Blog Post

Free as in freedom

This kills me…We all come together with one common goal and that is to advocate the use of free software. We enjoy our freedoms, we advocate our freedoms, we love our freedoms. GPL, BSD, MIT oh my!

Yet…when someone aggregates a blog in the freedom world, people get upset as they didn’t give them permissions. I understand people getting upset, but I just don’t get it…

We support projects like Defective by Design and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and we stand together against things like DRM, the RIAA, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

And then…all of a sudden out of nowhere, DMCA take down notices are filed. WHAT?

The DMCA has been criticized for making it too easy for copyright owners to encourage website owners to take down infringing content and links when it may not in fact be infringing. When website owners receive a takedown notice it is in their interest not to challenge it, even if it is not clear if infringement is taking place, because if the potentially infringing content is taken down the website will not be held liable. The Electronic Frontier Foundation senior IP attorney Fred von Lohmann has said this is one of the problems with the DMCA. – Quoted from WikiPedia’s page on DMCA

Is it just me, or are these acts hypocritical? There are sites that aggregate the feeds from the various planets (Debian, KDE, Ubuntu, GNOME, and more) and provide them in a blog like fashion. Out of the 4 planets I just listed, Debian is the only one that doesn’t carry a disclaimer or copyright notice. I am not a lawyer, but I thought works that were on the Internet without any such disclaimer or copyright notice were in fact public domain? If someone is aggregating a planet without such clauses, would that make the posts on that planet public domain?

The licenses I use for this blog are GPL on the theme and GFDL on the content and documentation. I know that since the posts on my site are of my opinion, that places invariant sections within the GFDL license for this site. All that means is a person cannot change my views or opinions if they regurgitate what is said on this blog. If someone wants to aggregate my blog and possibly put it out to more people, I am all for it. They are spreading my advocation of freedom, therefor making my job a little easier in getting information out to the masses. Like I stated previously, if someone is aggregating my blog and not disrespecting the copyleft license agreements, and making money off of it, good on them. Although when I had AdSense on my blog, 7 people in 1 year clicked on the ads, making me a whopping $0.00.

What is the difference between someone aggregating your blog or someone finding it via Google anyways? One way or the other they are going to find your information. If you subscribe your posts to a planet, you are putting your posts out in the public in the first place. If you don’t want your blog syndicated, I suggest you remove the RSS feeds from the site.

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