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Deprecated - Altavista, Alltheweb.com Forum

Newsmine - Lycos smart tags for the web

 10:50 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

While everybody still rants about MS smarttags, the Lycos network, one of the largest internet companies worldwide has started using something similar on their websites.

It's called newsmine and works with onmouseovers. A small menu popup opens with links to related stuff from the network. In Lycos speech those are scrollovers.

Lycos information page [news.lycos.com] on newsmine claims it
analyzes stories, identifies keywords by places, businesses, people or topic trends and then offers an extensive selection of related information for you to explore.

Already the first scrollover opening on me however urged me to browse for and buy books.

The newsmine technology automatically finds and tags words and phrases in texts on Lycos news pages.
In this example from today [news.lycos.com] the story is from AP.

What are the legal and ethical consequences of such a tagging of copyrighted material?



 10:53 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yep, looks like a variation of smart tags.


 12:21 am on Feb 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

added: it works only with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4+.

Here is a story on it:
and Lycos press release


 12:33 am on Feb 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

It almost works in Opera. The popups open, but they "stick" on the screen (atleast in mdi mode).


 8:09 pm on Feb 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Huh? So far, this doesn't look anything like smart-tagging. You're alarming people unnecessarily.

So far, it's just a goofy form of pop-up added to Lycos's own site. Their site design is their business, not ours. If they create software to add things to our sites, then it's our problem.


 9:51 pm on Feb 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

>their business, not ours
Watching, analyzing and commenting the medium in which we work, as publishers and promoters, is not our business?

What newsmine does, is putting words from articles originally published by others into a proprietary context. A story copyrighted by Reuters mentions the White House, which is linked to Barnes & Noble.

You are right - Lycos does not do this to your pages. More importantly it's done on a website, not in a viewer.

But when a internet giant like Terra Lycos, whose "mission is to become the world’s leading online destination", with sites in 40 countries adopts such a dubious while immature technique, than this deserves some attention


 10:23 am on Feb 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

What are the legal and ethical consequences of such a tagging of copyrighted material?

There are indeed some copyright issues, but as mbauser2 writes, they do this to their own site the problem is between the published and the content providers.

If the technology is adapted to work when framing content from other sites, it will be a problem. Not only a copyright issue. (I just hate it when I see someone browsing my online shop with the Alexa toolbar enabled, picking up my book titles and presenting them as Amazon links with Alexa affiliate tags.)

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