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Content Curation Concerns

I used curate.us, a “clip and save” service, to “snip” this page about RSS feeds from http://blog.blogupp.comBlogUpp is a well-regarded blogger support and promotion site.Clipped from:blog.blogupp.comShare this clip

Is this content curating or content theft?

Curate.us is a convenient social bookmarking service. It is one of the continually growing assortment offered by the Add This and Share This universe, whose drop-down menus now offer more than 300 choices! There are actually even more. Access depends, amongst other things on geographic location and/ or top-level domain. (Fear not: Baidu, China’s largest search engine cum social network, seems to be available globally.)

Do clip-and-save services such as http://curate.us enable copyright infringement?

Most sites prohibit any sort of framing of their content, particularly trademarks. Ironically, Microsoft has the most liberal policy regarding use of screen shots, followed by Google, that I have seen. Microsoft is very strict regarding usage of Bill Gates’ image, and beta products, of course. I suspect that Bill’s photo image has seen a lot of “derivative uses,” also known as “defacement,”over the years.

Nearly every other site associated with for-profit, not-for-profit and non-profit enterprises will not permit screen captures of content for re-posting on a website. Not unless approved on a case-by-case basis. There are a few exceptions, such as some, but not all, open source projects. Note that screen captures are different than re-publishing rights. Services such as RightsLink and PARS handle digital content “re-purposing” licenses. Some items may be obtained gratis, and others for an outrageous fee.

Curate.us is undeniably useful, particularly for instructional blog posts. It is not the only one its kind. There are at least two other “clip and save” services. Tech Crunch and The Next Web wrote recent reviews of both.

I’ll use Curate.us sparingly for now. Try not to get too attached.

I am very curious whether “clip and save” services result in any DMCA take-downs or other copyright/trademark infringement complaints over the next few months. I hope not. However, I would feel differently if these services were carving away large chunks of my income and livelihood.

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