Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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On the ethics of using RSS feeds

Recently, on syn_promo, there's been some discussion about using people's RSS feeds on LJ; some people have become upset that their precious content is displayed unaggregated on a LJ user page (though I'd wager that most people read syndicated content on their friends page -- i.e. aggregated with other content, as RSS is probably most commonly used). People tend to be especially upset if they're not even aware that they have an RSS feed (especially if they use Movable Type, which apparently automatically creates one for you in the default config).

So there was this post asking about whether it would be OK to write to them and tell them about the feed or not, since one particular person makes no reference to the existence of the feed but it exists. This led to the following conversation:

elwe: It's certainly fine to ask; even if he says no, you've done him a service by telling him about the RSS feed he may otherwise have been unaware of
jwz: And then if he says no, you should scrape it anyway, just on general principle.

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