Note To Tailrank: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should


We had a rather interesting 'discussion' this afternoon with Kevin Burton of Tailrank this afternoon after we saw a complete PSFK article republished on his splog site.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 6 august 2006

We had a rather interesting ‘discussion’ this afternoon with Kevin Burton of Tailrank this afternoon after we saw a complete PSFK article republished on his automated site.

Kevin’s response was that he published the article because we publish a full text feed and therefore that meets his terms and conditions. In affect, he told us that it was our fault that his site was publishing our full content.

We don’t ‘offer’ a full text feed for PSFK or IF! actually (so we suppose a bot went and found the hidden one), but that’s beside the point. Kevin’s Tailrank system republished a complete article of PSFK and sold advertising space beside it – i.e. he made money out of our time and effort. We received nothing for that – not even traffic.

Even if we do publish a full text feed – does that mean that someone can put that up on their site for public consumption?

Now, I see the irony of an aggregator complaining about another aggregator – but we believe that our excepts and extracts of others’ content falls within fair use – and that we are actually encouraging traffic to the original content. Tailrank just republishes because it has the data. It’s not a healthy development in online media when one online publisher steals the content from another and sees no wrong.

Kevin and others: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Please consider fair use.


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