It's been an interesting first day at Affiliate Summit. The affiliate marketing industry is alive and well, given that the conference is sold out in these days and times. I found two sessions of interest from a copyright lawyer perspective. The issue of theft of content remains at the forefront. In the Affiliate Strategies session the frustration of having good content pilfered was evident. The message from the experienced affiliate marketers was that you have to either decide to police it or let it slide. One industry veteran commented that with all the testing going on of different landing pages, he often sees low performing pages stolen. So, he isn't that worried about it. Others felt differently. My sense is that the degree of concern centers upon the amount of time and effort put into creating the page, and the success of the campaign. The cost associated with using a copyright lawyer should be weighed against the potential loss.
A nuance did come up with respect to RSS feeds. Many bloggers, of course, use the syndication technology to distribute commentary. When posts are sent out on RSS feeds, marketers, if you can call them that, have begun taking the content, posting it, and running ads for potential competitors. This is an interesting issue. When you provide RSS feeds, are you granting a license to recipients to use your copyright protected work commercially? Probably not. The intent is to provide a notice of the fact that you have something to say. Practically, the best solution might be to only distribute a small part of the post. That is an option that I use. That way the entirety of the work is not going out into other's hands. We sometimes see a marketer pick off our RSS feed and copy it. But a partial post with links still embedded is, on balance, a trade off that seems to be a good one. If the embedded links are stripped out...well, let's just say that it is a good time to be a copyright lawyer.