Constantin Basturea writes that excerpts of postings from PR blogs are republished, with new permalinks, on a website with pages featuring Google ads and asks, Do their authors know about and approve this practice?
Constantin’s post lists 18 bloggers, including me, whose posts are being re-published on this website. Looking at the comments to Constantin’s post, no one was asked, never mind given permission, about this site re-publishing anyone’s content. I haven’t been asked and I haven’t given permission.
Steve Rubel says, “I don’t mind if they make money off my content. As I see it, I benefit from greater visibility. If a blogger feels they’re getting ripped off then they can turn off the faucet by publishing a headline-only RSS feed or none at all.”
Well, I do mind even if it does provide greater visibility (and I have no evidence that it does). I’m not too concerned about Google ads on the site, but what I especially don’t like about what this 101 Public Relations outfit is doing is passing off my content as if it’s theirs.
But, as Constantin describes in his post, re-published posts on the PR Blog Watch site are mostly summaries and do include links back to the complete original post on the original blogger’s blog.
So where’s the problem? It’s only a summary and it does provide a link to the original.
Get a load of this, for instance:
[…] just assume that everything on the site is copyrighted unless we say it’s not. So you can’t use the stuff except how we say you can on this page or anywhere else on the site without our written permission. And like we said before, it’s not likely we’ll give you permission anyway. In fact, even if we wanted to, the lawyers are likely to veto any deal anyway. So it’s better you don’t even ask.
I have a Creative Commons license on my blog. It includes two key phrases on author attribution and non-commercial use as the graphic shows (click on the graphic to see the actual license).
As the wording in the full license says, any or all of the copyright conditions can be waived if there is agreement with the copyright owner (which is me with regard to original content on my blog that I’ve written). But they never asked so there is no agreement.
What 101 Public Relations are doing doesn’t look any different to what a company called Skweezer was doing a few months ago with material from Weblogs Inc, which got Jason Calacanis worked up into a real bother (and see the comments to his post).
Fair use is one thing. Ripping off someone else’s work is another matter entirely.
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