Monday, March 2, 2009

Maybe I Should Watch My Step

Link to March 2 New York Times article, "Copyright Challenge for Sites That Excerpt".

It's called "scraping", shaving away potential readers and profiting from the content, a sense of the word you won't find yet in a dictionary definition.

Some traditional news organizations -- desperate for revenue, clueless about the changing times -- are now grousing over this practice of using of excerpts from original content. I do it all the time, excerpting no more than a few paragraphs per article, with the idea that the reader will click on the link I provide and read more. And I should be so lucky to profit from this activity!

No one's ever complained to me about this practice. In fact, every once in awhile I receive an email like this.

Quite a list, isn't it?

After I posted the story, a private investigator said he could have pointed me to where I might find most of the missing information. The exception was financial and medical records, which I could have obtained only by breaking the law (through social engineering).

Thanks for reading!--Robert L. Mitchell

This was in response to a link I provided to Mitchell's "What the Web Knows About You". My 1/28/2009 blog post included lists of "Information Discovered Online" and "Not (Yet) Found Online" that the author had included in his article.

What's next? A One Newspaper/One Reader campaign? I can't share my copy of the New York Times with anyone. They'll just have to buy their own.

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