View Full Version : Photo.net

David F. Stein
18-Dec-2001, 00:03
From the photo.net site: "Ownership of Submitted Material. All material You submit to any of our chat rooms, forums, and other public posting areas becomes the property of photo.net and may be reproduced, modified, and distributed as we see fit in any medium and for any purpose. photo.net claims no ownership rights in any image contained in any of your Photo albums. With regard to material you include in a public album, you grant a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty free license to modify, publish and reproduce said material solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting photo.n

pat krentz
18-Dec-2001, 01:31
For me the answer is simple; DON'T GO THERE! Pat

18-Dec-2001, 07:10
Of course, photo.net DOES have a preview feature that keeps your posts from getting cut off, and that would be ni

Darron Spohn
18-Dec-2001, 11:04
What is your point, David? And what does it have to do with large format photography?

18-Dec-2001, 11:46

The point is that all of the posts from members of this LF community (including everything you've written here in the past) could/would become photo.net's property, for the owners of photo.net to do with as they please (including publishing it elsewhere) if/when this forum is moved to photo.net (as is being considered).

A lot of participants in this forum aren't particularly enthusiastic about the potential ramifications relating to this prospect.


Ellis Vener
18-Dec-2001, 12:14
...it also prevents other people from copying what you post in the forums to other forums. Yahoo! and other portals have similar copyright ownership notices and are far more likely to use your work for their ends. If you pick up any magazine you'll see that regardless of the contributors copyright claims the entire magazine & it's contents are copyrighted as well. Any image i post on these forums has a copyright notice attached to or embedded in it. The pupose of the notification is to put the bad guys on notice. Removing the copyright notice serves as legal proof of malicious intent.

Darron Spohn
18-Dec-2001, 13:17
OK, I'll agree with you there.

For the record, I'm one of the moderators at photo.net. I'm not as active here on the large format forum as I used to be because I sold my large format camera, but because I've been swamped trying how to make a living at motorsports photography without working endless 100 hour weeks.

I, too, oppose moving this forum to photo.net, primarily because it would raise the noise level on this forum and lead the daily questions that are well covered in the archives. One prime example was one we had on photo.net last week. Someone thinking of getting into large format wanted to know what hazards he should be aware of before making the plunge. I pointed him to Tuan's main large format page where there is an excellent article on the pratfalls of learning large format, and other excellent articles on using large format cameras.

18-Dec-2001, 13:35
Darron wrote,

"I, too, oppose moving this forum to photo.net, primarily because it . . . would lead to the daily questions that are well covered in the archives. One prime example was one we had on photo.net last week. Someone thinking of getting into large format wanted to know what hazards he should be aware of before making the plunge."

But perhaps if this page were part of photo.net he would more quickly have found through a search what he was looking for?

I've often thought photo.net could make its opening page more welcoming for first-time visitors but no harder to navigate for regulars. In other words, make the forums a slight bit less prominent (so first-timers don't just jump in and ask oft-addressed questions) and the static content more prominent, especially distinctions between 35mm, digital, MF, LF, and perhaps videography (which I think will increasingly intersect with digital still photography).

"If you're interested in _____, click here" kind of thing. Maybe it's already there on photo.net; newbies certainly ignore the warnings on the "Ask a new question" page telling them to do a Search first, so perhaps it can't get any more idiot-proof than it already is.

But I think there are ways to integrate this LF page into photo.net without being inundated with inane questions. As others have noted before, photo.net's Medium-format digest is a fine example of this: that forum doesn't get nearly as many posts per week as the general photo.net forums do, and there are very few idiot questions in the MFD forum. I don't see why the LF forum couldn't function similarly there. Or am I missing something?

Ed Buffaloe
18-Dec-2001, 15:49
I thought dot-net domains were non-profit by definition. So long as they only use the forum material for "displaying, distributing and promoting photo.net" in a non-profit manner, I don't have a problem with it. If they were going to make money off my writings, I'd like to get a cut too, but somehow I don't think it very likely. You can find anything on any of the forums, free, by searching Google, so who would pay for it?

As moderator of the Film & Processing and Printing & Finishing forums, I see Photo.net as the lesser of many evils. It seems a bit slower than Greenspun.com, but I do like the preview feature. And I like the idea of having all the best photography forums in one convenient location.

tim atherton
18-Dec-2001, 19:10
I think it was originally .org was for non-profit, though it has largely now become ignored - anyone can registewr as .org, although there is talk of re-enforcing this.

basically, all sorts of commercial enterprises are registered as .com .net .org etc

Michael Feldman
18-Dec-2001, 22:17
Dot-net is definitely not a non-profit domain, as you can see from my email address (Qwest is the name for one of the baby-bells that provides local phone service to 14 states in the west and mid-west).

