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Is your forum copyrighted?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jeffin, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Jeffin

    Jeffin Well-Known Member

    I have a 2013' in my footer but I haven't done anything legally to copyright its contents. Is there something we need to do? Can we really copyright member posts or is it only for the design / logo etc? Are your forums protected too?
     
  2. karll

    karll Well-Known Member

    I don't think you have to do anything legally, as long as it's clearly stated on each page that the content is copyrighted. Unless of course you discover that someone has copied your content, only then do you need to take action.

    I think it's fine to copyright members' post, as long as it's stated in your terms of service. It would probably make sense to allow each individual member to share the copyright for their own posts though. (You can just specify this in your terms of service.)

    Personally, I haven't added a copyright notice yet, but that's definitely something I will try to do.
     
    Jeffin likes this.
  3. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    You can copyright a persons content, providing it is original and they own it. You cannot copyright something they have reproduced via posting / uploading.

    The more popular method is to simply use the default method, which Xenforo also use, "You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content."

    And yes, my forum is actually copyrighted. All content posted becomes copyright, and has been in my terms and conditions of use since inception, which every member agrees upon registration. Mine is done that way due to the content being medical based, and vastly personal to each user. It protects members from someone coming along and using any of the content in writing a book, or republishing another's distress online. It is used to safeguard member content...
     
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  4. SilverCircle

    SilverCircle Well-Known Member

    Copyright is something you do not have to claim. Any piece of original, creative work is implicitly copyrighted even without a notice as long as it doesn't violate the rights of others or the copyright has expired. In fact, it's the other way around. The author/owner can explicitly give up his/hers rights by putting the work into public domain. Unless it's marked as public domain, it's still copyrighted and it doesn't matter whether it's available for free or not.

    It's still a good idea to have a copyright notice, but it's not going to change anything legally and violators usually don't care anyway.
     
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  5. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    People may be confusing registering a copyright and creating a work that is protected by copyright. The act of creation gives the creator (or in the case of a "work for hire, " the owner) copyright. However, if you register a work as being copyright protected, you gain specific statutory benefits. One of the better advantages is the right to statutory damages should your work be infringed.
     
    Jeffin likes this.
  6. Weppa333

    Weppa333 Active Member

    Beeing involved in (c) myself, at least in Europe, everything SilverCircle said in #4 is absolutely right (and you rarely read those facts online, many people think they have to register something or pay for something).

    If I might add, if your business is of any size, what you may want to do at some stage is the register your domain name as a trademark. This is very useful if you intend to create goodies for example, but also to prevent other to do so before you do. Or even to easily sue anyone who did this without your consent. (But again, this is for grown up businesses.)
     
  7. SilverCircle

    SilverCircle Well-Known Member

    But afaik, a simple notice is not enough to actually register your copyright?

    Besides, in many European countries, registration is not required and in most of them not even possible.
     
    Jeffin likes this.
  8. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Correct, in the US, you have to register with the US Copyright Office. Just putting notice or symbol on the work is not enough.
     
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  9. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    I use the following;
     
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  10. Jeffin

    Jeffin Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your inputs. I had my previous logo copyrighted by the US Copyright Office by always wondered if sites could copyright contents that's being added daily.

    In our forum rules, we do have a rule about posting copyrighted material:
    That's about what I have done to protect my site.
     
  11. Weppa333

    Weppa333 Active Member

    Quotes could be considered as "fair use". In the unlikely event of someone actually filing a complaint for such an "infringment" :)

    But anyway, I believe that the "future of quotes" lies in what Discourse does, "soft quotes" if I might say so, i.e. quotes that actually are links/ajax to the quoted text, that is loaded in the fly, so once the original author changes his original text, the quotes changes as well. Any other "quote system" is asking for trouble in the post facebook 2010+ world where everyone is becoming so paranoïd about privacy and "rights" they might or might not have... Maybe for XF 2.0 :) or as a MOD.
     
  12. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Subs
     
  13. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Actually... not quite. It is different if you quote content posted originally by a member within the same website versus quoting / republishing content by someone else from a different source.


    Countries differ on where you embark copyright infringement. The average rule of thumb is around 10% republish / quoting, however; many countries have different percentages on this for when you legally cross the boundary of copyright infringement versus legally quoting context and citing the source.

    Either way, there are typically legal methods to ensure you waiver yourself. Laws are catching up with the www, in that people are being found responsible for what they post online, and not the website owner, in social network standings. A forum being such a network. Saying that, owners have been found responsible when they neglect to remain on the side of caution or fail to comply with the law in relation to members stupidity.

    I've had some issues, and rightfully so, with owners of images claiming DMCA to my host because a member has posted an image they didn't own, or have a right to distribute. I've had legal proceedings with copyright from disgruntled members who posted content, then decided they wanted it deleted, even though they've agreed to the terms and conditions of use prior to posting. I won in those instance because of copyright ownership. Negligence to read legally abiding terms and conditions is not the fault of the site owner.

    The internet is becoming quite the legal quandary, and laws are beginning to catch-up with it, progressively around the globe.
     

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