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GReader’s “Shared Items” is Awesome

Duncan Riley writes a post over on techcrunch saying that “So-called link blogs in Reader already break copyright and in a small way undermine blogs and content creators. ”

What? Republishing syndicated content is breaking copyright law? C’mon, it’s not like techcrunch to sound like a crotchty old man who is wrong.

“RSS is an XML-based document format for the syndication of web
content so that it can be republished on other sites ”…..cation.txt

If you don’t want your content syndicated to other sites, err, don’t make available via RSS?

Or, just publish the titles via RSS

Or, include ads, like you do on TC. You have lots of options.

Duncan agrees with (#1) Gabe’s completely correct point that it’s pressing the limits for GNews to scrape news sites and aggregate their stories. And if Google’s intent is to create a walled garden where google’s bots are the only ones scraping news content, but do not allow themselves to be crawled…that would be a big problem. At this point, though, I don’t see that as their goal. It’s too small.

Perhaps Mr. Riley’s real issue is that we’re lacking the tools for publishers to control and manage distribution as effectively as he would like. I agree with this point, and we’re spending a huge number of engineering hours and dollars to improve the status quo.

The fact is that the publishing tools of today are a great first step to get content online, and they’re getting better and better at CMS. But since consumption is so much about SHARING, today’s publishing tools need to do a better job of sharing. And with sharing comes the huge challenge of access control and seamlessly administering distribution rights.

Google Reader blew me away when I could see that, with 1-click I could share a great article with my friend. That was a phenomenal first step and clear direction for the future. Sharing links via email is cumbersome and will soon be dead.

I’m looking forward to the future where sharing and licensing go hand in hand. Traditional media distributers such as Walmart are not not nearly so effective as sharing via friends, but friends aren’t being rewarded yet. You know… if sharer’s, aka fans were seen as distributers, and could be rewarded as such, we just might have a future where DRM dies, and where more media gets exchanged more efficiently, to the delight of publishers (like Duncan) and consumers alike.

RSS, and sharing via GReader is a first step for all who want to participate. Duncan, is there any way we can convince you? I’ll buy drinks.




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