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  1. #1
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    Who owns the rights to posts made here at WHT?

    Someone recently PM'd me, requesting permission to have my review up on their site, which was taken directly from WHT. Actually, they posted it on their site and then PM'd me, requesting permission.

    While I appreciate their intent, I've yet to respond to their PM, as I thought it was customary to ask permission FIRST before snagging a review and putting it up on a site. I'll deal with that issue after I get this question answered by the powers that be. Please, only top level Mods or even iNet Interactive Staff reply to this. I don't want speculation about copyrights or suggestions on how to handle the PM, thanks.

    On one of my sites, I technically own the rights to everything submitted into my database, though I do give the original poster rights to use it/grant permission as they see fit. If they find their information/posts on another site without their permission, all they have to do is let me know, and I'll apply my copyright rights in that case. After they cease being a member by 30 days or more, I retain complete and full rights to their content, unless previously discussed and agreed upon via paper. This is in the terms of service and the rules/guidelines for that site, which every member has to agree to before becoming a member.

    My question is this: Who ultimately owns the rights to the posts here? Is it completely iNet Interactive or the poster, or some combination of both?

    Senior Mods and iNet Interactive guidance is very much welcomed in this question.

    Oh, and no, I won't identify the requesting party, out of respect for them until I get official clarification from the appropriate people.
    Douglas Hazard - Certifiable Sports Junkie and Sports Community Enthusiast

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  2. #2
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    Opinions, advice and all other information expressed by participants in discussions are those of the author.
    This comes from the rules. Your opinion is your opinion, thus I would asume you are the owner of it.

    EDIT: WHT owns the right to remove/modify your opinion, but not give it out as their own. Plus, the don't really need that kind of liability.

    Best,
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  3. #3
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    Right, that just means that they can't be held liable for something that I said (such as my continual rants about OdeonWeb). That doesn't cover copyright issues, which is why I asked for clarification from the senior mods and iNet Interactive. Thanks, though, Artashes.
    Douglas Hazard - Certifiable Sports Junkie and Sports Community Enthusiast

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  4. #4
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    Well, from iNET's terms for this site:
    . . . All Content on the Forum is copyrighted as a collective work under the U.S. copyright laws, and iNET owns a copyright in the selection, coordination, arrangement and enhancement of such Content. . .
    Looks like iNET owns them.
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  5. #5
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    Ah man!!!!!

    But what really is to stop someone from copy/pasteing???

    Nothing........

    The Dude

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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by The Dude_
    But what really is to stop someone from copy/pasteing???
    A few things.



    Thing number one.



    Thing number two.



    Thing number three.



    Thing number four.



    Thing number five.



    Thing number six.




    Etc.
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by The Dude_
    But what really is to stop someone from copy/pasteing???
    Sure, technically anyone can copy and paste anything... but what's to stop them? A little thing called the law.

    Of course there are copyright violations of this type everywhere. Even here at WHT it's not uncommon for someone to copy a whole copyrighted article from a news source and post it.

    But the question wasn't whether it's physically possible, it was who owns the rights; i.e. is it legal?
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  8. #8
    iNET's terms:
    All Content on the Forum is copyrighted as a collective work under the U.S. copyright laws, and iNET owns a copyright in the selection, coordination, arrangement and enhancement of such Content.
    WHT Rules
    Opinions, advice and all other information expressed by participants in discussions are those of the author. You rely on such information at your own risk. Participants are urged to seek professional advice for specific, individual situations and not rely solely on advice or opinions given in the discussions.
    iNET claims ownership of all content on WHT, but turns around and states in WHT Rules that opinions, advice, other information expressed by participants are those of the author and relying on such info is at your own risk?

    I suggest iNET fix their terms and WHT Rules before they get burned on this one, because they are responsible for peoples views since they are claiming ownership.

    Remember the woman who burned herself with a hot cup of coffee, then turned around and sued McDonalds and won $2.9 million? Well, if she can get away with that, even if it's her own fault, then this one is a sure win for whomever wants to sue, and the one taking the fall wont be the post author, it's gona be iNET since they're claiming ownership of participants posts.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by HostQuest; 04-15-2004 at 03:01 AM.

  9. #9
    I dont understand.. how can they own the rights to what we say? We said it not them..

  10. #10
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    But you're adding it to their websites, under an agreement you were bound to when you registered.

    I was the one who requested permission for the use of TRN Douglas' review, and I'm guilty of not waiting using it, and for missing iNet's T.O.S. - The issue has since been resolved, and we (my editors and I) are not holding any grudges or indifferences, nor do we believe any are being held against us.

    This is a juicy issue though, so feel free to continue to discuss it if you want.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by HostQuest
    iNET's terms:


    WHT Rules


    iNET claims ownership of all content on WHT, but turns around and states in WHT Rules that opinions, advice, other information expressed by participants are those of the author and relying on such info is at your own risk?

    I suggest iNET fix their terms and WHT Rules before they get burned on this one, because they are responsible for peoples views since they are claiming ownership.

    Remember the woman who burned herself with a hot cup of coffee, then turned around and sued McDonalds and won $2.9 million? Well, if she can get away with that, even if it's her own fault, then this one is a sure win for whomever wants to sue, and the one taking the fall wont be the post author, it's gona be iNET since they're claiming ownership of participants posts.

    Just my 2 cents.
    There's a difference between the copyright of text and expression of opinions and views.

    What they are saying is,

    "If someone says something, it's them saying it."

    "If someone contributes text here; you can't take it without our permission."

    They're two completely different statements. And not really related.
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  12. #12
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    Allow me to respond.

    Clearly and author who makes a post can certainly redistribute that post. He/she can use that post as testimony- whatever he/she likes.

