Fine Lines: Copyright Complexities - InformationWeek

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Fine Lines: Copyright Complexities

When dealing with RSS, you give up some of your copyrights, Scoble says.

To see how complicated Weblog copyrights can get, just visit Scobleizer.com, the Weblog of Microsoft technical evangelist Robert Scoble.

There, in a Jan.16 posting, Scoble takes exception with blogger Martin Schwimmer's complaint about the way news aggregators use Really Simple Syndication to redistribute Weblog content. "Don't participate in RSS at all and just stick with HTML, which already has accepted copyright patterns," Scoble offers as one of several solutions. "When you come into RSS land, I believe you do give up some of your copyrights: for the overall good," he adds.

Scoble allows the content of Scobleizer to be freely distributed via RSS, but he's more restrictive when it comes to another Weblog he created called The Red Couch, where Scoble and co-author Shel Israel are collaborating on a book about using Weblogs in business. Visitors to The Red Couch site will be allowed to view the book's chapters using RSS, but they're prohibited from redistributing the chapters.

That's just one of several copyright clarifications articulated by Scoble in a Jan. 21 entry on The Red Couch. He also reversed an earlier policy under which the co-authors claimed rights to all material on The Red Couch, including content of substance posted there by others. Under the new policy, Scoble and Israel will seek permission before reusing or redistributing others' work.

Illustration by Viktor Koen

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