Do you need permission to display third-party RSS feeds on your website?

If you’re wondering about the legality of displaying feeds from third-party sites on your website, here’s a good article to read.

It’s from the Citizens Media Law Project at Harvard and provides legal best practices for aggregation via RSS. The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices (PDF).

Here are the practices they recommend:

  • Reproduce only those portions of the headline or article that are necessary to make your point or to identify the story. Do not reproduce the story in its entirety.
  • Try not to use all, or even the majority, of articles available from a single source. Limit yourself to those articles that are directly relevant to your audience.
  • Prominently identify the source of the article.
  • Whenever possible, link to the original source of the article.
    When possible, provide context or commentary for the material you use.

FeedWelder makes it easy to comply with these practices. The headline of each story in your feed links to the original website. You can display the source under each headline. You can easily control how much of the description to show for each story (or hide the description completely and send people to the original site from each headline).

To help with limiting the feed to articles that are relevant to your site, you can use our keyword filter to show only stories that contain particular words.

We encourage our users to follow these guidelines.