Jim Elve v. Skweezer

Jim Elve v. Skweezer

Boy I’ve just worked myself into a lather over at Barnett’s blog. Some chap in Canada has been going ballistic along the lines of his copyright is being infringed and his ad revenue swindled.

Alex asked the questions:

  • When is it ok, is it ok to render content dynamically/statically created by another author on another site/service?
  • What is fair use, what is not?
  • Is it ok to take snippets of others' content and republish (as I have done above)..if so, how much is content is too much...10%, 50%, 80%, 100%?
  • If you do use a snippet, should you link to original source? (personally I think this should ALWAYS be the case)

For me, Squeezer is a proxy, plain and simple. There just isn’t just cause to go after them with a mallet (especially since their service’s life will probably be quite short). I commented:

I reckon once content is available online it should be treated as largely in the public domain. It's no sin to chase audience and ad revenue by repurposing other people's content, but generally, readers want a relationship with a site, and these are best provided by active independent publishers who keep it fresh by keeping it coming. I think Barnabas Kendall's "Why Skweezer is good for Content Publishers" is a bit ingenuous in places. In any case, he puts his finger on the real issue: > After all, certain sites (Bloglines for example)
> detect and offer alternative content to mobile
> browsers. In a perfect Internet, this would
> obviate Skweezer entirely. As handsets improve (and they are--quickly) and websites become more semantic and more media neutral (and I think the rush is now officially on) services like Squeezer will become obsolete. I think we're looking at a couple of years, so not really anything to get your knickers in a twist about. Besides, I've not yet found an aggregated or repurposed site that I favoured over its original. Or, in other words, while it's no sin, repurposing probably isn't the best way to build an audience. Finally, I won't say Jim Elve is a psycho, but he's not so much way off the mark as missing the point entirely. For now, Skweezer is a proxy service. Period. Same as websitegarage and the modem proxy you get with your copy of Analog. As a hosted service that isn't a registered charity, of course they whack some ads at the bottom of the page. I think this exposes a sidecar issue: Google adsense will be rubbish until it adopts standards. Google, read my lips, The IFRAME tag is NOT STANDARD it is a deprecated MSIE extension grrr If Google let us store the adwords in page memory so they could easily be manipulated, Jim's ads would still be on his page.

The lather I mentioned in the first paragraph is really down to Google’s implementation. Adsense is everywhere. It’s important, so why not implement it correctly?