites want to show my blog, they should ask me first, including how I'd like it to look and how much of my content I wanted on their site.

In no way should it ever be my responsibility to hunt down every single site that wants to display my content on their site.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
04-18-2006, 11:02 AM
I am in total agreement. The opt-out model sucks. Even if all of us were omniscient and magically knew every spammer that added us to their list, every directory that started listing our contact infor, and every aggregator that started using our RSSs, it would still suck. I have better things to do than google my name every morning and send opt-out letters to these people. It should be their responsibility to get our permission, not ours to revoke it.