The Copyright Debate and RSS

The Copyright Debate and RSS

by: S. Housley

RSS is commonly defined as really simple syndication. So, this means that any material contained in a feed is available for syndication, right? Well no, not exactly. It means that the content contained in an RSS feed is in a format that is syndication friendly, if the copyright holder allows for syndication. Offering a feed for syndication does not in fact grant any legal rights to anyone to reuse the feeds content beyond what the Copyright laws grant as Fair Use.

In practice, while your feed might legally be protected, you could literally spend weeks attempting to protect the contents of your feed. Legal gray areas are introduced with Search Engines indexing feeds and RSS Feed Directories including copywritten feeds, in their categorized directories. How do you distinguish between a legitimate search engine, RSS directory and someone simply reproducing the contents of a feed for personal gain? Legally how can you defend against one and not the other?

One can ask whether it is legally is it wrong to reproduce content in a feed. Morally is it wrong? Does the site have a purpose or value outside of the syndicated content? Is the aggregation of topic specific feeds in itself a value?

If you use the feeds for content and label the site a directory does that make it any more legal? What about personal web aggregators? If it is for personal use,is it OK?

Take a look at the following topic specific feed directories:

Financial Investing http://www.financeinvesting.com

or

Security Protection http://www.securityprotection.net

One could argue that the above sites do in fact provide value, aggregating and categorizing related topic specific feeds in a single location. In fact those in the security sector of the finance arena might find the above sites of significant value but what of the content creators?

Laws and Technology Collide

Most people publishing content via RSS support republication of feeds. Because the technology is fairly new, the laws and legalities are still murky. It is assumed that content in RSS is protected by copyright laws but let us not forget the Internet is global and their is not a centralized body governing what is right or what is wrong. Not only does law and technology collide the laws of different countries, those creating the feed and those displaying the contents of the feed may contradict each other. It is for this reason, I would advise that publishers using RSS to assume that the contents of their RSS feeds will be syndicated and replicated.

Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Feed.

That is not to say there are not things that can be done to protect feeds. At the end of the day being proactive is the best way to protect intellectual property.

Part of feed protection is ensuring that appropriate credit is given, this can be arranged by including a copyright assignment in the final line of the Item Description field.

Additionally you can include links back to your website in the Item description field.

Use teaser copy in the RSS feedกs Item description field, linking back to your website which contains the full contents of the post.

At the end of the day, protecting the contents of a feed can be daunting and limiting. Controlling your contents to ensure appropriate credit and links are included is critical.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

This article was posted on August 17

by S. Housley

12 Items You CAN’t Sell On eBay

12 Items You CAN’t Sell On eBay

by: Sydney Johnston

Millions of wouldbe entrepreneurs want to sell things on ebay. eBay is the #1 homebusiness opportunity in the world right now, so itกs natural that many are eager to find highly profitable items for resale on eBay. However, itกs important to know that there are certain items that can’t be sold. Here are a dozen of them …

Some items are copyright infringement and can actually land a seller in federal prison:

1. Knock offs of music, TV shows or movies. The กbootlegก movies, for example, are often made by guys who sneak a movie camera into a newlyreleased movie where presumably, they crouch behind a seat and make a crummy copy. There is a large production of these counterfeit items in Asia where US laws have no power.

2. Software and computer games can likewise be copied and their sale is illegal by all US laws.

Naturally, the items above may be sold if you have a copy that you purchased legitimately and no longer want.

3, The socalled ‘replicaก market for handbags, designer sunglasses and clothing is definitely forbidden although these items are often sold in physical stores around the US. Ironically, when attending eBay Live In New Orleans in 2004, we found a store in one of their famous markets selling replica purses that were not allowed on eBay.

4. Lazy and lessthanhonest sellers often steal copyrighted material from other sellers. This has happened to me many times and eBay has a program called VERO (Verified Rights Owner) that will remove offending auctions, although there seems to be no penalty attached to the seller, which is unfortunate.

5. Alcoholic beverage sales are not allowed although a beverage กcontainerก, especially those of wine, may be sold for its value.

6. Cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco or coupons for such items are not permitted on eBay.com.

The Ebay rules for collectible tobacco and alcohol containers are the same:

* The value of the item is in the collectible packaging, not in the wine/tobacco itself.

* The listing description should state that the package has not been opened, but that the twine/tobacco within is not for consumption.

* The collectible tobacco packaging must not be available at any retail outlet, and packaging must have a value that substantially exceeds the current retail price of that wine/tobacco product in the package.

* Sellers must take steps to ensure that the buyer of these collectibles is at least 18 years of age

7. Firearms are strictly regulated by US law and may not be sold on eBay.

8. Satellite and cable TV descramblers are forbidden by the Federal Trade Commission.

9. Animals and wildlife products may not be sold, which includes stuffed birds and pelts from endangered species. There are limited sales of ivory, tortoise shell, marine products and other items relating to animals. This area is quite complex and any wouldbe seller needs to thoroughly understand the various laws before getting involved in these sales.

10. Event tickets have statebystate laws that make their sale complex. Some states, for instance, forbid anyone to make more than a few dollars in profit (or no profit at all) on the resale of tickets. For instance, Florida law states that tickets can be resold at no more than face value plus $1. In such states, these regulations apply only to buyers and sellers located in the same state as the actual event, meaning if a seller lives in Florida, he can’t profit from ticket sales to Florida events. However, if he lives in any of the other 39 states, this restriction doesn’t apply.

11. Listing a catalog of items that a seller offers for sale is forbidden. The only catalogs legally sold on eBay are collectible kinds, such as an old Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Wards catalog that is memorabilia and doesn’t offer current merchandise for sale.

12. Raffles and prizes are 100% prohibited. According to eBay, such promotions are highly regulated and may be unlawful in many states.

There are other kinds of merchandise that a seller may not sell on eBay, so carefully check eBay rules before listing anything. Itกs much better to know the rules in advance of spending money that can’t be recouped.

About The Author

Sydney Johnston

Learn how to sell on eBay with 16 hours of online instruction taught by a 10 year eBay veteran. Own an eBay business instead of an eBay hobby.

http://www.auctiongeniuscourse.com

This article was posted on September 11

by Sydney Johnston