(These are my views and not the BBC’s)
If you look at a web-page, no one argues that you need a “license” to read it. The act of putting it on the web implies a license to read it in a web-browser.
But then ends his post with:
Should we ignore RSS licenses in the same way that we ignore “Linking policies” and “Terms of service?”
I think Cory has forgotten that those “terms of service” he’s been ignoring often are the very license by which you are allowed read a given webpage. It?s simply not true to say that web pages don?t have license attached to read them ? they do. Here?s the BBC News website?s license, for example.
I would go further and say that there is very little content on the Internet which doesn?t have a license associated with it (be it explicitly stated, implied or derived in some form). Even people who want their content to be freely used and reused still place a Creative Commons license on it.
Why shouldn’t we all assume an implied license to aggregate, read, download, spindle, fold and mutilate it just the same way that we assume a license to download web-pages, view their source, cache them, block their popups and images and so forth?
‘Downloading pages’, ‘viewing source’, ‘caching pages’, ‘blocking popups and images’… These are all passive ways of consuming content in which the data isn?t changed or redistributed. It?s kept in the same format as when the original content provider put it out onto the Internet. It’s kind of the “what you do in your own home is your business” argument.
‘Aggregating’, ‘spindling’, ‘folding’, ‘mutilating’… These are non-passive ways of consuming media ? by definition you?re altering or manipulating the content into something else. That?s why a content provider would want to place a clearly visible license up their content ? to ensure users are clear as to where the boundaries lie with what you can and can?t alter. It’s the “you’re not allowed to do anything you want in public” argument.
If you read the BBC?s RSS licence you?ll see that it?s actually very unrestrictive in terms of what you can and can?t do with their feeds. It?s certainly groundbreaking stuff to come out of a big media organisation like the Beeb.
To say that there should be no restrictions at all seems somewhat naïve to me. Does Cory really want me to do anything I like with his BoingBoing.net RSS feed? I?m sure he?d be pretty peved if I created a mirror BoingBoing site plastered with my own adverts instead of his. In fact, I know he would because he?s placed a Creative Commons license upon his page (or is that one of those webpage licenses that he says I should be ignoring?)