Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
Bob had some interesting things to say around the implicit contract that he feels a content creator enters into withany good faith aggregatorwhen they make a feed available “in a format that we understand” (RSS, Atom, etc), or ping a dedicated service.
Bob suggests that anyone doing so could be considered to be granting permission for that content to be gathered and passed on by a third party. By offering this post via afeed, Bob would suggest that I grant permission for it to appear inTypePad's list of recently updated blogs, that I grant permission forBloglinesorPubSuborTechnoratito extract their value from it, and that I grant permission for just about anybody to display the feed on their web site.
Up to this point, I think that I agree with him. I wonder to what extent the law does?Andrés?
There are, of course, some important considerations wrapped up in those innocent little words “good faith”. As the content provider, I would expect unambiguous attribution. I would expect me, my work (and probably my employer) not to be misrepresented. I would hope, although this is harder to define, that my work would not be used inappropriately. To what extent are my expectations reasonable?
One possible concern these days is that feeds are being created and pings ponged entirely automatically, and it's entirely possible that this is all taking placewithoutthe knowledge of the user. Is it still tenable to argue, as Bob does, that feeding and pinging areconscious actsthat the author undertakes with some knowledge of the consequences? Possibly not, which may begin to complicate the picture.
Where I disagree, quite vehemently, with Bob is around his assertion that my implicit contract with him also permits him to plaster advertising over my feed in order that he can recoup his costs. No. It most definitely does not. Let me amend ourimplicitcontract by quiteexplicitlystating that I don't wantanyoneslapping advertising on or in association with one of my posts without my explicit permission.
Bob has a lot of interesting things to say about those acts that he feels the implicit contract allows and does not allow, and he's clearly given it some thought. One downside with the podcast as a medium is the difficulty I have in quoting back to you things that I heard whilst driving several hours ago. I suggest you have a listen, and contribute your thoughts.
Thereisan implicit contract. In a Web 2.0 world of mix, re-mix, aggregation and recombination there simplyhasto be. We can't afford to enter into formal legal agreements with every potential source, collaborator and beneficiary, both upstream and down.
Creative Commonspossibly offers one solution for moving this contract towards lightweight explicitness, and I have more hope there than Bob appeared to. Thestudyinto Creative Commons funded whilst wearingmy old hatis finished, and publication simply requires me to find the time to read it through in detail and sign it off. Keep an eyeherefor notice of the publication.ODRL, too, might offer a technical solution, and it would be interesting to hear Bob's thoughts around that.
So - where and how do we draw the line? And how close is the position of the line drawn by a content author to one drawn by a content aggregator?