Technology Weblogging

Take your hands off the tech and back away slowly

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Several people have linked to Martin Schwimmer and his indignation about the fact that Bloglines re-prints the content of his post, without attribution and with the possibility of future advertisements (…or guilty until proven innocent). This violates the cc license, he says, because he can only be republished if proper attribution is given, and in a non-commercial setting.

This sounded familiar, and sure enough, digging around in my archives finds this. where another person reacted in outrage when they found out their feed was being re-published:

What was a surprise is that Mitch reversed himself and now offers a Creative Commons license on his material, though the license information isn’t duplicated in Mitch’s RSS feed directly. Mitch also brings up the ‘commercial’ aspect of re-publishing the material at LiveJournal, and what’s to stop someone from grabbing the content and putting it behind password protected sites that charge money for access.

Easy – don’t publish all your entire post in your RSS feed; keep the RSS feeds to excerpts only. Remove the content-encoded field and just leave the description. And adjust your blogging tool to publish excerpts, only. If your weblogging tool doesn’t allow this adjustment, ask the tool builder to provide this capability. The RSS feeds are there to help promote your ideas, not promote their theft. But you have to control the technology, not let the technology control you.

Wait until he discovers the other online sites, such as, that do add ads into the feed if you use it to subscribe within any aggregator, Bloglines or not.


Also, see this about creative commons licenses and RSS feeds back in 2002.

Question to Mr. Schwimmer — is your cc license attached to your feed?

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