    However, we need to have some ownership rights here so that other forums just do not come along and copy all of our posts and argue that we (iNET) did not own them.

    Instead, these individuals would need to get permission from the author to copy the posts, and from iNET as well. We would never object to someone using their post elsewhere. But someone coming along wanting to import 10,000 posts from a user on WHT who gave them permission to do so, well, that is another issue.

    We (iNET) are certainly not trying to create tention. Again, your post is your post. We are not going to tell you what you can and cannot do with them. However, we need to be able to argue that we have some property interest at some level, otherwise, what do we own?

    Make sense? Your feedback is welcome.
    -------------------------------------------------
    WHT owner once upon a time....
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  13. #13
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    Dennis, thank you for catching that. I'll let the other guy know that he needs to contact iNet in order to use my review from here.

    Updating this, now that I've read Gabriel's post. This is exactly what I wanted, as far as how requests such as this should be handled. Who do I direct this person to, in order to obtain permission? I'm probably going to be requesting the person seeking permissions to contact us via email.
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  14. #14
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    TRN Douglas, he already has our permission We are completely fine with someone repriting what you said on WHT. We would object if they wanted to copy all 832 of your posts for their new and own WHT-look-alike
    -------------------------------------------------
    WHT owner once upon a time....
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  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Gabriel Murphy
    Allow me to respond.

    Clearly and author who makes a post can certainly redistribute that post. He/she can use that post as testimony- whatever he/she likes.

    However, we need to have some ownership rights here so that other forums just do not come along and copy all of our posts and argue that we (iNET) did not own them.

    Instead, these individuals would need to get permission from the author to copy the posts, and from iNET as well. We would never object to someone using their post elsewhere. But someone coming along wanting to import 10,000 posts from a user on WHT who gave them permission to do so, well, that is another issue.

    We (iNET) are certainly not trying to create tention. Again, your post is your post. We are not going to tell you what you can and cannot do with them. However, we need to be able to argue that we have some property interest at some level, otherwise, what do we own?

    Make sense? Your feedback is welcome.
    IANAL, but I think this is almost correct. The piece that I don't think is correct is the following, in bold:

    Instead, these individuals would need to get permission from the author to copy the posts, and from iNET as well.
    Assuming this case holds true, the poster holds the copyright to his/her own posts, while iNet holds copyright to the database of posts as their collective right, cite:


    (a) Where, as here, a freelance author has contributed an article to a collective work, copyright in the contribution vests initially in its author. §201(c). Copyright in the collective work vests in the collective author (here, the Print Publisher) and extends only to the creative material contributed by that author, not to “the preexisting material employed in the work,” §103(b). Congress enacted the provisions of the 1976 revision of the Copyright Act at issue to address the unfair situation under prior law, whereby authors risked losing their rights when they placed an article in a collective work. The 1976 Act recast the copyright as a bundle of discrete “exclusive rights,” §106, each of which “may be transferred … and owned separately,” §201(d)(2). The Act also provided, in §404(a), that “a single notice applicable to the collective work as a whole is sufficient” to protect the rights of freelance contributors. Together, §404(a) and §201(c) preserve the author’s copyright in a contribution to a collective work. Under §201(c)’s terms, a publisher could reprint a contribution from one issue in a later issue of its magazine, and could reprint an article from one edition of an encyclopedia in a later revision of it, but could not revise the contribution itself or include it in a new anthology or an entirely different collective work. Essentially, §201(c) adjusts a publisher’s copyright in its collective work to accommodate a freelancer’s copyright in her contribution. If there is demand for a freelance article standing alone or in a new collection, the Copyright Act allows the freelancer to benefit from that demand; after authorizing initial publication, the freelancer may also sell the article to others. Cf. Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207, 229, 230. It would scarcely preserve the author’s copyright in a contribution as contemplated by Congress if a print publisher, without the author’s permission, could reproduce or distribute discrete copies of the contribution in isolation or within new collective works. Pp. 8—12.


    Now assuming this info holds true, in order for iNet to obtain exclusive rights to all posts, they would need to obtain written permission from all posters, cite:


    Any or all of the copyright owner's exclusive rights or any subdivision of those rights may be transferred, but the transfer of exclusive rights is not valid unless that transfer is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner's duly authorized agent. Transfer of a right on a nonexclusive basis does not require a written agreement.


    So assuming that the information posted herein is correct, TRN Douglas may give interneat permission to post the review without obtaining permission from iNet, unless iNet obtained the exclusive rights from TRN Douglas in writing beforehand.

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Gabriel Murphy
    Allow me to respond.

    Clearly and author who makes a post can certainly redistribute that post. He/she can use that post as testimony- whatever he/she likes.

    However, we need to have some ownership rights here so that other forums just do not come along and copy all of our posts and argue that we (iNET) did not own them.

    Instead, these individuals would need to get permission from the author to copy the posts, and from iNET as well. We would never object to someone using their post elsewhere. But someone coming along wanting to import 10,000 posts from a user on WHT who gave them permission to do so, well, that is another issue.

    We (iNET) are certainly not trying to create tention. Again, your post is your post. We are not going to tell you what you can and cannot do with them. However, we need to be able to argue that we have some property interest at some level, otherwise, what do we own?

    Make sense? Your feedback is welcome.
    I agree with Gabriel Murphy, if it's posted on WHT, then iNET has a license to this work, so a person would have to get permission from the author and iNET.

    But since the author owns his work, and has the right to post it somewhere else, like a personal site, then individuals only need the authors permission if they want to copy it from that personal site, but if it's a site that doesn't belong to the author, you will probably have to get permission from that site, and the author.
    Last edited by HostQuest; 04-16-2004 at 01:29 AM.

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