QT Luong
18-Dec-2001, 22:25
This was the first issue I raised with Philip Greenspun, and his answer was: "We don't assert copyright in material contributed to photo.net, only a royalty-free perpetual license to publish.".

FYI, I also wanted each page to have a small area at the top or bottom for which I can decide the contents (like for pointing to the LF page), and an option for readers of the LF forum to search only the messages of the LF Forum and not the whole photo.net, but it appears that the photo.net team is overloaded and would not be able to implement these features for 6-12 months.

Jennifer Waak
18-Dec-2001, 22:54
To completely take this thread on a tangent, here is a blurb from InterNIC about the definition of the top level domain names (.net, .org, .com, etc.).

"The .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org TLDs are open and unrestricted. Traditionally, however, names in .net have been used by organizations involved in Internet infrastructure activities and .org is frequently used by noncommercial organizations. .biz is reserved for use by businesses. For more information on .biz restrictions, please contact your registrar or visit the .biz registry operator at <www.nic.biz>. .name is dedicated exclusively to individuals' personal names."

Michael Feldman
18-Dec-2001, 23:48
Yes, dot-net is used for Internet infrastructure domains, especially in large companies where their ISP business in only one part of the company. Examples are AT&T (www.att.net), WorldCom, Sprint, etc. But these infrastructure activities are not non-profit (at least they are not intended to be non-profit).

Struan Gray
19-Dec-2001, 04:26
If photo.net only demands a perpetual licence to publish, then that is what should appear in the small print. Instead, there is the statement that David posted. There is nothing to stop Phil selling the whole photo.net site to, say, Murdoch, who then gets rich(er) selling its collected wisdom in various ways without paying or even crediting the authors.

I don't actually care very much. Hell, in my day job I regularly pay people to take my copyright away from me. But it is an important point to consider, especially given the hysteria that regularly erupts here and on photo.net when anyone suggests giving away an image. Why are your ideas worth less when expressed in words and not pictures?

Ellis Vener
19-Dec-2001, 07:01
Here is a thought, Write a cogently and well thought out argument against this position and send it to Philip Greenspun, the owner of photo.net and this (and other LUSENET) forums. Don't rant, reason.

Struan Gray
19-Dec-2001, 07:10
Who's ranting?

I can (and do) live with the current photo.net practice, but that's an explicit informed choice. The danger with a bulk move is that people find they have agreed to something by default, and I see nothing wrong with giving a heads up before the decision is made.

Ellis Vener
19-Dec-2001, 07:33
I wasn't referring to posts here in this forum. I was referring ( I thought rather directly) to any e-mail you might send to Philip greenspun, owner of these forums.

Ellis Vener
19-Dec-2001, 07:34
And Struan, I agree, I think a heads up is an excellent idea.

neil poulsen
19-Dec-2001, 08:35
I didn't realize that Phil Greenspun owns Photo.Net.

Why does Photo.Net have the resources to support this forum as part of that site, when resources aren't available to support it as part of this site?

Michael Feldman
19-Dec-2001, 13:27
Photo.net is an advertiser supported site.

Ellis Vener
19-Dec-2001, 15:03
And it is owned by Philip Greenspun. What? You think the p[eople who advertise there own it? Hardly.

Michael Feldman
19-Dec-2001, 18:35
Never said that the advertisers owned it, they just support it. If these forums are moved to Photo.net, then more people will be exposed to the advertising, which should justify an increase in the advertising rates, which should cover any additional costs associated with the new forums on Photo.net. Even if the advertising rates are not raised immediately, this forum (and the others being moved to Photo.net) is currently on its own server, which costs more money to maintain than if it was on the Photo.net server(s).

As to who actually owns Photo.net or Greenspun.com, I don't know for sure after the recent events at Greenspun's company (in which he gave up control in exchange for infusion of venture capital). Phil apparently owns some of the company, but it seems to be less than 50% of the voting shares.

Ellis Vener
19-Dec-2001, 19:18
Michael , you are talking about Ars Digita, Philip's former company. Photo.net has always been seperate from Ars Digita. My source for this is Philip Greenspun, who stayed at my house over this past Thanksgiving.

