There is some talk recently (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) on some blogs about sites like the Google Wireless Transcoder, Skweezer and other similar services that take as an input a URL and they output a more mobile-friendly version of that site so it can be rendered faster and easier by a mobile browser. There are a lot of site owners who are very pissed about this because they say that these services are messing up with their copyrights and their financials because the ads are removed in the process.
IMO there is no such issue and the site owners should just shut it. If you try to download a 50 KB (Flash or not) ad on a cellphone, the rest of the page won’t load because the phone would run out of memory sooner or later. And if your ad has video in it, it will never load no matter if the user used a mobile Transcoder service or not. Besides, most carriers today ALREADY have such transcoding ability via their proxy servers (e.g. portalmmm, very popular in Germany)! So if you use one of their locked cellphones, there is a good chance that you will get a re-layout of the page you want to view, no matter the browser’s abilities.
The ONLY annoyance that exists right now is that these transcoding services also transcode mobile sites, like OSNews.com and WinkSite, and so they make them look uglier than they have to be. I believe that a new law must introduced that allows transcoders to do their job by default, BUT, they must “listen” to robots.txt and if a site owner doesn’t want them to use his site, they should respect that and drive away. This means that Skweezer must also change its user agent (I am not happy at all about them posing as IE while originally they were reporting their own unique user agent). This should make happy both the services and the owners.
And these site owners who said that they want to sue Del.icio.us because it wants to add ads on their RSS feeds, should get a life too. Del.icio.us offers a service that it’s very useful to the community and personal grudges should not get in the way for the progress of the society. The whole point of the RSS feeds is that they link back to the original article. What these site owners must do is what we do at osnews (and other sites do too): Only offer via RSS the first paragraph of your news item and then link to the original article back at your site. If the reader is interested in reading more he/she will have to click through to your page and see your ads. This way, Del.icio.us offers a useful service and gets paid for it via ads, the RSS owner gets the links-though he deserves to have and also gets paid via ads on his site. Why make things more complicated than they have to be?