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> Submission copyright
jerseyjoe
post May 26 2007, 12:46 PM
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May I suggest a change in the current copyright policy regarding submissions to the Documentation Project?

As it reads now (and unless there is some other place where a submitter must make a more formal copyright assignment) the policy is neither legally as effective as you may intend, nor is its apparent broadness necessary.

Copyright law varies from country to country. If you state copyright acquisition in language that is consistent with both USA and Berne Convention, you have pretty much covered it. However a simple statement regarding copyright, such as your above, probably would be not be conforming to either. You are claiming the copyright but the creator is not assigning it, and those are two different things.

But that begs the primary issue of the need for such a broadly claimed copyright.

A copyright may be compared to an infinite loaf of bread. The work's creator can sell or assign a slice at a time and do so in such way that retain the rights to the entire loaf.

In this case, the copyright holder (being the one who earns that status from the instant that an original creative work is expressed) may assign CC.ORG a non-exclusive right to publish the work in the CC.ORG forums. But the creator would retain all other rights.

Such a limited assignment would give you all you need for the purpose you state, maintaining the completeness of the forum archives and giving you the legal authority to enforce forum content against abuse. In the event of a violation by some other web site, either you or the work's originator the would have the right to sue for damages or demand expeditious takedown under the DMCA. That would actually be a stronger protection for you than if you alone held the copyright.

At the same time, such a limited right assignment would reserve all other rights to its creator, including adaptation, revision and publication, rights in all other media that you honestly do not need for your stated purposes.

Let me flesh this out further. I have a submission ready for offering. But as a professional writer with a 20-year-long history of bylined publication in international newspapers and magazines and web sites (always for pay, never just "exposure") I cannot justify giving away all rights to work that may yet have a commercial value. That is not a vague concern.

I intend to write a CC User Manual in co-operation with other longtime CC experts. Serious illness over the past 8 months or so has caused great reduction in my CC activity and a postponement of work on the manual's outline. Lately, my health has been recovering and I expect to be back to my normal obnoxious, cantankerous and creative self before much longer. When that happens, the project will be revived. I have a highly-regarded publisher standing by.

I would have no problem assigning items to your project for use on the forum as long as I am not giving away rights that you don't need anyway.

So, respectfully and sincerely, I ask that you consider a revision of the above copyright policy to one that acquires only the specific and limited rights you need to protect your web site.

Thank you,
Joe Harkins
former Journalism Chairman, National Writers Union
(see www.travelthenet.com and click on Joe's Bio)


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Robsta
post May 26 2007, 03:05 PM
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Thanks Joe.

The main purpose and idea behind the copyright is to prevent any members from stating down the line that they want their submission to the documentation removed. Removing the content would be problematic, and also degrade the quality of the documentation for the community as a whole.

I would be more than happy to change the text if you are able to write something to replace it, which would do the same job. This is not my area of expertise. That would surely be a great contribution smile.gif

Rob.


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jerseyjoe
post May 26 2007, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (Robsta @ May 26 2007, 11:05 AM) *
Thanks Joe.

The main purpose and idea behind the copyright is to prevent any members from stating down the line that they want their submission to the documentation removed. Removing the content would be problematic, and also degrade the quality of the documentation for the community as a whole.

I would be more than happy to change the text if you are able to write something to replace it, which would do the same job. This is not my area of expertise. That would surely be a great contribution smile.gif

Rob.
Thank you for recognizing that my comment was intended as a constructive idea consistent with your reasonable need to maintain the coherence of the board against requests to remove posted material. Here's text that is included in the signup at registration and/or in the posting rules of various forum sites that I manage.

QUOTE

By posting messages, uploading files, or otherwise providing any material for display in the XXXXXXXXXXXXX Forums, you are representing that you are either the creator of that original content or the assignee of a valid and appropriate license of the copyright of the material.

In addition, when you post a message, upload a file, or otherwise provide us with material for display on the XXXXXXXXXXXXX Forums, you are granting XXXXXXXXXXXXX Forums a shared, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide copyright license for use of the material in the forums to which you submit it.

END QUOTE

Note: The words "shared" and "non-exclusive" in this context mean that the owner is not giving up the right to use or license the same material elsewhere. By making the license royalty-free and perpetual, that means he never can come back later and demand a fee. By being unrestricted and worldwide, you are not limited to the jurisdiction of any specific copyright laws. And of course, the word license means you don't need any other permission.

A good way to use the above would be to include it in the wording of the registration agreement and refer to it - not quote it - in a sticky announcement at the top of each forum. In the former, you need to state just that text, without explanation or interpretation because an inadvertent word could weaken the license. But in the sticky you can simply state that you will deny requests from posters who want their own material edited or deleted on the basis of their claim of copyright because you must maintain the integrity and coherence of the forums.

Of course, you - and your hosting company - must honor complying notices of violation of copyright under the DMCA, but as long as you have the above copyright license, you are safe from claims by the poster that you are violating the DMCA. It's worth knowing that if someone has posted their own material, thus granting you the copyright described above, and later comes back with a DMCA complaint, the sworn oath would be perjury subject to criminal and civil penalties.

If you want to see the kind of language of a DMCA policy that the law says every hosting company must publish, here's an example. Note the reference in it to claims of copyright violations in a forum. I put this on every forum I manage and on each of my hosting company web sites.

Many hosts do not display it at all. Some just put up a link. That's not what the law says and I would not want to be on the receiving end of the $500,000 fine and 2-year prison sentence that a DMCA violation can earn the host or the web site who gets found liable for non-compliance.

