Saturday, January 28, 2006

question about technorati

I just finished my post for IMBB#22 (hosted by Amy of "Cooking with Amy" I emailed her with the relevant details but I'm afraid I'm choking on the Technorati tag thing so haven't added it to my post. I looked at their Terms of Service and this portion gives me pause:

excerpt from

User acknowledges and agrees that if User uses any of the Services to contribute Content to the Site, Technorati is hereby granted a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable right to fully exploit such Content (including all related intellectual property rights) and to allow others to do so.

I thought I had sent a post about this here but I can't seem to find it. So I will ask again. Is there anyone who understands legalese? Is this really saying that if I use the services to add a link to my site, I am granting Technorati "non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable right to fully exploit" the content of the link I posted?? (It's not that what I write is all that fabulous; I just don't like the idea that someone else can just delve in, edit and use anything there.

Sorry to seem alarmist.



Alanna said...

I'm not a lawyer but have read/written more than my share of contracts. So here's my take --

Non-exclusive -- T's rights to your content aren't exclusive to T, it can be published elsewhere too
Worldwide -- T can publish globally
Royalty free -- Technorati isn't paying you for your content
Transferable -- Technorati can transfer its rights to another organization (typically this is limited to its successors, spin-offs, etc and the agreement may specify so elsewhere)

Good for you for reading the fine print!

Sweets said...

The terms Site and Content are previously defined in the agreement:

The Web pages available at, and all linked pages ("Site"), are owned and operated by Technorati, Inc.

All materials displayed or performed on the Site (including, but not limited to text, graphics, news articles, photographs, images, illustrations, audio clips and video clips, also known as the "Content")

IANAL, but from my understanding this means that if you fill out a form on Technorati's "Site," than you are giving them the enumerated rights to the "Content" in that form.

While there is room for wiggle in the phrase: "and all linked pages," the natural reading within the context means only those pages hosted at the domain name. Technorati does not "operate" an individual blog on blogger.

Owen said...

This content issue is suddenly getting big play, especially in Europe because some bigpublishers are talking about blocking Google because Google is making money (by serving ads up next to search results) off their content without any authority to use that content. Most people think Google is OK on this, but that is not a universally held opinion.

The reason this is interesting is that Techorati is essentially saying that they can make money off whatever appears on Technorati from your site - they don't have any ownership, but if they get people to pay them money for using those little clips then they don't have to give you any....

this pushes the making money off others' content a little closer to the brink than Google IMHO - and, frankly, in a strictly content is king mode, I sometimes think I agree with the publishers and think Google needs to be kicking back a significant percentage to any site that contributes to revenue it gets from search ads.

ejm said...

Sweets, it's the "site" part that I find to be a bit too broad. When I read this with my suspicious eyes

The Web pages available at, and all linked pages ("Site")

I see that someone might be able to argue that any pages linked from are suddenly part of their site and owned by them.

But at the very least, it does look like Owen's take is correct. If you use the Technorati links, you automatically grants Technorati free use of any portion of your site that is used for the Technorati link. It does seem a bit like they are getting something for nothing....

I hadn't thought about the fact that Google might be doing something similar. I know it's perverse, but I find myself not quite as disturbed by Google... maybe because I don't actually SEE advertisements on the google pages.