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RE: Who owns your words? A resolution is needed.

by Fastolfe (Vicar)
on Nov 13, 2000 at 23:05 UTC ( #41381=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Who owns your words? A resolution is needed.

There is no explicitely declared copyright or privacy notice on the site. For that reason, we must assume a) that all information posted (including personal information) will be made available to the general public; and b) all information we write and post to the site retains an implicit copyright (by US law and international treaty).

Now, with nodes, this is fairly easy to interpret as being owned and copyrighted by the contributor (who's name is posted at the top of the node). For that reason, I think it's pretty clear that nodes cannot be taken, chopped up, posted elsewhere or otherwise used for profit outside of the context of this site (arguably vroom profits from the ads here, but obviously that's OK otherwise you wouldn't have posted your content here in the first place).

The chatterbox, however, isn't so cut-and-dry. You can't just scrawl a conversational bit and claim that it's copyrighted by yourself any more than you can go on IRC and demand that everyone remove your conversations or cease distributing their IRC log files because your stuff is copyrighted and you forbid them from doing anything with it.

The way I see it, the nodes are for us to formally express ourselves. Fair use allows people to quote the things we say (within reason), and by posting a node we're basically assenting to that. The chatterbox is meant to be a polar opposite: a place where we can let off steam, joke around, ask stupid questions, get into arguments, whatever. We feel comfortable saying the things we do because it's a transient medium. We don't expect the things we say there will be etched in stone, or that we will be later held accountable. I want that atmosphere in the chatterbox. I don't want to have to draft my chatterbox statements first. I don't want to have to worry that something I say will bite me in the ass later if I'm inaccurate, drunk or just plain stupid. That's why I don't say things like this in a node. I research first, then post.

Now, quotes are fine. I have little problem with someone taking something I've said in the chatterbox and using it in a node as a proposed solution to a problem, or to help elaborate on an issue. More often than not they don't do a great job of providing context, so I'll need to follow up with clarification, but I don't mind that.


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