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Copyright Infringement and Me


Previous Entry Copyright Infringement and Me Nov. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14 pm Next Entry
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Date:November 7th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
I am curious about some of the finer points of Internet and copyright, particularly the question of who holds copyright over the comments on a blog; the commenter, or the blogger?

I ask, because something similar happened to me...twice, in fact. I made a comment on Roger Ebert's blog; it found its way into his annual Yearbook. My name was included, so I wasn't too bothered by it, but it felt a little weird nonetheless.

Second time was when I wrote an email to a newspaper columnist asking if she'd be interested in a funny story about what happened to me when I tried to pay a parking ticket. Turns out she was more than interested...her next column was largely MY LETTER, verbatim! Again, I felt a bit ripped off, but didn't feel I had much of a leg to stand on, as my name was cited.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have raised more fuss.
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Date:November 7th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
JB, it is a bot of a grey area when it is posts or replies on a blog unless it is explicitly spelt out that they can do what they like with your posts. However, usually on a paper newspaper or magazine you will usually find small print somewhere near by that basically gives them the right to use what you posted in just about any way they like.
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Date:November 7th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'll second what anonymous said. You generally own the copyright on blog replies, but most websites have a terms of use (when you first 'sign up' the site should point you to it initially). In the case of Roger Ebert's blog, it's hosted by the Sun-Times, and point 4 under its terms of use indicates it may use any contribution you make in any way, without compensation.

Note that this is one of the main sticking point folks have with Facebook: it can use anything you add to the site in whatever way without recourse.

In the second case, well, yeah, you became the source of the story. The best you could have done was talk to the columnist's editor to note the laziness in just copying what you said to them for the bulk of their column.
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