Hope the above helps.


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Robsta
post May 26 2007, 09:50 PM
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So if I add this it will do the job?

QUOTE
By posting messages, uploading files, or otherwise providing any material for display in the CubeCartForums.org Forums and Documentation Area, you are representing that you are either the creator of that original content or the assignee of a valid and appropriate license of the copyright of the material.

In addition, when you post a message, upload a file, or otherwise provide us with material for display on the CubeCartForums.org Forums and Documentation Area, you are granting CubeCartForums.org Forums a shared, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide copyright license for use of the material in the forums to which you submit it.


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MarksCarts
post May 27 2007, 12:37 AM
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Great stuff Joe, fabulous, thank you so much for contributing - from an amateur writer and one-time college newspaper editor who did not have the knowledge you have shared, but had reservations about the current policy. This is what community involvement and using the gifts of contributing members is all about.

Thank you, thank you thank you. smile.gif

And to Rob, it is an admirable job you've done in putting together the forum and the documentation area, and you deserve a sharp salute. I am privileged to be a small part.

Mark


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Burgensteen
post May 27 2007, 08:59 AM
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I echo the words of Mark. rolleyes.gif


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Robsta
post May 27 2007, 09:43 AM
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Thanks guys. blush.gif I couldn't have done it without you.

And thanks again to Joe for taking the time to post. It is very much appreciated and the contribution is invaluable to help make the community documentation project a success.


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Robsta
post May 28 2007, 12:07 PM
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The text in the pinned post in this section has changed to:

QUOTE
IMPORTANT: It is important to note the copyright license applied to all submitted material, details of which are available in the forum rules.


This has been added to the registration and forum rules:

QUOTE
DOCUMENTATION AREA
  1. By posting messages, uploading files, or otherwise providing any material for display in the CubeCartForums.org Documentation Area, you are representing that you are either the creator of that original content or the assignee of a valid and appropriate license of the copyright of the material.
  2. In addition, when you post a message, upload a file, or otherwise provide us with material for display on the CubeCartForums.org Documentation Area, you are granting CubeCartForums.org a shared, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide copyright license for use of the material in the forums to which you submit it.


How is this?


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MarksCarts
post May 29 2007, 09:56 PM
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That looks right to me according to what Joe wrote above.


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jerseyjoe
post May 30 2007, 04:25 AM
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QUOTE (MarksCarts @ May 29 2007, 05:56 PM) *
That looks right to me according to what Joe wrote above.

Yep. That's perfect. Thanks for being open to the change.


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post May 10 2010, 01:41 PM
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QUOTE (jerseyjoe @ May 26 2007, 06:15 PM) *
Of course, you - and your hosting company - must honor complying notices of violation of copyright under the DMCA, but as long as you have the above copyright license, you are safe from claims by the poster that you are violating the DMCA. It's worth knowing that if someone has posted their own material, thus granting you the copyright described above, and later comes back with a DMCA complaint, the sworn oath would be perjury subject to criminal and civil penalties.

If you want to see the kind of language of a DMCA policy that the law says every hosting company must publish, here's an example. Note the reference in it to claims of copyright violations in a forum. I put this on every forum I manage and on each of my hosting company web sites.

Many hosts do not display it at all. Some just put up a link. That's not what the law says and I would not want to be on the receiving end of the $500,000 fine and 2-year prison sentence that a DMCA violation can earn the host or the web site who gets found liable for non-compliance.


I have just been reading this thread and while the amended wording is applicable in it's current form wherever the website is based and is obviously a great improvement for all concerned, I just want to made clear that DMCA is a USA only law that wouldnt apply here in the UK where this forum is based. There is of course similar legislation in place via the EUCD and other legislation although EU laws around copyright especially where and how they apply to web hosting business are different and are not covered by one single EU law.

Regards
Ian


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vokf
post May 10 2010, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (Havenswift Hosting @ May 10 2010, 02:41 PM) *
I have just been reading this thread and while the amended wording is applicable in it's current form wherever the website is based and is obviously a great improvement for all concerned, I just want to made clear that DMCA is a USA only law that wouldnt apply here in the UK where this forum is based. There is of course similar legislation in place via the EUCD and other legislation although EU laws around copyright especially where and how they apply to web hosting business are different and are not covered by one single EU law.

Regards
Ian


Agree with Ian above. I've had content taken from one of my sites (UK hosted). The offender was US hosted, and so I was able to FAX a DMCA takedown notice, which they complied with (after a few emails that were not acknowledged)
If their hosting was UK, then I'd have to try to muddle through; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_and...egulations_2003

For most people trying to copy this type of thing, a well written copyright notice is a big help - so Kudos to Joe for helping out.
Its all a bit of a mess, but I guess that's the internet!
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jerseyjoe
post Jun 14 2010, 04:53 PM
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I need to update the link to the DMCA page that hosting companies are required to have on their web site. That page is now found here. Anyone who wishes is welcome to use it with or without attribution, subject to the following disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER - Although I have been using this page on my own various web hosting businesses for a number of years without a problem - and I am aware that it is essentially the same text or very similar text as that used by other companies in the same business - it is offered here, free of charge (and worth every penny of that) but is not intended as legal advice. It is only offered as information as to what I do in my own circumstances.

If you intend to rely upon it for any reason, I strongly urge you to consult with competent legal counsel before doing so.


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