Michael Feldman
19-Dec-2001, 19:41
Ellis, do you mean that 1.) the ?ownership? of Greenspunc.com and Photo.net is separate from Ars Digita, or 2.) that absolutely no Ars Digita resources (hardware, software, facilities, or personnel) are or ever have been used to support Greenspun.com or Photo.net? If the second is true, then apparently Philip Greenspun has decided that he does not want to personally subsidize this forum anymore.

In any event, it appears that the need to move this forum to Photo.net is somehow related to the either the financial problems at Ars Digita or with Philip Greenspun?s leaving the company (even though he may still own some shares).

QT Luong
19-Dec-2001, 20:58
To clarify a few points: The greenspun.com server is owned by Philip Greenspun (no surprise). The greenspun.com server was maintained by ArsDigita, a company founded by Philip Greenspun. This spring, Philip was forced out of ArsDigita, and as a consequence, the server is no longer maintained by ArsDigita. As an individual, Philip has better things to do than maintaining his server and providing free services, especially now that alternatives become more available.

Josh Root
20-Dec-2001, 04:02
My only problem with moving this forum to a non greenspun related site, is that I REALLY like the layout and design of the LUSENET/Photo.net forums. Very easy to read. One click gets you to the question and all of the answers. Not like so many others where you have to click-click-click-click to see all of the different replies.

Just my 2 cents from a mostly quiet long time reader.

Ellis Vener
20-Dec-2001, 11:10
"Ellis, do you mean that 1.) the ?ownership? of Greenspun.com and Photo.net is separate from Ars Digita"

Yes, that is my my understanding. I think Tuan has answered your second question.

Philip Greenspun
21-Dec-2001, 18:52
Sorry about that legalistic thing. Rajeev and Lisa went and hired a lawyer when they started managing photo.net. This obviously wrong piece of verbiage was the result. I'm going to be editing it out myself this weekend. The users own the copyright to what they contribute but photo.net needs to have a license to publish it in perpetuity.

As far as photo.net and ArsDigita are concerned (above), the companies are separate and always have been. ArsDigita sold a minority share of its stock to some venture capitalists in April 2000. This set off a tedious and uninteresting chain of events, among which the highlights were my withdrawal from involvement with day-to-day affairs of the company (summer 2000) and my retirement from the world of business in June 2001. A few months ago ArsDigita decided that it was no longer interested in maintaining the free collaboration services at greenspun.com. So all of the burden falls now onto my shoulders. And frankly I'm not really interested in fielding daily cell phone calls from confused or upset users of greenspun.com, esp. given that I spend most of my time these days without Internet access, either in a Winnebago or a Diamond Katana (single-engine trainer airplane), and therefore couldn't deal with their problem even if I wanted to. (A typical phone call is from someone who is upset with a posting somewhere in LUSENET. I ask the person if he or she has contacted the owner/moderator of the forum to request removal of the offending item. The answer is sometimes "no", sometimes "what?", and oftentimes "it's your site, that's your job".)

So the bottom line is that I'm trying to move the photo stuff onto the photo.net server where it can be maintained, backed up, and customer serviced by the existing photo.net staff (3 full time people). And I'm trying to arrange an orderly shutdown/transition of the rest of the greenspun.com services into a financially self- sustaining cooperative where the users and publishers pay the cost of hosting, sysadmin, dbadmin, programming enhancements, and customer service.

Sal Santamaura
22-Dec-2001, 00:11
Philip, thanks very much for all you've done for us and for taking the time to explain. Here's some input for your editing this weekend:

I would be happy with the language you intend as long as it includes a photo.net commitment that, when using its publishing license, it will always give attribution to the author of a post.

I would be *very* happy if, in addition to attribution, photo.net agrees that any posts it publishes will be reproduced in their entirety, thereby precluding out of context quotations.

Thanks for listening.

Sal Santamaura
27-Dec-2001, 01:24
Well, here's what Philip came up with (i.e. what's currently on the photo.net "Terms of Use" page):

"Ownership of Submitted Material. You retain the copyright to material that you submit to any of our forums, chat rooms, image critique areas, or photo sharing systems. However, by submitting the material you grant photo.net a perpetual non-exclusive world-wide royalty-free license to modify, publish and reproduce that material for the purpose of operating, displaying, distributing and promoting photo.net."

The worrisome aspect of this is that photo.net retains a license to *modify* our material. I'd be more comfortable if the language included a promise to give attribution and not alter posts.