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Constantin Basturea has posted to Neville Hobson’s blog about his excellent detective work that showed that Don Crowther of 101 Public Relations has three other news aggregate sites that look like they are waay beyond beta. These agregate the content of the Yahoo!News RSS feed, again without attribution to the source on the first screen. Here’s the bottom line: that’s a whole lotta cluelessness. And I bet it’s gonna cost him some legal fees.
The other sites registered to Crowther are Business Knowledge Source: Marketing News, Business Knowledge Source: Finance News and Business Knowledge Source:Technology News
Crowther’s gone to the expense of having a logo and format designed for the sites and presumably intends to add the PR blog beta to his “family” of aggregators. The problem: he’s using content he doesn’t own and hasn’t created, without crediting any of the sources, all of whom have some type of copyright for their material.
He claims to be adding attribution to each of the headlines on each of the sites. But WTF was he thinking and how — in this litigious day and age — could he not have realized that what’s he’s done looks like theft, even if his intent is benign?
Crowther is along-time and highly respected publicist, adept at self-promotion. Google his name and you’ll get 148,000 results. A Marketing Sherpa interview with him notes: “” DON CROWTHER has been selling content online, from pay-per-drink articles to pricey professional PDFs, since 1997. His chosen marketing tactic? Search.”
I continue to believe his intent is benign, but I suggest that he take all four of these sites down — at least until he gets all permissions and consults an intellectual copyright lawyer. I hope my blogging colleagues don’t tar and feather him.