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non commercial vs. commercial use for rss feeds?



12:49 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am in the early stages of starting a new website. The concept of this site will provide various media links (mostly newspapers) in various regions. Providing rss headlines (which will link back to the original content source in a separate window) would be ideal for this concept, but I am allowed to do so? Most major media sources have disclaimers that say use of their rss feeds are for non-commercial use only. My site will be an information resource, but the eventual goal is to sell advertising and sponsorships on the site. I'm assuming once I start collecting advertising revenue, I will be considered a commercial site, right?

I guess I can ask for permission from each resource to use their rss feeds, but that may take hours and hours (most likely months) of time that I don't have. An alternative option is to not have the headline rss feeds and just provide basic links to these resources, but I feel this will take away something from my original concept. But you would think that my site would ulitmately point traffic (hopefully a lot) to all of these websites that are providing the feeds, so that would be acceptable to them.

So, I guess my questions are:

Is what I'm talking about a commercial site?
Would I face legal issues of using rss feeds without permission?
Does anyone have experience with something similar?
Is there another way of going about this which would be acceptable to all parties involved that I'm not thinking of?


5:10 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

That can be difficult advice to give because different sites will have different terms of use. I don't think anyone but a lawyer could give you real legal advice on that. We had a thread several years ago that couldn't seem to clearly answer that question: What Constitutes a Commercial Web Site These Days? [webmasterworld.com]

You would probably be best off asking the sites in question whether your site met their guidelines if you weren't sure.


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