I definitely want to clarify that and correct any misimpression people may have.
One of the best things about my trip to LegalTech was that I got a number of opportunities to talk with Kevin O’Keefe, who I have long admired as one of the pioneers in the use of the Internet by lawyers. Check out this roundtable article we did with Kevin from back in 2000 about virtual communities to learn more about his background and get some insights into his innovative thinking about ways lawyers might use the Internet.
I read Kevin’s recent post on the USALAW.com blog network and found myself nodding my head in agreement as I read about the concerns he expressed.
It would be very easy for someone going to that site to see a listing of excerpts of my posts on this blog and conclude that I had applied for and was part of that blog network. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE.
I want to make it clear that I have no involvement in the USALAW.com blog network WHATSOEVER. I have not talked with them and, like Kevin, was not asked for permission to have excerpts put on their site. Although what they are doing may qualify as “fair use,” I am concerned that people think that I am part of their blog network, endorse it or receive financial benefit from it. THAT IS NOT THE CASE.
It is very likely that my blog will become part of a blog network in the near future and I do not want people to be confused about which network I might be in. In addition, I do not want to lose opportunities to be invited into another blog network because people mistakenly believe I am part of the USALAW.com blog network.
It is possible to repurpose RSS feeds in many ways these days and probably many of those ways will technically qualify as “fair use.”
HOWEVER, I have two simple rules for blog networks and other aggregation sites whose business model presumably involves making money, through ads or otherwise, by aggregating other people’s feeds or “repurposing” their content where there is no license that explicitly allows for that:
1. Ask yourself how you would feel if someone else took your writing or other creative work and used it in the way you intend to use other peoples’ work.
2. Notify people and ask permission, at least as a courtesy, when you “repurpose” their feeds on an ongoing basis, even if you think it is “fair use.” Most of the time I will say yes (I let people reprint my articles and posts on a regular basis), but I hate to learn from someone else that my content is appearing somewhere else and that people think that I am involved in the other site, especially when I know nothing about the other site or who is behind it. And I really don’t like it when I’m talking to someone about joining a blog network, since it makes it look like I am part of another blog network.
I’ve already posted a notice about another site that I am not associated with. I’m hoping I do not need to set up a new category for posts in which I announce that I am not associated with blogs or aggregation sites. Just ask me about what you plan to do – it’s really easy to do.
Read Kevin’s post – he makes some excellent points.
As a final point, as we continue to move into a more commercialized blog era, bloggers do not want to find out that someone unknown to them is making more money off their content than they are, unless they have applied a Creative Commons or other license that allows others to do so. I have not.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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