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  • #16
    The copyright is held by the person that created the post - i.e. the author. At most then have given you permission to post it. This does not mean (as far as I can tell, but ask a laywer to be sure) that they can demand you remove it - after all they posted it.

    However, if someone posts copyrighted materials on your site that they do not have permission to do, then when the orignal copyright holder requests you to remove it, then upon proof that they are the copyright holder you do need to remove it.

    In the US there is the DMCA which outlines the basic process. You has a website owner can create a notification process that anyone wanting information removed has to follow. But once they follow that process and if they have proven owership of the copyright, you do need to remove it.

    But check with a lawyer to find out what you should do. Also, of course servers in other countries have different rules to adhere to. And if you live outside the US, but your servers are in the US, you are bound by the DMCA.

    Dale

    Originally posted by Nupraptor

    But yes... generally speaking, all posts on your board belong to you.

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    • #17
      I'll try to dig up the proper facts from where I'm citing this (as opposed to randomly spouting purported "facts", like I'm doing now ), but I do recall something very similar coming up before.
      Last edited by Nupraptor; Mon 21st Jan '02, 5:30am.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Nupraptor
        I'll try to dig up the proper facts from where I'm citing this (as opposed to randomly spouting purported "facts", like I'm doing now ), but I do recall something very similar coming up before.
        That would be very helpful, as we seem to have conflicting interpretations of this legal issue.
        Last edited by tamarian; Tue 22nd Jan '02, 11:25am.
        vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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        • #19
          bump
          vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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          • #20
            I pretty much avoided this whole issue by specifying it in my copyright notice:

            Powered by: vBulletin Version 2.6.0
            Copyright ©2000, 2001, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.
            All trademarks and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective owners.
            Submissions to the forums are owned by the poster. The rest © 2001,2002 SeriousCommunity.com.
            Whammo, case closed. If I was posting things, I'd find it disturbing to know that I didn't own them. They're my thoughts, my ideas, therefore I should "own" them. This is one of the things I hate about GSI, they own everything you post on forumplanet that's not already copyrighted. They also own any work you do if you work on one of their sites.
            Seriously! - The Definitive Home of All Things Serious
            Seriously! Forums

            To recieve support on these forums, enter your username here.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by DarkReaper
              Whammo, case closed.
              Umm, half the case maybe closed.

              Let's say a user hase 5,000 posts. According to your agreement, they own their posts.

              They demand you delete all their posts (not just their account) what do you do?

              Deleting through MySQL may ruin many important threads, where other members may appear to be talking to themselves, or commenting on non-existing posts.

              Members who have quoted that user in their own posts and added their comments, may lose their entire posts, or the posts they are commenting on.

              Let's say you want cut this short, and enter a MySQL query to delete ANY thread that had a post by that member, possibly losing 10% of your entire forum content. Can they legally (assuming they own their posts) do that?

              It's interesting this hasn't come up before, but it would be great to have a firm grasp on the legality of this issue (for a default vB signup template).
              vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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              • #22
                I'm going to have to concede the point, for the time being: A lack of supporting information looks incredibly bad.

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                • #23
                  Unless you state otherwise, the poster owns copyright to anything they post.

                  There have been several successful lawsuits here in the US that resulted in websites having to remove any posts, emails, etc at the request of the original poster. While there is no law, interpretation of many copyright laws led to legal precedent that was unsuccessfully challenged.

                  I seriously doubt your poster knows this, but you can't count on that to keep them from suing you, so you're better off removing their posts.
                  Webmaster:
                  @forumz

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                  • #24
                    I guess that puts you in a sticky situation -- if deleting member X's post causes an entire thread to be deleted.. you've now removed the property of other members against their will.

                    From what I can see online, you should have something like this (and I am not a lawyer, might be good to invest in one):
                    Copyright of Uploaded Content.
                    User hereby grants XYZ Forums a perpetual, universal, and non-exclusive right to copy, display, modify, alter, delete, transmit, and distribute any Content provided by User to XYZ Forums. User is the owner of all Content submitted by User to XYZ Forums, and User represents that he or she is the legal owner of the copyright to all Content that User submits to XYZ Forums or that User has permission from the copyright owner to submit the Content to XYZ Forums. User also hereby grants other Users of the Web Site (Moderators, Super Moderators) the right to modify, alter, and delete Content provided by User to XYZ Forums, pursuant to the first part of this section.
                    Obviously if your user is a minor you have another ball of wax due to COPPA and whether or not the posts should be allowed in the first place.

