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Copyright & Forums. What to do?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Webby, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Webby

    Webby Member

    Hey all,

    Do you guys follow and enforce US copyright laws on your forums? For example do you allow users to copy paste whole articles onto your forum? Are we allowed to do this or is it out of the scope of fair use? Are forum owners or users responsible for copyright infringement?
  2. matt vinyl

    matt vinyl Member

    Don't know if I am right or wrong but, if a member C&P's text that belongs to A.N.Other onto my forum, I ask them to link to the original author and give credit to that author too.
    If they don't, I'll remove the post and politely inform the member that they are infringing copyright law and ask them not to do that on my forum, unless they follow my request to give credit where credit is due.
  3. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how relevant it is to be concerned about US copyright, surely you need to think about copyright internationally.

    I certainly don't allow copy and pasting of large chunks of other websites.

    In addition to infringing copyrights, it's also quite likely to be bad for SEO.
    jauburn likes this.
  4. tajhay

    tajhay Well-Known Member

    Allow it with a link to the original source of the article.

    People who just post links without an extract have their posts deleted.
    People who post extract/full article without the link have their posts deleted.
    Mian Shahid and Mark87 like this.
  5. Mark87

    Mark87 Active Member

    Been through this many times, I do have in my forum rules to link sources of articles etc. However worst case scenario is someone asks you to remove that article and content. As for the 2nd part..if your rules say source the article etc and the user doesn't it's on them not you. ( Actually did some research on all this once).
  6. usAdultAds

    usAdultAds Active Member

    thats not really the worst case. The worst case is that you never hear from the author, so that may sound good, but google
    will see that you have duplicate content, source link or not, you are not adding anything new, just re-hashing content....
    so rather then getting the best rank you could get, you end up with a lower ranking, or it just drops out of site all together...

    I have had duplicate content before, some posts never got indexed at all, other posts took a noise dive in rankings....
    One month I have a site making decent income, and the next month the math was easily to count, all zero's....
    It can take sometime to get into the mix of the traffic, and it just takes google 1 min to remove you from index.....

    The worst stories I hear is when people say "someone stole my content, now they are
    ranking higher then I am..." They are not ranking higher because they stole your content,
    they are ranking higher simply because they have more authority in their site, and
    they are simply using your own content against you. Google gives much more authority
    to sites that are in the position of authority, then sites that struggle to get there, and to make things worse, google often turns a blind eye, and authority sites can get away with
    things that non-authority sites would never get away with in the eyes of google.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  7. Joe.

    Joe. Active Member

    ^This. It seems to be an unwritten rule in the forum world that most people abide by.

    Typically if someone posts an article without a link to the source, people will be asking where the source link is. They won't believe the article is legit and credible if that piece of the puzzle is missing.
  8. jauburn

    jauburn Well-Known Member

    This is no longer the worst case scenario but the best case scenario. See this post in this thread.
  9. Mark87

    Mark87 Active Member

    It would be if I was in Europe..that ruling doesn't effect me or my site.
    Steve F likes this.
  10. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    Isn't the ruling merely an interpretation of a law that is very similar worldwide? It doesn't mean something has suddenly become illegal in the EU when it wasn't before, or that copyright infringements are legal outside the EU.

    All a test case means is that the infringement
    becomes a bit easier to prosecute. I would think that possibly the ruling would be cited by prosecuting lawyers worldwide.
  11. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    Do you need to be in Europe? If your website is accessible from Europe, doesn't it affect you? Yeah, they're unlikely to extradite you to the Hague but still... :p
  12. Mark87

    Mark87 Active Member

    US case law is fairly clear on the matter.
  13. Mark87

    Mark87 Active Member

    I run a Wisconsin sports site... none of my content has EU ties etc. Seriously this affects me not one bit.
  14. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    I've just visited your website. I'm in the EU.
  15. Mark87

    Mark87 Active Member

    Obviously you can visit and read it all over the world. The point is there is no content from the EU there...if any site isn't using content/stories/links from the EU then the EU laws mean zip to them. I have been through all the "copyright" issues here in the US. The case law is clear. It doesn't effect me at this time regardless of what you all think.
  16. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    The whole point is it's a forum. The content is user-generated. Any of your users could upload "EU content".
  17. n00bsaibot

    n00bsaibot Well-Known Member

    lol intellectual property owners have a hard enough time taking content down major players like Youtube, Wordpress, etc... I doubt they are going to chase down individual specialty forums, over copy/pasting an article.

    That said... I also expect a link to the article. As somebody mentioned, it's just something to do if you want people to believe you.
  18. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    But EU and US copyright laws are very similar.

    If people link to or upload US content that they don't own the rights to it is still illegal. It really boils down to what people get away with in spite of the law. And will they continue to get away with those infringements.

    Companies such as Universal and Getty will love the fact that an EU precedent was set, I imagine on the back of it US lawyers will be sharpening their knives and studying the arguments.
  19. Lawrence

    Lawrence Well-Known Member

    The EU has no authority.

    I run a very small role playing site, and if my lack of a cookie notice or intellectual property whatever offends anyone from the EU what is going to happen, the following? Dear Justin Trudeau, we know that human rights, terrorism, and carbon emissions are top priorities for you, however; the lack of compliance for this web site that is owned by a Canadian, and located in the USA is a top priority for us. Fine them, and throw the owner in prison for no less than 20 years to make our people feel safer, thank-you. Oh crap, a car full of explosives just went off, and we have to go... but before we do, again his web site's non-compliance is far far worse, deal with it for the sanity and safety of our people.

    Seriously, who gives a rat's ass what the EU is trying to dictate.

    They are only doing that everyone else has been fighting against, bullying.
  20. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    I think there's a whole lot of misunderstanding on how the EU operates. As far as I know, but I am not a lawyer, if your content reaches an EU member state you must comply with these laws. The same way US companies are required to follow EU MOSS, for example.

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