Perhaps a naive question, but I was thinking about legal and social ways to combat splogs and blog scraping (since even with my limited scope, I’ve been scraped at least twice). In particular, I was wondering: do CreativeCommons NC licenses prevent blog scraping?
There are a number of detailed questions I haven’t investigated, but I figured I’d post this now to see if anyone comments. Personally, I chose the CC BY-NC-SA license because the human-readable version seems to be closest to what I want my philosophy to be for much of my content. That is:
- BY – By attribution. This means anyone who uses the license must attribute the work to me. It’s the least to ask that if you’re going to use something I create, that you let the world know I created it first.
- NC – Non Commercial. It’s my work; I’m certainly not going to give it to you for free if you’re making money off of it. If there’s money to be made in what I create, it’s mine!
- SA – Share Alike. Although I am not a Free Software type (a’la FSF) for code myself, for personal writings like my website and blog, I want to ensure that others who re-use my content will allow their versions of my works to be shared alike.
My question to my legal and geek readers is: can CC NC licenses help combat splogs? Splogs being original-content-free sites that simply copy other people’s feeds, and have lots of AdSense or other advertising links on them. The more content they steal, the more search hits and therefore ad revenue they make from the site.
Either on legal theory, or technical issues, does the CC NC license prohibit this use? Have any of the CC licenses been tested in court? And where is the current legal line on commercial use? The whole fact that splogs are original-content-free would point a reasonable person to say it’s purely for selfish commercial use, but I’m sure that some tricky splogger has an argument about how their feed search terms constitute something original or such bull that it would take a number of cases to have anything effective.
Yes, I realize this is all very theoretical. For practical solutions I should download a WordPress plugin that poisons my default feeds with copyright notices or faux content. But with the relative popularity of CreativeCommons I was wondering if they’ve been thinking about this specific issue – of the EFF or some of the other great online legal sites out there.