John Cowan cowan at
Sat Feb 13 19:46:51 GMT 2021

On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 12:51 PM Nico <nico at> wrote:

> Would you use the same argument against, eg. A mobile twitter client?
> Twitter posts also aren't an open license. Just my 2 cents.

Twitter is pushing back extremely hard on alternative clients, claiming
that they cause "consumer confusion", and they may end up becoming extinct.
Medium has blocked access to its API altogether, although existing API
users are grandfathered in.  Neither site allows screen scraping.

This content might be a nice-to-have on Gemini, but the downside is
extremely high: in the U.S., the penalty for willful copyright infringement
can be as high as $150,000 *per document*, plus court fees and legal

When I worked at Reuters, this was an excellent way of getting new
customers: google for a sentence from one of our published articles, see
which if any were on unlicensed sites, and contact the site owners.  It was
a lot cheaper for them to license the content than to pay those damages.
(In fact, almost all of the companies said that they did not know the
content had to be licensed, and they would much rather license it than stop
hosting it.)

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

John Cowan        cowan at
It was impossible to inveigle
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Into offering the slightest apology
For his Phenomenology.                      --W. H. Auden, from "People"
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