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Are you breaching RSS copyright laws?

Posted: January 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

Most digital signage players on the current market will support the ability to import or use RSS feeds to display dynamic content. If you don’t know what RSS is and the copyright laws governing its use then keep reading.

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is used mainly for syndicating (updating) content on websites and readers. In digital signage, RSS can be used to dynamically grab information such as news, weather, stocks and any content on a website that supports RSS and display this on the screens. Normally, the RSS feeds are in XML format so they can be easily read by most RSS readers or XML compatible applications.

Copyright issues?

As digital signage players makes it easier for us to add RSS feeds, have you really stopped for a second and checked whether you are allowed to use the feed. For example, quite a number of news websites provide its readers with the option to feed content so they are able to receive the latest news information via their RSS reader. So for a digital signage network this is great feature to have as you will be able to entertain your viewers with dynamic information. Now here’s the complication, if you used the feed without obtaining approval from the content owner then you are most likely breaching copyright laws. If you carefully read the fine print on most websites you’ll notice that the feed can only be used for personal and non-commercial purposes. Are you getting worried now? This goes with many online websites such a this one. As a rule of thumb, it is always best to contact the website owner and obtain their approval to use the RSS feed even if there are no terms and conditions.

This blog receives over 100 rss requests per day so hopefully no one is re distributing this content without properly referencing the source.

So the next time you add an rss feed as part of your digital signage solution make sure you read the fine print.

Now if you need help in sourcing a news feed or any other RSS feed contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Do you use RSS in your digital signage solution?

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Do you use rss in your digital signage solution? If you answered yes, fell free to let us know what you use rss for by adding a comment.

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Comments (2)

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  • January 22, 2009 at 11:38 pm Chuck Gose

    This is a great point to bring up. But I’ve found that many news organizations allow customers to use RSS feeds as long as they are given proper attribution in the ticker.

    However, it’s always a good tip to check out what the various rules are for each feed.

    • January 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm DigitalSignageBlog

      Thanks chuck. Would you be able to share which news organisations allow customers to use their RSS feeds as I’m looking a hopefully compiling a list so that I can share with the rest of the digital signage community.