One thing that’s prompted me to do this is the issue I had recently regarding unauthorized use of my content (successfully resolved) plus increasingly receiving trackbacks from some people who have absolutely no clear reason to trackback other than to gain some linkage. I’ve also been observing some of the reactions to Dell’s new blog by some of the, let’s say, more hysterical inhabitants of the blogosphere.
It’s version 1.0 and if you have any comments about it, I’d very much welcome your opinions. Thanks.
Seems fair. Although now I’m paranoid that my leaving a comment will be viewed with suspicion of spamming or linking superfluously.
Ah, to be neurotic.
Adam, neurotic is good! And you didn’t show up in Akismet’s spam list. So you made it through with flying colours!
I feel your pain, but this is not going to help. I didn’t read your terms and no one else is going to either.
I think the rule here is that if you can’t handle people stealing your content, don’t blog.
Alternatively, password protect it and charge a fee. Of course, you have to have something valuable to offer to do that.
The fact that people are stealing your stuff might indicate that it has value.
Appreciate your opinion, Dominic, thanks, but you’re missing the point entirely of why I’ve done this.
Purely publishing some terms and conditions is not going to stop somone from stealing or scraping my content. To do that would probably require some other means (maybe something like cloaking, for instance). Even then, I doubt the determined content thief would be deterred.
It also makes clear my position regarding commenting and trackbacks. I think that’s becoming more important when you increasingly see time-wasting discussion going on in some blogs that are nothing to do with the posts but all to do with what’s allowed and what isn’t.
I try to be sensitive to posting trackbacks when I comment on someone’s post–for just the reason you cite. I don’t wnat people to think that I’m just spiking traffic.
However, I don’t think that it would be a violation of your Terms of Service to point out that I recently referenced your post regarding the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Good points, Tom, thanks. I have a couple of clarifications I want to make myself so all added to my to-do list for a version 1.1 update in a few days.
Re referencing a post, that’s absolutely fine and, indeed, clearly encouraged. No issues with that at all. The CC license would cover it. You did what every reasonable blogger does – provided attribution to the source.
By the way, I loved your terrific audio comment in today’s FIR!
Thorough work. You state you have no political agenda – but what about disclosure of commercial interests? Isn’t this more relevant to a PR blog?
You’re absolutely right, Richard. Thanks for mentioning that one. Big omission which will be covered in version 1.1.
Sounds reasonable to me, and I consider you pretty forward-thinking for doing this (among all your other great work, of course). A Terms-of-Use statement like this may become more prevalent in the not too distant future. Nice.
Neville, I think the terms of service are a good idea; I’ve been considering it for some time myself.
Last year, I saw a blog TOS — no idea where, but it was through Amy Gahran’s site — that had a clause about all comments becoming the exclusive property of the site owner. This was aimed at keeping a commenter from making a claim on any revenues produced by the site.
Thanks, Todd. I think you’re right in that ToU will very likely become more common on blogs.
Re comments, that’s a good point (but isn’t that getting into a murky legal area?). I’m not sure I’d want to say that anything anyone says here becomes my property. Doesn’t seem to fit in the spirit of open source, Creative Commons, etc.
Plus I’m thinking of potential issues such as someone saying something libellous and I get sued becuase I’ve said that the words are my property and so I then have the complete responsibility for what anyone says (and maybe any blogger does anyway). I guess to have a ToU statement that is iron-clad, I’d need to talk to a lawyer. But that’s getting into serious areas which I don’t think I need to do.
I might change my mind, though, after the first cease-and-desist letter :)
Hi Neville, I should have mentioned the blogger was an attorney (though a US one).
He also explained why he had written the clauses as he had. I only wish I could find it again.