Posts Tagged “WordPress”

Here’s that informative post I promised before i got distracted by those great steaks and cocktails at the AA. I hope at least, that anyone who publishes an RV blog – or any website for that matter – will find this information, well… informative!

Badlands Warning SignA while back, fellow Nü RVers those tech nomads informed us that a certain website was repurposing blog posts, not only from this site, but theirs and those of a number of other RVers.

Sure enough, a simple search revealed that entire posts of ours, including photos, were being republished in their entirely without our permission. Furthermore, we discovered that the site in question was a paid membership site, so it was using our content for profit!

The infringing website’s owner argued that because we make our posts available via rss feed, that the content was free to use as he wished. A bogus claim from someone who hadn’t done his homework, but a slightly grey area nonetheless.

TIP: To search a specific website for something you wrote, use Google and enter a distinct phrase followed by “site:” and the domain, like this…

“freaky vegan cooking”

Replace and the phrase or keywords to meet your needs.

While we were able to remove all existing and future content of ours from the website in question with one request, it got me thinking. I decided to do my own homework regarding the rights of web publishers, and gladly share what I found out here.

Ownership Rights of Web Content Publishers

According to the The Berne Copyright Convention, everything on the internet is considered copyrighted the moment it is written. Under the Berne Convention, copyright is automatic upon publication and does not require formal registration. When the United States joined the Convention in 1988, however, statutory damages and attorney’s fees continued to be available available only for registered works.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty of 1996, “compilations of data or other material (databases), in any form, which by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents constitute intellectual creations.” All blog content is stored in a database and is therefore an intellectual creation.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (title 17, U. S. Code) states that “Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.”

Finally, by republishing our copyrighted content on a for-profit website I confirmed that the infringing site was  in violation of the federal copyright fair use doctrine, as described in sections 107 through 118 of the copyright law (title 17, U. S. Code)

Please note that I am by no means a lawyer, not even close, in any way. So I consulted one. I visited the free legal advice website and asked:

What law can be cited when notifying someone who has republished original website content without permission, when they insist syndicated content (rss) is in the public domain?

My research proved me correct. Here is the answer I received:

You can cite 17 USC 106 which defines your exclusive rights, including a right of attribution, and 17 USC 501-506 which define your remedies. 505 authorizes recovery of attorneys fees and expenses and 506 may make it a criminal offense, particularly when done via the web.

However, you need to know that for the Court to have jurisdiction to enforce a copyright in the US, you must first apply to register it. It is a simple process for a copyright attorney to do that online. You should use an attorney, so that the attorney can simultaneously write a CDL (cease and desist letter) to this apparent infringer. A letter from you is not likely to have the same effect and not likely to be worded for optimum impact. In fact, most do-it-yourself non-lawyer CDLs are a disaster and some even create grounds for countersuit.

So, if you want to ensure your legal rights to anything you publish, see a copyright attorney, consider assigning a creative commons license, or register your own copyright.

How to Re-Publish Blog Posts From RSS Feed

There are numerous blog aggregators on the interwebs that legally republish copyrighted content. They do this by only publishing an excerpt, assigning attribution, and including a link to the original source. But there may be times when one might wish to republish content from another source in its entirety, when it is appropriate to do so. Like when said person owns the copyright to the original content, or has explicit written permission to do so.

WPMU DEV - The WordPress ExpertsI’ve been considering doing just that with a new Tripawds Blog that will republish posts from our five featured blogs, giving readers one location to find all the best news, gear, gifts and nutrition advice for three legged dogs in one convenient site. Just how would I go about doing this?

To republish our own content and consolidate posts from multiple different blogs in one site, I plan to use the Autoblog plugin from WPMU Dev. Should you choose to do the same, of course, we know you’ll be certain you have the rights to do so.

Recommended Reading

Infringement Nation: Copyright 2.0 and You

Patents Copyrights and Trademarks for Dummies

The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Copyrights

Every Writer’s Guide to Copyright and Publishing Law: Third Edition

Law of the Web: A Field Guide to Internet Publishing

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My dad once told me a similar joke where an immigrant gave up on learning the English language after reading that headline. But yet again, I digress.

Though I have said it before, whenever I go AWOL around here you can rest assured it has something to do with three legged dogs. This time was a big deal.

I recently completed the long overdue Tripawds site makeover with a complete overhaul of the site’s theme and active plugin structure. Anyone interested in the easiest way to make random header images or how to integrate multi-site stats into a site-wide header might be interested in the bit I wrote about how to customize the WPMU-Nelo custom homepage CMS WordPress theme.

