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I'm developing some apps that rely on RSS feeds for it's contents, these apps never store the feed data, and always pull the fresh atom xml from the server. I limit the char count to 100 chars, so it won't display all the post content on the listing, and then redirect the user to a webview with the content owner's site open, so they receive their visit as they should.

My apps main sell points are the opportunity to favorite posts on the app, and the notification when new posts arrive. Other than that, it is a RSS reader, as many other, that is subscribed only to one feed.

The site owner asked me to remove the app as they didn't like it. I contested them saying that it is fair use, and refused to remove. I do have banners on it, but just on the listing screen and favorites screen, and the content is displayed bannerless.

What you people think? I'm in trouble? As I don't "republish" it, just merely display, nor I store their data, am I safer?

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    Hmm... The answer could to this question will vary based on jurisdiction. Where in the world are you?
    – Zizouz212
    Apr 13, 2016 at 21:25
  • Hello there! I'm in Brazil... But since many judges here do consider international law regarding this kind of problem, I find any opinion valid... Besides, other people may benefit from answers from jurisdictions other than mine.
    – Maxinne
    Apr 14, 2016 at 1:26
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    Hmm... The thing is that copyright law is by country - and while countries have ratified international conventions, rules may differ. But I can give a general answer once I find the time :)
    – Zizouz212
    Apr 14, 2016 at 1:33
  • Thanks, and I appreciate much that you are looking onto this... I feel that RSS feed copyright status lays on a huge gray area, and could find some clearing... If you could, please approach apps that consume many feeds where they come already subscribed out of the box (Instead of asking the user to copy and paste the link themselves.). And the use of ads within the reader interface! Thanks again for your help!
    – Maxinne
    Apr 14, 2016 at 1:38
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    Sounds good. Pretty sure that Brazil has ratified the Geneva convention, so any answer would ought to be similar :)
    – Zizouz212
    Apr 14, 2016 at 1:45

1 Answer 1

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The Copyright Law of Brazil provides several exceptions to copyright. These are defined in Chapter IV of the law, in articles 46, 47, and 48. Of these, article 46 seems the most relevant to the question. One should note that none of these articles is at all equilivant to teh US concept of "fair use".

Article 46 section III permits:

the quotation in books, newspapers, magazines or any other medium of communication of passages from a work for the purposes of study, criticism or debate, to the extent justified by the purpose, provided that the author is named and the source of the quotation is given;

but the service described in the question is not so much quotation as indexing, ig I have understood it corectly, and I am not sure that 46 III covers it.

Article 46 section VIII permists:

the reproduction in any work of short extracts from existing works, regardless of their nature ...

But again this does nor really fit te service described.

Articles 47 and 48 are not relevant to the actions described in the question.

In short, while I think these actions might well be permissible under fair use if a case is brought in a US court, they seem much more doubtful in an action under the law of Brazil. I have not been able to find relevant court decision under Brazilian law.

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  • The entire purpose of RSS is to enable precisely this sort of app to exist. I find it quite alarming that a court would allow a copyright holder to make such a tacit invitation (by openly publishing an RSS feed in the standard format), and then renege. But I don't pretend to understand the nuances of Brazilian law.
    – Kevin
    Jul 30, 2021 at 3:27
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    @Kevin I am no expert in the law of Brazil either, I just read the official text. of the law There might be a claim that offering an RSS feed gives an implied license for the app. If so, that would be covered under case law, and it seems that the case law of Brazil is not well indexed by google, at least not in English. Jul 30, 2021 at 3:34
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    @Kevin Brazilin Case law and authoritative legal texts are in Portuguese. Translations might miss a minutia that might put indexing into or out of the meaning of the text.
    – Trish
    Jul 30, 2021 at 10:42

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