On Copyrighting, Yahoo, And Plagiarism

Sitepoint Memebers,

What do you think of yahoo pipes. Is it plagiarizing unique content?
You can’t copyright fact, but you can copyright the way fact is presented- including the sequence of words used to discuss a fact. Currently, short jokes (one-liners) can’t be copyrighted because they’re too short. (That will probably change one day.)

According to yahoo’s description of its yahoo pipes, “Yahoo! Pipes is a web application from Yahoo! that provides a graphical user interface for building data mashups that aggregate web feeds, web pages, and other services, creating Web-based apps from various sources, and publishing those apps.”
Yahoo! Query Language - YDN

I think what yahoo is saying is that given a subject to search, pipes finds text online, copies what it finds, finds an appropriate image from flikr, puts the text and image together to “create” an article. Is this plagiarism? To stop yahoo pipes, yahoo says to put this in your htaccess file

SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent “Yahoo Pipes” noYQL
<Limit GET POST>
Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all
Deny from env=noYQL

which I did.
Yahoo! Query Language - YDN


It would depend on just what it is copying. Content of a web feed is intended to be copied so there wouldn’t be an issue with it using that (as long as it leaves everything intact including links to the rest of the original article).

Just grabbing paragraphs out of a web page would be a breach of copyright.