Applying IP Concepts to

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-11-30 Print this article Print

RSS"> At any rate, it is unclear how existing laws pertain to such recent technology as Podcasts or RSS feeds, Vogele said. "Ive been doing [intellectual property] law for quite awhile," she said. "Every time theres a new [technology], its a little brain teaser. We know its wrong, but how does law [respond] to that? It takes a while in the legal system, and technology changes [more rapidly than laws]."
The lack of response from Apple and Yahoo may have to do with laws that shield such companies from copyright infringement, Vogele said.
While they should be applauded for making part of the engine that enables Podcasting, she said, such companies would be better Internet citizens were they to make available a means for hijack victims to contact the companies, tell them whats happening and have the companies fix this in a reasonable time. This is particularly the case, Vogele said, "since they get financial benefits from all these Podcasters creating this content for free … I think they need to think about what systems they can put in place and be good citizens in this process." Marcus suggested that Podcasters can protect themselves from hijacking by checking to make sure that all Podcast directories and search engines list RSS feeds that point to their official URLs/RSS feeds. Also, if Podcasters learn of a hijacking, they can write to the hijacker and demand that they cease and desist. Hijacked Podcasters should also write to the Podcast directories and search engines to point out the misconduct. Corporate Podcasts target the IT community. Read more here. Those who posted responses to Vogeles Weblog entry on the matter suggested other defensive strategies. One is to rename Podcast audio files on occasion and point to the new names in the legitimate RSS feed, thus causing the malicious sites RSS feed to stop working and hence to cease gaining popularity. Another tactic is to look at the referrers tags for Podcast downloads in a Podcasters Web server logs. Names of malicious sites that point to a Podcast will come up in the logs, and a large number of off-site listener referrals should raise flags. Another tactic proposed on Vogeles blog is to mention the site and feed URL in each Podcast. Those who take the time to notice what URL theyre using may notice that the URL is in fact not the official one. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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