Skip to main content

Changed Copyright Notice for UrbanWorkbench

Copyright symbol

It seems that I’ve been scraped by a couple of sites that choose not to generate their own content, but rather “scrape” someone elses from a feed. As a result, and rather reluctantly, I’ve changed my copyright notice away from a Creative Common’s licence to a straight copyright notice. Obviously this doesn’t apply to the material that I’ve used from the creative commons licence, but to all original content on this site. Notice will be sent out to these websites as well.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

5 thoughts on “Changed Copyright Notice for UrbanWorkbench

  1. I have to be honest and say that this is, to me, a bad move.

    First, Creative Commons licenses do not allow for scraping. One of the requirements of all licenses is that the person using the content must link back to the content and to the license itself, clearly stating the terms it is used under. I’d wager that your scrapers failed to do that.

    See the first bullet point on my CC deed:

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/

    Second, not having a clear license on your work can be dangerous. Without going into too many details, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to what permissions one gives when transmitting content via RSS. May legal minds feel that doing so, even accidentally, provides others an “implied license” to scrape the content. I disagree with this argument strongly but it would not be the craziest that I had seen work.

    However, implied licenses are trumped by actual ones and providing a CC license (or any clear copyright license that expressly forbids or restricts such scraping) so that would actually give you greater legal protection.

    It’s something to consider. I agree CC isn’t for everyone, but backing off of it due to scraping is not a good reason in my mind and my conversations and I came to that conclusion have some lengthy chats with members of the CC organization.

    http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2007/06/05/using-creative-commons-to-stop-scraping/

    I’m not saying you should go back to CC, but I do think you need to weigh these issues…

    Let me know if you have any questions!

  2. It does seem to me slightly inconsistent to be dropping CC licensing when you utilize CC licensed photography to illustrate your posts.

    Please don’t take this to mean I disapprove of your using my photo.

  3. Thanks for your comment James.

    My issues is with the wholesale scraping of a whole post, even if they include a link back to me at the top or bottom of the post – nothing in the CC license protects me from this. Similarly, under the CC license, which I share many of my photos, I have little problem with someone using one at a time in a blog post at 500 px or so with a link back. But if it was every photo… I think there is a fair use component missing in the range of CC licenses, if it means that someone can scrape my feed and publish my exact words (all of them, not just a quote), at the exact same time that the post is published, I think this is a limitation with the license. It does not protect me or other producers of content from this type of freeloading.

    If the whole article, (and for that fact – all of my articles) are being posted elsewhere, why does anyone need to visit my site. It potentially reduces my Google Ranking (they don’t like duplicate content), and what happens if that site does happen to get more Google Juice than my blog, or all the other blogs they scrape from, people start thinking that I publish there as well?

Comments are closed.