Skweezer and copyright infringement

A lively discussion is bubbling on Jason Calcanis’ blog on the issue of how others use content you have produced where copyright enters into the picture and, in essence, what’s right and what’s not.

Here’s how it started as outlined in Jason’s post on 28 December:

It’s one thing to take headlines. It’s one thing to take an excerpt — like the good folks at Google,, Feedster or Technorati do — to help people navigate.

It’s a whole other thing to take your entire [RSS] feed, wrap your own ads around it, and try to sell a service on top of the content!

That is exactly what just happened to us thanks to this website Skweezer. They have an interesting — but already available — idea: make webpages fit better on PDAs and phones. Great idea. We want readers to be able to read our content easily — no doubt.

However, their execution of this business idea is to take all of our websites and then:

1. Republish them on their website
2. Place their own advertisements on them
3. Sell a “professional” version of their software based on our content
4. Deny us the ability to track our page views and readers

These slimy folks over there then tell me that they are no different then Firefox!!!

I think this is an extremely important issue, and I’ve dropped a few comments into the conversation on Jason’s blog with my 50 eurocents’ worth of opinion. This illustrates much of what I said in my post last week on copyright myths and creative common(s) sense.

Take a look at the conversation on Jason’s blog. See what you think. Add your views.