Suffice it to say, however, that this undertaking was a crash course in php and css. And so far, it has paid off. Speaking figuratively, not literally. My prime directive for overhauling the Tripawds site was to improve performance in the discussion forums.

We started Tripawds using Mandigo, the same theme behind this blog and the RVblogz community. It has served us well. Mandigo is massively configurable, with lots of java and many files. Over the past few years, Jerry’s blog infrastructure had become bloated.

Too many hacks, scripts and widgets were bogging down the site.
WordPress, Multisite and BuddyPress Plugins, Themes and Support - WPMU DEV

So how did I do it?

One word: WPMUdev.

Seriously, there’s no way I alone could make the Tripawds Blogs community what it has become without my WPMUdev premium subscription for the best WordPress themes plugins and support. That’s how during the recent makeover I easily implemented robust new features like a global site search and searchable directories for blogs and members.

It’s also where I got the lean and mean WPMU-Nelo. Hacking this slick WordPress theme to bits was relatively easy, even for me due to it’s code simplicity and parent/child theme structure.

Did someone say digress? We’re in Quartzite now with the Nü Crew, and I haven’t even written about Walla Walla. As much as I hate reading blogs that bemoan infrequent updates, we gots some catchin’ up to do!

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Going seasonal certainly has put the trip into roadtrip. After a couple quick months in our new mountain home, it was exciting to get back on the road, but it’s kinda weird to have settled right back down here at The Desert Rose while René is doing her time at Amazon. We are nowhere warm yet, so I wouldn’t say we quite qualify for true snowbird status yet. Leaving the house behind, however, officially signifies Phase II of our journey.

So, we have a new Maps page to commemorate the occasion. All our original travel maps from Phase I are still available to show where we’ve been. And now you can see with a quick glance at our new full-time RVer visited states map.

US States Visited RVing Map

I’m just happy I didn’t have to manually design this map. While my search for a WordPress visited states map widget for RVers ended with me wondering if I’m the only out there who thinks such a plugin would be really cool, I did come across a couple websites for automatically generating colorful RVer maps of visited states ready for use on any website!

Marfa Texas Highway 90I used this visited states map generator to make the map above. Here is another RVer map maker that includes Canada and Mexico. Those Geeks On Tour folks even have an RV map making tutorial video showing how to use the latter on Making the map was simple, the hardest part was figuring out where we’ve been. But that’s where those early maps proved helpful.

So, 36 states down, only 14 to go – though I’m not sure how we’re getting the rig to Hawaii. Aside from leaving the mainland, and navigating a few congested New England states, we can now say we have been just about everywhere, except the middle. Well, that’s what this whole phase II thing is all about, or perhaps Phases III and IV. Now that we have a home base, what’s the hurry?

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You haven’t heard from me around here in a while because I have been a bit preoccupied lately. In addition to our property search, home purchase, cross country move, and welcoming Wyatt into our pack, I have been buried with PHP, MySQL queries, FTP sessions and function calls.

Say what, you say? It’s been quite a learning experience really, which I care to share in depth someday. But for now, I’ll just tell you what it means…

We just completed our migration of Tripawds to the WordPress MU platform, but RVblogz was my first WPMU installation. You say what again? Basically, it means we are now offering free blogs for tripawd lovers and full-time RVers.

Yes, we announced RVblogz a long time ago, but the recent migration to WPMU has enabled us expedite blog creation and offer much more robust features for RVbloggerz. In fact you can get your own free travel blog in seconds, now that we have automated the blog creation process. Well, WordPress MU has, but we made it work!

If you want to check out a fine example of how full-timers are using RVblogz, check out the Purcells On Wheels traveling family blog! Or, how many of you have heard of the Killbarney project?

Rebuilding the Tripawds community has been exciting, as Jerry’s discussion forum members have grown to 800 strong. Now they can all have their own three legged dog blogs. And with the RVblogz Communities feature, members can create their own mini-facebook, all about RVing. OK, well maybe not. But in addition to easily publishing a travel blog with over 100 themes to choose from, you can create your own little RV community with a message board, Wiki pages, and news items.

There’s much much more we will let you read about RVblogz. But why not sign up for your travel blog now and join the community? Or join Tripawds so you can chat online with us in the new and improved Live Tripawds Chat.

So much to tell, such little time … just wanted any readers we have left to know why I’ve been such a stranger lately. And now that we’re headed back to ranch so I can work the Vickers hay harvest, I may become even stranger yet. If that is at all possible.

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If you’re seeing this post, then we have successfully migrated to our own dedicated server. You may not be since DNS changes can take some time to propagate throughout the world, but I digress.

Free Slab City Library Internut Access

We’re still working out some kinks so feel free to report any technical difficulties. Thank you for your patience and continued support!

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