Spoonfeeding Licenses and Policies into RSS Feeds


Friday, June 13th, 2008 — 1:23pm PST
Comments 4

A few years ago I was encouraged to use FeedBurner for all my website RSS feed needs. The benefits being when I switched from Blogger to WordPress in 2006, my feed was then “portable” and I simply inputted the new source feed generated by WP, not having to lose a single subscriber or switch anyone over.

A while back I decided to offer three types of feed for my site. The first being a full blog plus Flickr photo feed, the second is for comments, and the third is truncated blog posts only. Every now and then I get a request for the post-only feed, which is listed on my sidebar since the main blog feed (if you click in the address bar at the top) you get posts plus photos.

I checked out my feed this morning only to find that where my Flickr photos were posted, there was a media box with a “download” link. I went on to double check my Flickr Privacy and Permissions and I clearly have it check that “Who can download your stuff,” is set as “only you”. So I signed out of Flickr and checked my feed again – download option was still available.

Wanting to alert FeedBurner of the photo download situation I headed to their site to find some help. Unfortunately the only two options you get on their contact form are a) Someone is using my content without my permission b) I want to transfer feeds from one account to another.

It’s never fun to find out something isn’t working the way you would like, or that features that ignore your policies in place have been added without your knowledge. Still, I prefer using FeedBurner so here are here are some tools and tips to try out regarding licensing of content in your feed.

FeedEntryHeader WordPress Plugin: Very useful if there are aggregator sites out there scooping and republishing your content based on your feed. This makes sure that there is a link back to your site at the top of every post.

FeedBurner’s Creative Commons License: I have made sure to include my license in my feed as well. To do so go to My Feeds > Publicize tab > Creative Commons > and select the options that apply to your site.

As I am unable to reach FeedBurner about the “download” issue I’m going to remove my Flickr photos from my main RSS feed until further notice. If anyone misses the photos in the feed I’ll gladly bring this feature back once I hear from them or learn how to disable that function.

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4 comments

  1. Janice says:

    Thanks for posting the WordPress plugin. I recently had an incident where another site was republishing my content without any link back to mine. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again but at least now there will be a link there even if they don’t add it. Will definitely give this plugin a try 🙂

  2. Did you experience a lot of picture theft? Or is there another reason?

    I can’t blame you if you don’t like people downloading your personal pictures.

    I’m going to miss the picture in my feed reader.

    I’ll see if I can find an alternative solution. Perhaps another feed aggregator?

  3. Rudy says:

    Rebecca, I believe the culprit of making your photos available for download is Flickr. I went through the sames steps at Flickr to make photos downloadable by me only, but I couldn’t, so I investigated a little further. Turns out that if you make your work available under Creative Commons, Flickr ignores whatever setting you choose there because they figure since your using CC, you want to share your photos and thus they should be available for download. 😉

  4. […] I’ve found previously that contacting the site admins is often not productive.  I know that Rebecca (Miss604) among others has written about how to prevent this sort of thing, but that page wasn’t even […]

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