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Who has Copyrights of posts, author or vB owner?

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  • Who has Copyrights of posts, author or vB owner?

    Do forum members automatically own the Copyright of their posts?

    I've occasionally got users demanding the removal of their posts, profiles etc., but I just delete them and they appear as guest, and they don't complain.

    However, a couple of users claim Copyright ownership of their posts, and request deletion of each post!!

    So, I have two questions:

    1. Doesn't the forum owner own any content voluntarily posted by the author themselves?

    2. And even if the Author own the copyrights of their posts, does that in itself obligate forum owners to delete their posts upon request?

    I don't find it fair, since it may render some threads meanigless, and it's a lot of work deleting many posts manually without compensation for time. But this may irrelavent I guess?
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  • #2
    It is a difficult grey area as far as I know. If you don't state in your rules somewhere that by posting then you assign all rights of that post to the owner then I am under the understanding that the owner retains the copyright.

    However I am not convinced that means they have the right to order you to remove the posts. Just don't know.

    However removing them is not hard.
    DELETE FROM post WHERE userid = 'id'
    DELETE FROM thread WHERE userid = 'id'
    Christopher Padfield
    Web Based Helpdesk
    DeskPRO v3.0.3 Released - Download Demo Now!

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    • #3
      All posts submitted to the vB become property of the board and owner. If a user copied something from some other site and the other site owner wants it removed, you have the right to say no due to the user copying it and not yourself. Just tell them to take it up with the person who did it.

      (I have a wonderful disclaimer on my site that renders me invincible from stupid demands like that)
      Need a job done? Get in contact with me and we'll see what we can work out.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Valkyre
        All posts submitted to the vB become property of the board and owner.
        Sounds good to me, do you know this for sure?


        If a user copied something from some other site and the other site owner wants it removed, you have the right to say no due to the user copying it and not yourself. Just tell them to take it up with the person who did it.
        Not sure I like this, though.

        (I have a wonderful disclaimer on my site that renders me invincible from stupid demands like that)
        I got a 404 error when I checked you forum's privacy link?
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        • #5
          Our terms-of-use states that the user agrees that the posts they make are legally responsible for their own posts.

          If a user copied something from some other site and the other site owner wants it removed, you have the right to say no due to the user copying it and not yourself. Just tell them to take it up with the person who did it.
          Uh-uh. (e.g. no!). No no no. No matter who posted it, you are choosing to display it. If it is in violation of any laws (e.g. copywrite) and someone contacts you about it, you MUST get rid of it. Legally, yes it is your poster who chose to post it, but if you're contacted and you say NO then you're a party. Be smart -- no need to legally involve yourself in something. If there's a violation of the law, and it's on your board, remove it. Suspend the user. etc.
          Matt
          Sybase DBA / PHP fanatic
          Sybase v. MySQL v. Oracle | Why I don't like MySQL | Download Sybase TODAY! | Visit DBForums.com!

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          • #6
            Nothing to do with privacy, that's just the reassurance that Im not stealing personal info about them, its in the registration signup thing.
            Need a job done? Get in contact with me and we'll see what we can work out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MattR
              Our terms-of-use states that the user agrees that the posts they make are legally responsible for their own posts.



              Uh-uh. (e.g. no!). No no no. No matter who posted it, you are choosing to display it. If it is in violation of any laws (e.g. copywrite) and someone contacts you about it, you MUST get rid of it. Legally, yes it is your poster who chose to post it, but if you're contacted and you say NO then you're a party. Be smart -- no need to legally involve yourself in something. If there's a violation of the law, and it's on your board, remove it. Suspend the user. etc.
              Matt speaks the truth, in the UK anyway. There is case law backing this up when Demon Internet was successfully sued after refusing to take down what I believe was termed libelous postings in a newsgroup they carried.
              Christopher Padfield
              Web Based Helpdesk
              DeskPRO v3.0.3 Released - Download Demo Now!

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              • #8
                MattR,

                Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!! I checked your forum, and it has just hit 2 million posts!!

                Edit: No, I mistook an 8 for 0, it was 2,000,803
                Last edited by tamarian; Sun 20th Jan '02, 8:27pm.
                vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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                • #9
                  LOL, no we hit 2mil a while ago... Just hit 30,000 users in the last hour or so. I hope to hit 3 million posts by March.
                  Matt
                  Sybase DBA / PHP fanatic
                  Sybase v. MySQL v. Oracle | Why I don't like MySQL | Download Sybase TODAY! | Visit DBForums.com!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MattR
                    LOL, no we hit 2mil a while ago...
                    Damn, I missed another 8, it's 2,801,040, time to get an eye exam, or change fonts

                    But before I ruin my own thread and change topics:

                    Anyone has a definite answer as to who legally owns a post (assuming I didn't change default registration templates)? And their rights to demand deletion of what they posted?
                    vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Valkyre
                      Nothing to do with privacy, that's just the reassurance that Im not stealing personal info about them, its in the registration signup thing.
                      Oh, so it's in the registration template? I tried clicking register just to read it, but registration is disabled. If you care to share, please post the text, or relevant portion.
                      vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Valkyre
                        All posts submitted to the vB become property of the board and owner.
                        For the most part, this is correct. The one exception is...
                        If a user copied something from some other site and the other site owner wants it removed, you have the right to say no due to the user copying it and not yourself.
                        You're copyright does not overrule theirs. They still have the rights to the material, and you are responsible for all actions on your board. If someone posted Child Porn on your board, and you knew about it but failed to remove it, you're legally responsible for it. Even if you didn't know about it, there's a good chance that you will still be held responsible for it.

                        But yes... generally speaking, all posts on your board belong to you.
                        Last edited by Nupraptor; Sun 20th Jan '02, 11:43pm.

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                        • #13
                          You need to be careful here, I don't think that posting assigns the board owner copyright - for one thing there is no mention of consideration (aka payment) and this breaks a principle of contract law.

                          Also if it did then they would be liable for it's contents (eg libel) even more than they might be already.

                          Furthermore you are implying that the poster then has no right to use the same words anywhere else, which would put most people off!

                          I think the safest route is to say that posting grants the board a non-exclusive license to publish the material.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MattR
                            LOL, no we hit 2mil a while ago... Just hit 30,000 users in the last hour or so. I hope to hit 3 million posts by March.
                            congrats... so how's the 1000+ connections barrier holding ?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pilot
                              You need to be careful here, I don't think that posting assigns the board owner copyright - for one thing there is no mention of consideration (aka payment) and this breaks a principle of contract law.
                              That's not enitirely true, but there's not need to get into that, since what we're discussing isn't, by definition, a contractual agreement (unless, however, the owner of the vB specifically puts in his FAQ that "all posts become property of the board owner", or something to that effect).
                              Furthermore you are implying that the poster then has no right to use the same words anywhere else, which would put most people off!
                              I'm sure it would... if someone sat down and explained this to them. But seeing as how most people would be unaware of this, it fails to have an effect.
                              I think the safest route is to say that posting grants the board a non-exclusive license to publish the material.
                              That would be the safest way, if the board owner is capable of dictating who holds what copyrights, which I believe isn't the case.

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