Changing a Link Target in 3rd Party Content

link targetWe are often asked whether it is possible to change the link target for links in feeds. This article explains why we do not allow link targets to be changed using our interface.

When a feed is published by a 3rd party (for example Reuters, BBC News or even a Facebook feed), there will be in nearly every case, a “Terms and Conditions of Use associated with that feed. For example a Facebook feed will contain images owned by either Facebook or by the user who published that page.

Copyright law applies to a link target

While you can disable these links, you cannot (legally, for copyright and “terms of use”  reasons) change the link target to another site. i.e. your image links cannot be redirected to a different website. This will be in direct contravention of the terms of use of the RSS feed publisher in 90% of cases.

In all cases, directing the photo to another link is also in contravention of copyright as under those laws, you are not permitted to change content for your own gain unless you have explicit permission from the owner. Neither can you change an outgoing  link from an image as it would be deemed usage of that image for gain, which copyright law does not accommodate unless agreement with the owner is obtained, or royalty paid for usage. Owner consent is usually still mandatory regardless. It does depend on which part of the world you are in as to what copyright laws apply. At FeedWind we generally err on the side of copyright law in the US and Europe.

Why we don’t offer a link editing feature

If we enabled a feature whereby users could change the link target, then although we would not be committing a crime, it is a feature that would enable others to do so. We have to respect the rights of content owners to reproduce their content without tampering or altering the content, or making it convenient for their content to be used for gain without appropriate permission. Quite likely, if we were to be seen to be doing so, we would not be popular with RSS feed publishers and content owners.

Disabling links is acceptable

It is possible however to disable links as this is an acceptable form of modification. Many webmasters may like to display 3rd party content but may not want their users to click-thru and leave their site. This can be achieved by using a custom CSS which includes “pointer-events:none” for feed item titles and links in the description.


References

https://www.worldlaw.eu/article/3331/rss-feeds-copyright-law.html

https://www.out-law.com/page-7843

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

https://www.rightsdirect.com/international-copyright-basics/


CSS for Google Calendar Event Date & Time Elements

custom google calendar widgetWe have just introduced new classes for the Google Calendar widget date & time components.

These allow you to customize the date and time with CSS and achieve any styling you want. You can match your website style and make your Calendar Event date/time more prominent in the feed.

This article focuses on the CSS used for the date/time components of your custom Google Calendar widget. You can find out more about how to use CSS to style the remaining widget components in our in-depth article on Google Calendar CSS.

Custom Google Calendar Widget CSS Classes

These are the relevant classes for Google Calendar event date/time:


‘Clock icon’ class

This class is for the clock icon which appears alongside the date/time by default.

.fa.fa-clock-o

Note – If you wish to hide this icon you can use:

.fa.fa-clock-o {display:none!important;}


‘Time’ class

The ‘Time’ class styles the time element of the date/time.

.fw-gc-feed-item-time-only


‘Date’ class

The ‘Date’ class styles the date element of the date/time.

.fw-gc-feed-item-date-only


‘Date & Time’ class

This class styles both date and time components. Useful for adding a border around the whole date+time element, or to reposition the whole date+time element using margins.

.fw-gc-feed-item-date


Using these CSS classes you can create a widget such as the example below. You can find the full CSS used for this custom Gcal widget here.


If you need any assistance with customizing your Google Calendar widget, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help!


HTML RSS news ticker widget

The RSS ticker (single-line) widget

An RSS ticker widget consists of a single line of text scrolling horizontally. They are often used to display stock prices, exchange rates, latest news etc. This widget layout is based on the old teleprinter machines which printed text onto ticker tape, a narrow strip of paper on a roll.

What is an RSS ticker widget used for?

News ticker widgets are commonly used to display stock prices, exchange rates and news headlines; although they can also serve many other uses. They also use less screen space than a regular widget as the information displayed at any one time is limited to the width of the widget and only one line of characters. Ticker widgets make useful banners for other page elements too.

The above example is a Reuters feed. It was created using this custom CSS which corrects the position of the time/date and applies a gradient background. The setup screen had these settings:

The following settings in the FeedWind setup screen Are important:

Setup page item Setting Notes
Height – (No of feed items) 1 Maintains a single line tickertape
Width As required – in px or responsive Ensure the title/content characters fit into one line. Otherwise, text wrapping occurs which requires a taller widget
Scroll type Horizontal A ticker widget requires horizontal scroll. It would be possible to create a vertical scrolling tickertape, however these are very limited in use as the content is more difficult for your users to read.
Style Text This is the only style which works for a news ticker widget layout
Feed title characters 100 Ensure the whole title fits on one line for the widget width you have specified
Display content Title only You could use “Content-only” too, but not Title+Content. This is because there would be a carriage return between the title and the content. In this example we are trying to fit the text into a single line within the widget width without text-wrapping.
Time/Date Off This can be switched ON/OFF as required