Friday, April 25, 2008

Britannica free access... gotcha?

Encyclopaedia BritannicaEB building name plate with thistle
Image by Robert Brook via Flickr
Previously, I wrote about Encyclopaedia Britannica's free access offer. I may have more to say later but I thought I'd update you a bit with a couple of things I ran into

First, it seems I can't edit my previous post! I'm very used to just going into already published posts and tweaking them (I always find typos after I publish them! Why is that???, er, don't answer....).

For whatever reason, an attempt to edit that post blanks it out. I'm not sure if this is a glitch at my end or what (further testing is needed) but the only think that is different about that post is the widget I embedded. If in fact I can't edit posts that have those widgets that's a strong disincentive to embed them. Hopefully just a glitch that will be sorted out.

A somewhat more serious matter was blogged about by the author of Pattern Recognition, who sat down and analyzed the Terms and Conditions of use. It seems that the T&C has that dreaded "non commercial use" clause... (I was going to put a link to it about here, but Jason Griffey is a better searcher than I am, I can't find the page that has the Ts and Cs!... silly me...)

Now, on my blog, if you look over to the left, and if you look between every second posting, you're going to find ads... so far I think I've raked in a total of 24 cents or so from them but it's commercial use, technically. So if you come back one day and find that first posting gone and any and all links to Britannica content gone, that's why...

For now, though, I'm going to assume they don't really mean exactly what they seem to say by that, since (thanks again, Jason) their next paragraph says:

If you want to post, publish, or use content from (or contained within) the Services on your Web site or in any other Internet activity, you will need permission from Britannica, even though your Web site or Internet activity is free of charge.

Well hmm... wasn't that what I just signed up for the ability to link to EB articles? Color me confused I guess.

What do you think? Does EB really mean that?

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