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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Question PR Releases, Copyright and InLine Ad Tools
    Hey Folks,

    So I wanted to throw this out there and stir up some discussion. Recently we did a press release. Then yesterday my ceo comes up to me and shows me to sites where the press release appears but where ads from competitors appear "overlaid" on the release. He was obviously concerned since the release had information which was our copyright and had our trademark elements on it.

    Now I have known about InLine advertising tools for a while. They save time for webmasters and as we all know text links when done well convert much better than banner links. Obviously none of the targeting mentioned above was in this malicious either on the part of our competitors, the ad serving agency or the website owner. It's not often I come across a situation in this industry where a form of "inserted" advertising is not malicious. I also feel that from the advertiser's point of view and the website owner's point of view these tools are effective ways to generate revenue.

    So the question is how will such InLine Ad tools impact copyright (I am not talking about PR Releases specifically) online? Thoughts?
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Doesn't affect you any unless you want to spend thousands to sue various ad agencies just to lose in court.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Doesn't affect you any unless you want to spend thousands to sue various ad agencies just to lose in court.
    I think that a legal action would be pointless, especially from a merchant point of view (although I do wonder from a traditional news agency/publishing point of view if they might try something much like the music industry enforced restrictions in order to secure their royalties). What I am more curious about is how it will impact the integrity of copyright...
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  4. #4
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I think the only way that would happen is if copyright holders paid agencies not to place ads on their copyrights.

  5. #5
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    It was a press release right? It was open for free distribution right? How is this a copyright issue? If you don't want it posted, don't release it for distribution.

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    It was a press release right? It was open for free distribution right? How is this a copyright issue? If you don't want it posted, don't release it for distribution.
    I think you are missing my point Chet

    Seeing the Press Release monetized in that fashion that made me think about copyright issues. Obviously in the case of that release we did want to information spread out through as many channels as possible. Having someone else monetize is just part of the distribution cost.

    But what if it was an article for example taken from an RSS feed from a distribution company like Yellowbrix?

    In that situation it does impact copyright much in the same way a store that plays music without paying royalties for it is infringing on the artist's rights. Sure if they didn't want people to play it, they shouldn't release it. But as an artist they do have rights to the music and an argument could/has been made that the shoppers tend to buy more when there is ambient music to enhance the shopping experience in a retail space. Much in the same way a surfer's experience on a website is enhanced when they go to a site that contains content. Mostly likely that content has a copyright somewhere.

    So what I am asking is whether or not the owners of that copyright be entitled to royalties for the website owner monetizing their content?
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  7. #7
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    Nope. Musicians (Actually normally publishers) are paid for their music used in stores, they are because they do not release it for free. You released it for free, you don't like how it is being used. The two are not near the same.

    Again, don't like how something is going to be used - put restrictions on its republication and then you can have protection. Without those restrictions, i honestly don't get your point and don't think you understand copyright very well.

    The bigger picture seems pretty simple, your press release must have stunk. if it didn't you would be happy to see it used that way because the messaging would over-power any ads around it, but it must not - so you fear it.

    Chet

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    The bigger picture seems pretty simple, your press release must have stunk. if it didn't you would be happy to see it used that way because the messaging would over-power any ads around it, but it must not - so you fear it.


    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Nope. Musicians (Actually normally publishers) are paid for their music used in stores, they are because they do not release it for free. You released it for free, you don't like how it is being used. The two are not near the same.

    Again, don't like how something is going to be used - put restrictions on its republication and then you can have protection. Without those restrictions, i honestly don't get your point and don't think you understand copyright very well.
    Here is the crux of what I wanted to discuss (articles NOT stupid press releases). There are dozens of companies like the article distribution company I mentioned earlier. They are third party to the companies who produce the news agency and to the authors who create the articles. If you've ever read any of the terms and conditions required to use their service on your site you would know that there are no restrictions against this type of advertising from the companies you distribute it.

    A site that uses an InLine service to monetize their content could pick up an article feed from such a distribution company and monetize the content without the author's/news agency's consent. Mostly likely that content has a copyright somewhere. I am curious as to whether or not the owners of that copyright be entitled to royalties for the website owner monetizing their content?
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  9. #9
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    Umm... yeah, again. Copyright protection does not equal no distribution. If you release something to a site that distributes it for free, guess what? It might get distributed for free. If you distribute it through a company that places no restrictions on its use.... do you think there is restrictions on its use?

