Home RSS Ripoff Merchants

RSS Ripoff Merchants

NB: This is a re-posting, slightly edited.

What would you do if someone was ripping your RSS feed off – that is, copying every single post into their website? And what would you think if some software companies actively encouraged this activity? I call these people RSS Ripoff Merchants. (a sidenote: I’m absolutely not talking about fellow bloggers who re-post an occasional post of mine – I’m specifically talking about sites that brazenly re-post everything and are doing it for commercial purposes).

I started off by laughing at it, but there’s a serious side too. Content has value and these Ripoff Merchants are completely glossing over that fact.

A couple of days ago I took a light-hearted look at a dodgy RSS service called SuperFeedSystem, which was quite frankly laughable in its Informercial-like sales pitch. But at the same time its blatent glossing over of copyright issues was quite offensive (“You don’t have to write a single, solitary little ole word!”).

update: Hector Jimenez, the creator of SuperFeedSystem, responds over at ionRSS.com by saying “It is up to our clients to follow any applicable laws for use of the materials.”

Jason Calacanis, owner of blog publishing network weblogs inc., highlighted a practical example. He wrote recently on his blog:

“…this site http://www.sportcompactracing.com/ is lifting the entire www.autoblog.com site and will not respond. You never want to call lawyers, but it is getting to that point.”

After that I found two more RSS software sellers who seem to be encouraging RSS feed ripoffs: RSS Equalizer and RSS Content Builder.

Some sample quotes, first from RSS Equalizer:

“You see, regardless of what topic or subject matter you’ve built your website around, there’s valuable content out there… articles and information written by some “expert” in that particular field.

And since that kind of content already exists – AND a large portion of it is available through the magic of RSS feed capability – YOU don’t have to create the content yourself.”

And this from RSS Content Builder:

“A World Of Professional Writers Right At Your Finger Tips

Never hire another writer again and always have fresh up to the minute news and articles from your industry on your web pages. Add one line of code to your website and your pages will update themselves forever.”

I would remind services like these that some of us put an awful lot of hard work into our writing – it doesn’t come for free!

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