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Thread: Posts and ownership

  1. #1
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Posts and ownership

    When the LFPF was first established, the issue of who owns the copyright for postings on forums was being hotly debated. Some sites claimed that the site "owned" the material posted, and essentially could do whatever they wished with it. Thus, the decision was made to attempt to clarify the matter on the LFPF, indicating that the poster owned the copyright to anything they posted, and that the poster gave the LFPF a revocable license to display it within the forum.

    While we are still of the mind that we do not claim "ownership" of posts made by our members, the revocable license aspect has come back to bite us. In a couple of cases, dissatisfied parties to transactions originated out of the For Sale/Wanted sub-forum have requested that all of their posts and threads be deleted - essentially hiding the transaction problem. In truth, this doesn't accomplish much, since the forum content is picked up by search engines and external archive sites, but it is a tedious and lengthy process to delete hundreds or even thousands of posts.

    As a result, we are considering changing the terms of use to making the license to maintain and display posts irrevocable. In other words, like everything else about the Internet, once you post it, it's out there forever, and the forum moderators are not obliged to remove it.

    But, we would appreciate member input prior to making the change.

  2. #2
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Ralph, I think the image posters will be curious why your explanation doesn’t use the word “images” (though it seems to imply it) or indicate if the new terms would apply retroactively.

  3. #3
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Since vBulletin uses a database, wouldn't running a simple query and command to remove the posts do the job? A quick Google search turns up plenty of help on that exact problem.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Another consideration is that by removing someones entire posting history we orphan entire discussions that refer to some of those removed posts. Thus rendering some of our archives incomprehensible.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #5

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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Archive it all forever and ever.

  6. #6

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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
    ...we are considering changing the terms of use to making the license to maintain and display posts irrevocable...we would appreciate member input prior to making the change.
    I enthusiastically support that revision. Anything to motivate responsible behavior and posting. Next, how about "real names only?"
    Last edited by Sal Santamaura; 28-Apr-2013 at 18:57. Reason: Forgot "support"

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Most forums warn users of an irrevocable license, while the copyright ownership is still with the author.

    This includes pictures.

    For pictures, that are hosted elsewhere and just linked here using the IMG tags, the photographer can at any time alter the link so that it will no longer appear here. So, those who decide to host pictures here instead of externally will have a choice.

    But mainly we don't want past threads to be rendered incomprehensible, and we don't want people to be able to run from accountability by demanding that we delete their posts.

    Rick "trying to take the forum and its moderators out from the middle of disputed transactions" Denney

  8. #8
    retrogrouchy
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    I say make it irrevocable. That's how all other forums I know of work.

    If you made just the for sale forum irrevocable that would take away most of the incentive that you describe, but I can imagine people having hissy fits (on a forum? never!) about arguments they got in elsewhere. You're still stuck with archives in other forums becoming unreadable but perhaps with lower probability?

    Making the change at this time is difficult because you're effectively changing the terms under which previous content was granted, and people would have the right to be grumpy about that. Some other forums give you an edit/delete window after posting a message, after which the window is closed and the post is locked. Announce the new irrevocable policy as coming into effect in 3 months so that people have an opportunity go back and delete their embarrassing rants, after which posts have a limited edit/delete window of maybe 3 hours.

  9. #9
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Rick "trying to take the forum and its moderators out from the middle of disputed transactions" Denney
    Amen brother.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  10. #10
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Posts and ownership

    Real names

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