Andrei Freeman (lordandrei) wrote,
Andrei Freeman
lordandrei

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Bitacle Debacle, Part II

As pointed out last night, the new player in this little town we call the internet is Bitacle.

Bitacle is aggregating content and serving it with advertising. The problem is... they aren't asking anyone if the content is allowed to be served for a commercial purpose.

How does this differ from YouTube, Kazaa, Limewire...etc?

In those cases, people are simply taking owned content and using it. There isn't any advertising. Now... if youtube starts generating huge amounts of income... that will change the playing field.

Effectively, what Bitacle is doing is going into a movie theatre, filming the movie in perfect digital quality, and then selling the copy. They go even further by stating that they hold the copyright on the material.

Copyright is one of these 'implied' things. You do have it, but it does help to state it. If you are reading this on a self styled 'friends' page you will see the content in your self styled format. On the other hand, if you're viewing it on my journal, or on the specific page for the post (as in via clicking thru a cut), at the right on the page you see a wealth of 'Net Badges". The third one states the copyright of the content. A click thru states... this content may be used, but not for commercial purposes without contacting the author.

Copyright is also very clear in one fact. It is the responsibility of the user of the content to assure that they have properly checked what the status of the work is. It is also the responsibility of the owner to take action if they feel their copyright has been violated.

Translation:
1) I didn't know I couldn't see this work isn't an excuse
2) If you don't tag them for this... then you have nothing to complain about.

So... within 24 hours of discovering this, verifying it, and analyzing if they were in violation of my copyright... I have written Bitacle an email.

It is simple and to the point. I strongly suggest anyone who has had content taken by Bitacle read this:

People of Bitacle,

I was notified yesterday of your aggregation service. I discovered that my content is now served on your site:

    Web URL : http://en.bitacle.org/blogs/viewblog/co2mr-j-0/366?usrmode=1
  Screen cap: http://www.apolo.net/images/bitacle/bitacle.png

This content originates from the LiveJournal site:

    Web URL : http://lordandrei.livejournal.com
  Screen cap: http://www.apolo.net/images/bitacle/livejournal.png

On this site the content is clearly labeled with a Creative Content license specifying that the content may not be used for commercial purposes.

    license : CC by-non-commercial/2.0:
    Web URL : http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/
  Screen cap: http://www.apolo.net/images/bitacle/license.png

On the bitacle site noted above there are commercial advertisements through Google.

Simply put, you are using content copyrighted by Andrei Freeman/Apolo Productions for commercial gain against copyright claims.

I perceive that this leaves you 4 options:
  1. Remove my content from your site (additionally any other content from users that have similarly copyrighted)
  2. Remove any and all advertising from this content and correctly represent the content owner's copyright
  3. Contact myself (and other relevant content owners) for fair negotiation of re-embursement of funds owed.
  4. Acknowledge (or do nothing) that you are in violation at which point I will contact my lawyers and we will levy a class action suit against Bitacle.

RSS Aggregation is a wonderful technology that has many possibilities. I am certain this can come to a quick and simple solution.

Thank you,
Respectfully,

Andrei Freeman
Apolo Productions


I think the letter addresses the issue directly. I think it gives them several options without causing all hell to break loose. At the same time, I think it carries the weight of a very real threat.

Personally, I'd be curious who might feel they should be in on a class action suit.

I'm also amused, that until this is remedies, Bitacle in all likelihood, will redistribute this article, response, and threat of class action suit against my copyright on their site. I am amused, and of course saddened, and wish it to stop.
Tags: bitacle, class action, copyright
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