ownership of IP

  1. As an internet/technology/copyright attorney, I have been wondering about the ability to enforce the "all messages become the property of the purseblog" terms. I just attended a seminar about legal issues related to user generated content sites like blog forums, MySpace and YouTube. It was really interesting. It seems that most forum sites simply request the ability to use, edit, delete, etc. the content posted by users and a rights to use it. It seems that all that is really needed to protect the blog owners is a non-exclusive broad license to USE the content posted by users. Can you explain why the blog terms seek to transfer ownership to the content vs. just a broad license to use it? There has not been a court case yet specifically dealing with the issue of if a clickwrap statement that "we own what you post" is sufficient to transfer copyrights as the copyright act Section 204A requires a signed writing to transfer ownership. The ESIGN Act does state that electronic agreements should be just as binding as paper ones (yet you do have to give the user the ability to print the electronically signed agreement which shows their electronic signature), however it is not yet a settled legal issue regarding clickwrap agreements ability to assign copyright ownership. My guess is that in the current format this clause would not be enforceable in court. The things posted here probably don't rise to the level of people caring about someone else owning the material they post and I find this intellectually an interesting issue but I am just wondering if there was a reason why it was decided to get complete copyright ownership of the materials vs. just a broad license to do what you want with it form the users?
     
  2. Here is an example of what Yahoo uses...they just get license rights to use it and don't seem to own the copyright.

    CONTENT SUBMITTED OR MADE AVAILABLE FOR INCLUSION ON THE SERVICE
    Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service. However, with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service, you grant Yahoo! the following worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license(s), as applicable:

    • With respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purposes of providing and promoting the specific Yahoo! Group to which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Service and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Service.
    • With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Service and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Service.
    • With respect to Content other than photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed.
     
  3. I think my brain just farted.

    I will try and respond to your lengthy write-up once the stench settles in the a.m.
     
  4. :nuts: :roflmfao:
     
  5. :popcorn: :huh: :shrugs:
     
  6. good heavens...
     
  7. Sorry ya'll I had just gotten out of a legal seminar and we had discussed his issue lol.
    In laymans terms, basically per the terms of use on the site when you post a photo of your bags it doesn't belong to you anymore because you have agreed to transfer ownership to the purseblog. Lets say you decide to sell the purse and use the same photo to post on eBay to sell it...well technically you are infringing on the purseblog's copyright and need to get their permission. I don't think that was the purseblog's intention but the way it is currently written that is the case. My suggestion was why not just get a license to use the photos as needed versus getting full copyright ownership from the users.
     
  8. Oh no :sad: that's not good
     
  9. Wow, BlkLadyLaw! The issues the rest of us never think about and there are laws pertaining to them. I'm in favor of anything that helps/protects Vlad and Megs and tPF.

    Not too far off-topic---I see you are in the DC area. My daughter-in-law used to work in the district and now works in NoVa in communications law. It sounds like you are in an even more specialized area of the law.
     

  10. Actually it is good. We can go after people who decide to steal content that our members post on the forum and abuse it elsewhere.

    We will never go after our own members ourselves, of course.

    Either way, I will have a lawyer take a look at the terms and possibly revise them in the near future.
     
  11. Although it may protect the writer, as Vlad argues, does keeping the ownership of what's written with tpf make them liable if someone/a brand wanted to sue tpf for what was writen? ? I can see it could be a minefield...
    I think this is an interesting issue for anyone who has a blog too and invites or allows comments... how does that sit with the law? And how does that get applied internationally? Can a commenter from one country potentially get sued in another country? Do we take it for granted that blogs and forums are freedom of speech, or does it get complicated when advertising makes it a 'business' or commercial venture...
    Blimey, it all seemed so simple yesterday!:sos: