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Google Buzz Draws New Content-Scraping Controversy

Google Draws Another Round of Buzz Criticism

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Update 2:  Google offered the following statement: "Buzz can only expand to show whatever was in the underlying feed. For example, if an item is truncated in the feed to only include 200 characters, then Buzz will only show 200 characters."

So, in other words, Bloggers can prevent their full content from showing in Buzz just like in a reader, depending on how they set up their feed.

Update: So far, Google has referred me to the same response they gave Stay, but I’ve inquired further. We’ll keep you posted.

Original Article:
 If you were under the impression that the controversy surrounding Google Buzz was starting to die down, think again. So far, we’ve mostly heard about privacy issues, which Google has publicly addressed. They’ve also made changes based on user feedback. Now, we’re hearing about possible copyright issues. Google appears to be republishing full articles without permission, and stripping out any ads that may be in those articles.

One can easily see why any blogger or publisher wouldn’t be very pleased with this scenario. Not only are they serving up full articles that others have written without sending authors the traffic or even ad clicks, but if a user reads the article through Buzz within their Gmail account, they will likely see the ads Google itself serves.

Google Buzz - Is it scraping Content? Blogger Jesse Stay of Stay N’ Alive brings the subject up in a post, claiming that this is exactly what is happening to his content. However, Google did respond to him, saying they would "have the ad scraping issue fixed by next week." That would solve one problem, but presumably, this doesn’t change the fact that they are showing full article text, which is an interesting choice on Google’s part, considering the controversy surrounding how Google News aggregates publishers’ content.

That is a different situation entirely, because Google News does not publish full articles (unless they come from one of their partners). They simply provide a title, small snippet, and link to the original source, hence driving traffic to that source. Based on Stay’s story, Google will not likely be driving much traffic by showing full articles in Buzz. We’ve contacted Google for comment on this (we’ll post when we receive it).

One might compare reading an article through Buzz to reading one through a feed reader, like Google Reader. Sometimes you can read a feed in its full text, but the author has the ability to prevent this. With Buzz, the full-text articles appear to be coming simply from people sharing the articles, which is out of the author’s control (we asked Google if their is a way authors can prevent this…again, we’ll post a response when we receive it).

Google Buzz Draws New Content-Scraping Controversy
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  • http://www.happyendingonline.com Vibrators and Bullets

    Is this not some sort of copyright infringement?

  • Chris Crum

    I’m no legal expert by any means, but I would imagine quite a few people will raise that very question. Stay talks a bit more about that.

  • Michael

    If Google offered an equivalent of robots.txt for Buzz, would you use it and lose the audience? If you are worried about someone using Google Buzz to report a whole article, are you worried about someone copying and pasting your article into a blog post or webpage? I.e., do you spend time trying to stop people from copying and pasting? There’s a lot of storm in a teacup about Google Buzz that people who should know better seem to participate in…

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com James

    Google is walking right over top of you. Wake up…

    Google rep says, “Oh, it wasn’t the intention of our engineering department, marketing department or our CEO’s direction to steal your content and serve our ads. It’s actually a whoopsie… Thanks for bringing it to our attention though floormat. We’ll mention you in our next round of shout outs.”

    • Angry Fanboy

      How dare you sully the good name of GOOG. I demand you remove these blasphemous remarks and bow down before the church of GOOG. They have done nothing more than connect the world together. Without GOOG there would be no internet thus no harmony or universal sentient joy enveloping our souls. Grow up and learn to embrace, engage and love the future.

  • http://www.dazvideoreviews.com/coverthypnosis.html Dazl Jay

    Hmm, how do we know our blogs articles being pulled and appeared in Google Buzz, How do this bloggers know their blog articles appeared in Google Buzz, I just wonder? Can it be tracked?

  • David

    I keep seeing this argument brought up time and time again, the cure? Don’t publish full articles to your feeds. Just about every blogging platform allows you to show only excerpts in rss feeds. Point, click and problem solved. Bloggers wrote the content, it’s their responsibility to control how that content is distributed, not the search engines.

  • http://www.plrwpvideos.com PLR Video

    If you don’t like it, you can remove your blog from the “connected sites”. I doubt Google is going to change anything.

  • http://www.patrickwagner.com Patrick Wagner

    Google has done an amazing job copying most books online with no permission from the author. Two of books are available free via Google books project as are many, many other authors. Google doesn’t seem to worry about copyright infringement, not sure where that fits in with their Code of Conduct which says “Don’t be evil”. [http://investor.google.com/conduct.html]

  • http://www.hdd-tool.com Jordan

    Google should only display 20%-30% content and provides the source link. So others can link to the source to read.

  • http://www.xbox360rrod.net Timothy Rrod

    I cant imagine how they didn’t see that coming. Is basic stuff…damn Go
    ogle

  • http://ikohsamui.com Thailand Aboriginal

    o_O! very interest info, i dont know about it’s