I never visit Technorati, but I did today.Â I guess I was bored or something.Â So when I got there, I was checking out incoming links to this blog.Â Interestingly, I found a link from Pc-news.us and clicked on over.Â I found that all of my posts from here, the V7 Tech Blog, were being republished in full-text over there.Â Not only that, but they were hotlinking the images.Â
I wasn’t quite sure how they were doing it;Â I just thought they were copying and pasting the articles.Â But as Colleen pointed out, it turns out that they are stealing the content via RSS feeds.Â
The purpose of RSS feeds is to allow your visitors to subscribe to the feed, and be alerted when there are new posts.Â The intentions of RSS were never to give free content to piece of shit webmasters.Â You may think that because you can access the full content via RSS that it’s okay to republish it on your site, but it’s not.
Scroll on down the bottom of this blog and you’ll notice a little statement that says “Copyright 2006 V7 Inc, All Rights Reserved.”Â For those that are a bit slow in the brain, it means all content published on this site belongs to V7, and to republish it without the express written consent of V7 is a violation of copyright law. Copyright “protects ‘original works of authorship’ that are fixed in a tangible form of expression,” which would include these blog posts.
The absence of a copyright notice, however, is not a green light to go ahead and steal content: “Copyright [is] Secured Automatically upon Creation.” So unless you see a GNU Free Documentation License, or Creative Commons License outlining the authorized use of said content, back off and write something original.
Hotlinking to our images is also another form of theft – bandwidth theft.Â Steal that and you might just end up with the image above appearing onÂ your site. 🙂
To avoid pissing me off and getting a call fromÂ a lawyer, don’t steal our content.Â
(Note: The above image belongs to JuggoPop.)