RSS is a resource used by many sites and businesses around the world. In fact, I'm using it on this site to syndicate content from C|Net, Designtechnica and IASlash (just look to the right of this page screen). I'm using RSS in conjunction with a Perl script and a Perl module (and a crontab) to pull news headlines into template files that are pulled into this page using server side includes. It's a daisy chain architecture, but it works, and is not very intensive in terms of processing.
The rain on this parade is that someone says they own a patent over RDF which is how RSS is expressed. The software patent issue is a huge issue, and this dispute is a symptom of it. Considering the following quote from the C|Net article, I wonder how many individuals are infringing...
UFIL is working with Toronto-based Patent Enforcement and Royalties Ltd. (PEARL) to enforce the claims. According to press releases on PEARL's Web site, the companies believe as many as 45 companies may be infringing on the patents.
I first saw a link to the C|Net article over at The XML Cover Pages by Robin Cover.