Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are some applications like Readability and Pocket, which are letting users to read the main content of web pages, in a clean interface or such. But the articles should be bookmarked from another application, or the web browser.

However, I'm creating a news reader app (Zite and Flipboard are popular news reader apps), and I want to create a clean experience for users, so I want to show full content of articles inside my application. Some websites have fulltext feeds, and I'm using it.

But about some other websites, which don't have full text feeds: I want to know, is it legal/ethical to use for example Readability API (Or maybe writing my own code for this) to show full text of articles inside my application?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Whether or not it is legal is going to depend upon a whole host of copyright law and various jurisdictions. In some places, yes, it will be legal. In others, no. If you're really worried on this point, please consult an attorney that specializes in the areas where you will be pulling content from and publishing to.

Whether or not it is ethical is still difficult to answer, but can be examined. If you are providing full attribution to the source of the articles AND you are honoring sites that request you to not copy their content, then yes it could be ethical. If you are portraying the work(s) as your own, that would not be ethical.

It sounds like you're providing some sort of aggregation functionality. Most aggregators don't claim the material as their own and the users generally know where the content came from. I would look to existing applications to determine how you differ and whether or not your app's difference remain within the bounds of ethical and legal behaviour.

share|improve this answer
    
My news reader will show articles, and shows source website name below header, and that text is a link to source webpage. So as you said, this is ethical. Ok. But about law: the point is, I'm removing everything except main content (for example, advertises and links) from the webpage... (Just like some other news reader applications). So you say that I should contact all of these websites and give permission for this purpose from them? –  Mahdi Ghiasi Sep 17 '12 at 4:23
    
It's only ethical if these sites give permission to republish their content. Otherwise you're taking their content, and stripping it of the way they monetise it. –  TZHX Sep 17 '12 at 7:49
1  
@MahdiGhiasi - at a minimum, you need to look at the terms of use | service for each site without an RSS feed where you intend to pull this content from. In some cases, which will depend upon the terms of use, you will need to contact the site for permission to pull the content. Sites with an RSS feed are explicitly giving permission to aggregate the content as you are suggesting. –  GlenH7 Sep 17 '12 at 13:43
    
@TZHX - I agree that the site's terms of use must be followed. However, whether or not or even how they monetize the content is immaterial to the ethical questions. The ethics are determined by the terms of use and the general context in which the material is presented. –  GlenH7 Sep 17 '12 at 13:45
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.