    Read the restrictions that the distribution company places on the content they distribute, if you do not like - DO NOT USE THEM! Really, it is as simple as that. Some allow for any use, some allow for non-commercial use only, etc, etc. If someone misuses the material under the terms that the distribution company has, they are in violation and depending on the agreement different actions can be taken.

    I really don't get what there is to discuss. You are choosing your partners, choose them for what you want. If your press release is so valuable and you don't want anyone to see it or monetize it - don't release it. Post it only on your site, set restrictions on its distribution. Blah blah blah.

    There reason I commented on the quality is - this is such a none argument, the only way it could be is because you are smarting from a reaction to it and now feel someone needs to pay.

    Chet

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    You're right it is a non-issue for me. But I think it could easily become an issue for the industry as a whole.

    When most third party article/news distribution companies allow a website to use the content, their regulations are usually geared toward either not allowing the reselling of content or not allowing content to sit on the site past a certain use/lease date.

    There are no restrictions on the advertising, because in the past the advertising didn't overlay onto the text. Now a website owner can actually monetize the content. Now I think in many ways it could be a win-win situation for all involved. However, currently most authors/news companies are probably not aware that their actual content can be monetized. At some point there will probably be some kind of legal back and fourth. Most likely authors/news companies will simply make their 3rd party distribution partners enforce stricter advertising clauses within the T&Cs.

    But just how long it will take them to realize it and whether or not they will attempt to gain royalties for the use of their content will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    But maybe it will be a non-issue for them as well.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  11. #11
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    There will never be a restriction of any type.

    If someone sends me a PR release I will use it how I see fit, if you don't want my Vibrantmedia or any other ads on that page, then include a check with your release.

  12. #12
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    "There are no restrictions on the advertising, because in the past the advertising didn't overlay onto the text. Now a website owner can actually monetize the content."

    Having recently done a press release for a new niche site I have, it is what it is. I've noticed it show up on some good sites, a few others have picked it up and wrote something about it but the majority looked like made for rss/press release sites. We always talk about MFA sites, made for adsense but the made for rss/made for press release sites are blooming, most are pretty much garbage, indexed garbage. So, I guess the only way to get around that is work with a distribution company where you have a little more say on what sites they show up on. But they are hosting your message on their site so if they make some money on the side, I'm ok with that.

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I see what you're getting at.

    A site that uses an InLine service to monetize their content could pick up an article feed from such a distribution company and monetize the content without the author's/news agency's consent. Mostly likely that content has a copyright somewhere. I am curious as to whether or not the owners of that copyright be entitled to royalties for the website owner monetizing their content?
    No--no more than they are for running any other kind of ad on the page.

    Think of news sites: They're laden with ads. Monetizing content IS their business.
    And, their contracts with content providers already take that into account. Whether the ad is in a banner, a popup, a flyout, or inline, the bottom line is that it's all advertising and every bit of it is there to monetize that content.

    So as long as the provider's Terms allow commercial sites to run the content, it should be fine.

    If the provider doesn't allow commercial sites to run it, then the type of ads isn't the point. A site is just as "commercial" if it runs only banners.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    I see what you're getting at.

    Quote:
    A site that uses an InLine service to monetize their content could pick up an article feed from such a distribution company and monetize the content without the author's/news agency's consent. Mostly likely that content has a copyright somewhere. I am curious as to whether or not the owners of that copyright be entitled to royalties for the website owner monetizing their content?
    Exactly

    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    No--no more than they are for running any other kind of ad on the page.

    Think of news sites: They're laden with ads. Monetizing content IS their business.
    And, their contracts with content providers already take that into account. Whether the ad is in a banner, a popup, a flyout, or inline, the bottom line is that it's all advertising and every bit of it is there to monetize that content.

    So as long as the provider's Terms allow commercial sites to run the content, it should be fine.

    If the provider doesn't allow commercial sites to run it, then the type of ads isn't the point. A site is just as "commercial" if it runs only banners.
    Leader that makes a lot of sense, I hadn't thought about it that way. One of the strengths of InLine advertising is that often to the reader it "feels" like part of the original content. Which is where I saw the conflict coming in based on the type of ad. Since, like you pointed out, all ads are there to monetize content and due to the variety of ad types methods available to website owners; it makes sense that content distributors decide whether to distribute an article based on whether or not the site is commercial.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I don't really think this effects copyright. As chetf had been saying, if you release it for free then people can usually do what they want with it. Otherwise, release it under the GPL or the CreativeCommons license or something like that...

    On a slightly related topic, does that InLine advertising even work??? It never seemed particularly relevant to me.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

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