Monday, May 22, 2006

Bloglines - Courtesy of FeedPass, I’ve Stolen Mike Arrington’s Feed

Bloglines user PeterDawson ( has sent this item to you, with the following personal message:

waaaaaaaaaaa.. he stole the revenue !! alec wraps his head around feedpass and feedburner.... MIKE BUGU and take it :)-

Some Rights Reserved   Alec Saunders .LOG
Alec Saunders' personal soapbox on World Events, Canadian Politics, and the Technology Business. Ingredients include a little wine, and a lot of VoIP.

Courtesy of FeedPass, I’ve Stolen Mike Arrington’s Feed

By Alec on Tech & Business

It’s a holiday weekend here in Canada.  While the coffee was making I started thinking about the whole FeedPass abuse theme I wondered about yesterday.  And then it clicked how easy it would be to cut the author of a blog out of the revenue stream on FeedPass.  Here’s what I did:

  1. I used my Feedburner account to create a new feed for TechCrunch.  Here’s the chicklet: 
  2. I used Feedpass to wrap that feed in advertising.  You can see it here:
  3. Then, I used FeedBurner’s Title/Description Burner feature to insert the FeedPass claim code. FeedPass accepted the modified header as real, and allowed me to claim TechCrunch.

By doing this, I get the 1/3 of Google revenues that FeedPass reserves for the creator of the feed, PLUS the 1/3 that FeedPass reserves for the owner of the feed.  Sorry Mike.  I guess I cut you out of the loop…

Having had the time to think through this issue over night, I’ve come to the conclusion that there really isn’t a legitimate reason for FeedPass to offer this feature.  Syndication of blog content should be done with the author’s consent, which I don’t believe would be unreasonably withheld in most cases.  Certainly, I’ve allowed my content to be commercially syndicated by a variety of different groups.  But commercial syndication of all my content (even just excerpts) without my consent crosses a line, in my mind.

Randy asked yesterday how this was different from Google, which of course, does exactly that — it commercially syndicates all of my content.  It does so, however, with my consent.  I could add a robots file, and they would honour that.  Opting out of FeedPass requires me to send email to Jim Woolley.  If FeedPass can automate claiming a blog, then they ought to also automate an opt-out.  Moreover, they ought to do a better job of ensuring that only the owner of a blog can claim the feed.

And in the meantime, sorry Mike… I am keeping all of the click revenue from your excellent work for myself!!!


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