Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Forum posts and copyright

    Is information posted on a public forum someone's property or is it classed as public domain. Is it ok to use such info without anyone's permission?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    500
    I'm pretty sure you need to get permission from the original poster before you copy/use it anywhere.

  3. #3
    It's definitely copyrighted and not public domain.

    Disclaimer for the following: I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

    I believe the poster has the copyright, but some license is inferred or explicitly stated in the forum rules that allow the forum to serve it to the web (publish it).

    If I may add to this question, can a forum site be set up for one or more of the following:
    - Allow the site owner to sell forum post compilations on CD or other media
    - Allow license to the thread starter to republish replies on another site and/or in a book . (I'm thinking of a forum-driven site that is basically a blog, and I'd like for the topic starters to receive prominent display and have some license to the replies to their articles.)

    I just realized this whole post is USA-centric. What complications/changes are there if the forum server and poster are in different countries?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northwest Colorado
    Posts
    4,630
    Technically, any Internet posting (such as blogs or emails) could be considered copyrighted material unless explicitly stated otherwise. (Many Internet content providers attempt to assert copyrights by claiming all ownership and reproduction rights to any material posted to their servers, but the potential for conflicting claims has not been adequately tested.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
    Eric J. Bowman, principal
    Bison Systems Corporation coming soon: a new sig!
    I'm just a poor, unfrozen caveman Webmaster. Your new 'standards' frighten, and confuse me...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Downers Grove, IL
    Posts
    174
    IANAL, but my personal rule on using the written work of others is:

    If I don't have permission to use it (in writing), I don't use it.
    SolidState - Open Source Billing Solution for Web Hosts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northwest Colorado
    Posts
    4,630
    Originally posted by colklink
    If I don't have permission to use it (in writing), I don't use it.
    So your answer to the OP is "don't run a forum" then?
    From iNet's Terms of Use:

    You acknowledge that the Forum may contain information, software, photos, video, text, graphics, music, sounds or other material provided by iNET or third parties (collectively, “Content”) that are protected by copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets or other proprietary rights, and that these rights are valid and protected in all forms, media and technologies existing now or here after developed. 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.
    Let's say somebody posts copyrighted material and fails to cite its original author. That's a copyright violation, and the forum owner must remove the content at the copyright holder's request.

    Failure to respond to such requests makes a forum owner liable for the copyright violation, in addition to the person who posted it.
    Last edited by BigBison; 05-19-2005 at 04:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Downers Grove, IL
    Posts
    174
    So your answer to the OP is "don't run a forum" then?

    Hahah, OK, yes, I see the irony in my statement so please let me clarify. I would not reuse a posting made on a forum without permission from the poster.
    SolidState - Open Source Billing Solution for Web Hosts

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northwest Colorado
    Posts
    4,630
    Here's an image which gives some insight (and links) to how this sort of thing is handled at Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:S..._del_Fiore.jpg

    See the link titled "Fair Use."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •