Palfrey: Bring CC into RSS

A discussion about the correct use of RSS is hot on Tech.Memeorandum tonight.

John Palfrey’s response is generating a good deal of chatter–so much so that his blog is down. (Luckily, we have RSS.) John is one of the smartest thinkers on the Internet and his thoughts merit a more thorough reading than I can give while catching up on Roller Girls and the Colbert Report (which now has an RSS feed for The Word.) Highlights:

…a publisher of RSS feeds … has options. First, the publisher can and should put a license in the feed that says what they want people to do or not to do with their feeds. Creative Commons licenses, as I’ve argued on this blog, are the way to go — to embed them into the RSS feeds when they go out, with clear instructions for your intent. If you want people to run your feed in private aggregators, but not in public aggregators that are for-profit, to re-offer your content just as you’ve offered it, and to attibute authorship to you, why not add to your feed a BY-NC-SA license? Second, the publisher of the source, as some have done, can make clear on their blogs or by writing to those who aggregate or allow others to aggregate their content not to do so, pursuant, for instance, to the DMCA 512 procedures. If an aggregator does not abide your wishes, then the publisher can seek to assert a copyright complaint via the courts or otherwise. But to switch the presumption, somehow, back to a strong form of the copyright argument would do far more harm than good…

OK, so maybe you don’t like the micro-chunked and syndicated version of the future. Even without that version of the future, the rights in syndicated content should be clarified. There’s no doubt that common practice is to share the content that you are syndicating for a wide variety of uses. That’s the default that has emerged. Simple, clear, online licenses should demark those feeds that are not meant to be consumed broadly in such a fashion, before the train-wreck hits.

Categories: rss

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