                    Or here:
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

                    However: The scary thing about this is that if you remove /edit messages, you are supposedly liable for the rest of them.. kind of like if you forgot (or didn't notice) a violation of your TOS, and someone sues, they can win.
                    Last edited by MattR; Wed 23rd Jan '02, 11:38pm.
                    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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                    • #25
                      yeah yeah
                      who cares?
                      if it's against your TOS just nuke it
                      You're my Prince of Peace
                      And I will live my life for You

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                      • #26
                        Hello,

                        I believe based on prior experiences with running a BBS (way before the web), that as long as you have in your TOS that anyone posting something to your site grants you an non-exclusive right to display their posting, then they can not demand that you remove it.

                        As someone else in this thread mentioned, if you delete one, you may be liable for others. That is so true. Prodigy got sued many times as they (used to have, not sure if they still do or not) people that had to approve all posts prior to them being made public. In this case the court ruled that they were taking an active role in what was posted as opposed to a service that allowed uncensored postings.

                        end result, they lost big time.

                        Also, if someone is defamed, then they can request that the post be removed. But you should have a lawyer go over something like this just in case.

                        Also, what you are required to do can be based on where you live, where your company (if you have one) is located and also where the servers are.

                        I currently live in Germany, but my servers are in the US and I am an American. I have a sole proprietorship based business that is based in Texas, but the servers are in another state. So, where is jurisdiction?

                        You should typically have such a statement in your TOS that defines under what laws/regulations the site is governed - typically where you live to keep your costs down.

                        but make sure you understand the implications of where you want your site/business to be regulated. for example here in Germany, effective this year, all product sales have a 2 year warrenty against manufaturers defects. Period.

                        Also, all products sold to a German resident are given a (I believe) 30 day return period, regardless of whatever policies you may offer - if you have a German based business. Of course certain items are exempt such as underfwear etc.

                        So basically if you think you will get to a point where you are selling products, or think you may encounter issues based on your content, please hire a lawyer to help you develop proper policies to cover yourself.

                        Good luck.

                        Dale


                        Originally posted by tamarian


                        Umm, half the case maybe closed.

                        Let's say a user hase 5,000 posts. According to your agreement, they own their posts.

                        They demand you delete all their posts (not just their account) what do you do?

                        Deleting through MySQL may ruin many important threads, where other members may appear to be talking to themselves, or commenting on non-existing posts.

                        Members who have quoted that user in their own posts and added their comments, may lose their entire posts, or the posts they are commenting on.

                        Let's say you want cut this short, and enter a MySQL query to delete ANY thread that had a post by that member, possibly losing 10% of your entire forum content. Can they legally (assuming they own their posts) do that?

                        It's interesting this hasn't come up before, but it would be great to have a firm grasp on the legality of this issue (for a default vB signup template).

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          This is definitely one for those bloody lawer type people, especially when it concerns different approaches to copyright.

                          What may be legal in the country where you write it, may not be on the server where it resides, but again may be OK where it is read.

                          BTW, anyone paying fees for the use of Mr Men, The Simpsons etc as avatars. This is probably illegal?

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                          • #28
                            Where is a good website I can read about all this legal stuff in business. I have a few general questions. I am finally getting my online business established and I want to read about what I need to do as far as copyrights and the basic steps to form a real online business. Like what I must do to get a legal business name.

                            I've bene in busiess for a long time, but I was never the president/ceo of a company. So, it's all kind of new to me and I want to do things right. It used to be someone else would handle it and I worked for them. Not anymore, I'm starting a production company on the side.
                            Jason Miller
                            http://www.GMPerformanceTuning.com
                            http://projecthillside.com
                            http://weekendoasis.net
                            http://jamz.net

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                            • #29
                              Unless you state it, it can be argued that the poster does

                              And as stated by prior posters, the board owner IS responsible for anything posted on their board, if it is unlawfully copied from any other source, and you would have to take it down if requested.

                              As for ownership, You can put a notice in your copyright policy stating that "by posting on the board, the poster agrees that you have copyright ownership of any material posted". I think most regular topic boards that are informal have the posters 'assuming' that 'they' own the copyright to what they post - if nothing about copyright is specified in your online documentation, then if they wanted to press it, their posts might be considered their own intellectual property under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. (but i am not sure - you'd have to check with a digital media copyright lawyer to be sure)

                              The best way is to state in your copyright/privacy policy who has ownership of material posted.

                              Also, you could set your options so that a user has no time limit on the deleting of their own posts, that way if they decide they want to remove their posts, they don't have to hassle you to do it- they can do it themselves. I have the time limit on editing or deleting of posts set at zero, meaning posters can edit or delete their own posts at any time. I just consider this a common courtesy for my particular board.

                              On my board, I do have a copyright notice up stating I own all material posted, but this is so if we find people stealing material from the site, I can go after them as an 'entity' and scare them into taking down whatever they have stolen. I've had to do this several times, actually like once a month or more for the last few years! Even though my notice states that "I" own the copyright, I let my posters edit or delete their own posts at any time, and I don't use any quotes or anything else without getting permission from the poster first.

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                              • #30
                                talk about draging up old threads >.<

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