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Author Topic: Copyrighted Material and Politirant  (Read 5655 times)

Offline ADMIN

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Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« on: June 19, 2011, 05:39:07 PM »
Recently it has come to our attention that a number of message boards have faced legal issues regarding the posting of copyrighted material. Among many other forums, Democratic Underground was presented with a lawsuit claiming $75,000 in damages. The Drudge Report faced a similar suit and decided to settle. These proceedings have been brought again all manner and size of political oriented forums, and in fact there are also rumors that this activity is part of what led to the closure of Argue With Everyone, a site with which some of you may be familiar.

Apparently a company called Righthaven has begun purchasing the copyrights of articles from newspapers and using them to start legal action for profit. Currently, the only client we are currently aware of is the Las Vegas-Review Journal, but more news organizations will likely follow suit and only become apparent after legal filings.

Therefore, we are asking that members post only the first paragraph of an article (as permitted under Fair Use) and follow it with a link to the original source.

Additionally, please do not quote or link any material from the Las Vegas-Review Journal

We realize these rules may make discussion more difficult since members will need to go off-site to read full articles, but in the interest of keeping the site online we do not have any choice in the matter. Any violations of this practice will be manually edited by the moderating staff to ensure compliance with the law.

More information can be found at the following links. Thanks to all for your cooperation.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/copyright-trolling-for-dollars/#ixzz0ujatWDzf

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/aug/09/websites-bloggers-make-moves-avoid-righthaven-laws/

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/aug/11/righthaven-sues-democratic-underground-website-ove/

http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/

http://www.righthavenlawsuits.com/lawsuits.html
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 06:36:14 PM by ADMIN »

Offline Mister D

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 06:14:13 PM »
Yeah, the chances of having a legal dispute are very low but asking members to post just the most pertinent passages and a link is pretty reasonable. Our policy will be just the first paragraph. No problem.
"Pushing people forward simply because of their colour, irrespective of merit, would be most unfortunate and would of course lead to disaster. It would mean that Rhodesia would then develop into a kind of banana republic where the country would in no time be bankrupt."


~Ian Smith

Offline Mister D

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 06:20:33 PM »
ADMIN, do these laws apply equally to pictures and images?
"Pushing people forward simply because of their colour, irrespective of merit, would be most unfortunate and would of course lead to disaster. It would mean that Rhodesia would then develop into a kind of banana republic where the country would in no time be bankrupt."


~Ian Smith

Offline ADMIN

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 06:22:54 PM »
I'd have thought Politirant would hardly register a second look, but many small sites have been targeted; in fact those are the more common because of an inability to afford legal representation. The old site was fairly visible in search engines as well, considering its relative lack of size. In any event, you can see the list of suits here, 275 and counting:

http://www.righthavenlawsuits.com/lawsuits.html


Offline Mister D

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 06:27:34 PM »
Oh wow. I stand corrected.

Why take chances?
"Pushing people forward simply because of their colour, irrespective of merit, would be most unfortunate and would of course lead to disaster. It would mean that Rhodesia would then develop into a kind of banana republic where the country would in no time be bankrupt."


~Ian Smith

Offline ADMIN

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 06:30:49 PM »
ADMIN, do these laws apply equally to pictures and images?

Excellent question and I don't know the answer. We may need to register with the U.S. Copyright office at which time they'll answer our questions and provide some legal defense in the event of a suit.

For now, I would say pictures are fine. Getty Images attempted a similar business plan but they have slowed in recent years.

The way this used to work is that companies would provide notice of a DMCA violation (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and the material would be removed by the operator of the web site without incident. Now it appears that it is becoming a business model.

Another point in our defense is that there is no advertising on the site, and thus we are not profiting from the works of content producers.

So, those are the issues as I understand them. Hope that helps and thanks again to all for your cooperation.

Offline Captain Obvious

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 06:56:25 PM »
I've already posted a whole article and I know other forums are getting sticky about only posting a paragraph or two and I'll certainly comply.
Write drunk, edit sober - Ernest Hemingway

Offline spunkloaf

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 11:59:38 PM »
I think that's a good observation, which I will do my best to comply with.  I've often wondered where the line is drawn exactly.

My thoughts are that this forum is not big and profitable enough for any sue-happy mongers to come causing problems, but it is always better to be safe.  I'll truncate my articles from now on.

Offline Juggernaut

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 06:33:14 AM »
Suing for copyright infringment is becoming more common as is suing for email and text posts.  During the election Sarah Palins email was hacked and posted to Wikileaks, the gop tried to sue but ended up only prosecuting the dude who did it.  He was 18 or so I think.  Lawyers have shifted from ambulance chasing to online fast bucks.  Better to play it safe.  Efff em, used to be linking the site and article post was a form of free advertising. 

Offline Conley

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Re: Copyrighted Material and Politirant
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 11:00:30 AM »
welcome juggs :) nice name

yeah, i agree -- i read about some lawyers who are making huge bucks by suing every time they get a spam email. it kind of makes me wish i went to law school, sounds pretty easy. the guy just checks his inbox and collects all the spam there, then he mails letters to all the organizations and offers them a few thousand dollars to settle. even if he only hits .1 percent he is making mad dollars.

anyway i dont do a lot of cut and paste but i'll stick to the rule as well. shouldn't be a problem since this board is pretty small.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. -Eisenhower

 


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