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Websense treads fine line with Reg copy

And WSJ, CNN, Wired, Salon etc

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Censorware company Websense is taking copyrighted articles and posting them in its own template on its site. Some of our copy, as well as articles from the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Wires and Salon have found their way onto its news section.

It does state where the copy comes from, plus the headline links to the article on the writer's site, but we feel Websense is pushing things a little too far. First of all, it didn't have the decency to ask for our permission before reprinting the copy in full.

There isn't a copyright notice on it, although there is with a few others like the WSJ. While it does have a section titled "Websense in the news" which lists articles in which the company is mentioned, we are referring to the "Internet misuse in the news" section in which the company doesn't feature at all.

Admittedly, Websense doesn't steal too many articles, but it is treading a very fine line into becoming a content provider. If people wish to run full articles in their own templates on topics they don't have a direct involvement in without asking permission, they normally have to pay for the privilege.

Drawing attention to any interesting piece is one thing, but then most sites run the first two paragraphs with a link to the rest of the article if people are interested.

If this was a kid's charity, we wouldn't be so bothered, however Websense makes its money by selling corporates software that enables them to monitor employee Internet usage and produces reports on their habits. It warns extensively about the abuse of the Internet by employees and the negative effect this can have on your business.

Perhaps it should apply some of its own standards to itself. ®

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