Dealing With People Who Steal Your Content

I think everyone knows I am not a lawyer but incase you did not here is your notice.

A few times a week I get emails from people who are getting there RSS republished other places. Usually the title of the subject is like “PLEASE HELP ME CONTENT THIEF STOLE MY STUFF”.

Usually the first thing I look at is there feed to see if they have anything about how there RSS feed is licensed. Not one time has any of these people ever had anything on there feed that says how it can be used. You can see in my feed that it says it falls under the creative commons license with some rights reserved and it links to the license here

So here is the thing. In my legal experience its always been about “intent”. If someone gets caught ripping off your RSS and you have ZERO instructions on how your rss can and cant be used then you are going to have a hard time going after someone ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU STILL DON’T HAVE ANY INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW YOUR FEED SHOULD BE USED.

In the end really… how bad is it? I see so many people LINK to people that are stealing there content and make countless posts in forums linking to the place that is stealing there content… where otherwise someone would have never seen it… Is it me or does this seem stupid?

If you really have a case its very easy to file a DMCA request to there provider and the content will be removed within a few days (google blogspot and wordpress are very fast in this). Also worst case scenario is that someone ranks over you for your own content in Google and you can send Google a DMCA and they will get nuked out of the search engine…

I do think this is a area where someone could start a service that would handle this for you. They could actively search and destroy people that were syndicating your content. I dunno that is probably messy….

So my final thoughts on this is basically look and make sure someone will actually SEE the site before you make a huge deal about it. Is there alexa number 7 figures? Is there pr0? … srsly

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