Are You Thinking of Republishing RSS Feeds?

There is lively debate about the republishing of RSS feeds on other sites. The argument surrounds the use of RSS feeds from the feed publisher being used in an unfair manner. This includes republishing the entire articles and not displaying sufficient credit to the original source.

Before we go into the details you may want to brush up on your understanding of RSS. This will help you fully appreciate and fully understand the issues involved.

I am glad this conversation is happening now as it needs to be made clear what fair use of RSS feeds actually means. There may be webmasters who are republishing RSS feeds in all innocence at the moment not realising the furore that is going on around them with regards to their republishing activities. I would like to help clear up any misunderstandings that surround RSS republishing.

Being an RSS publisher myself who is considering republishing other authors RSS feeds I would like to make sure I am not treading on any toes. I am basing the following RSS republishing etiquette on the good practice that Rok Hrastnik has enthused.

If you wish to republish an RSS feed then you should first consult the publisher with your intentions. This would be an email to the author stating how you wish to reuse their feed and the page or pages the feed will be republished on and the attributions you will make. You will need to clarify some points. If the authors feed contains ads then will they be republished? Will you be monetizing the authors work by placing ads on your republished page? To avoid conflict these issues need to be sorted out.

The general guidelines Rok Hrastrnik has provided state that the article title must link back to the original article. If the RSS feeds contains a complete article only an excerpt, Rok suggests 100 to 200 words, can be republished. A link should be provided to the article source, the website of the original publisher.

Further to this it is suggested that no archives are kept on the republished site and no full articles are used. I would suggest permission is sought from the original author if you wish to keep an archive on your site.

You can follow this discussion further at PR meets the WWW and Micro persuasion.

Allan is the webmaster at NewsNiche an RSS resource for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.

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