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a real puzzle for ya



7:44 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok, I am making an ebook. In this book, i am quoting users' posts from forums. My criteria is it has to be about a particular subject, it doesnt matter if it is pro or con.
Every quote will have a link (ebook) to that forum (thread and even exact page if possible) so lots of credit/promotion for the forum owners.
The ebook is my original idea
None of the content im copying would have to do with the site its on (im staying away from Xforum for subjects:X, rather going to generic/general forums)
The ebook will be free of charge, come in installments based on continued subscription to an opt in email list.
I am prepared to remove quotes if asked by forum owner OR poster
None of the forums are private and none of the info i put in the ebook is private.
My questions are basically: Can I do something outside of contacting every single forum and asking permission or would including a bit saying how ill omit and remove links ? It would take years knowing these forums.
What is the most i could do on my end to keep out of trouble?(remember, for every single quote I am including a link back to the respective site right above the quote, its pretty much just www.thispage.com and a short quote from a user from the )


7:55 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Most forums have a TOS similar to this one. See ours at the bottom of this page. (And the line above that link, too)

Depends on the country. Depends on the tos of each of the forums you're interested in quoting... but in most countries, the POSTERS have copyright/ownership of their words, even if the forum is public. The "free" in the subscription model above is misleading... there is a "cost" and from such a value might be determined.

This is cut and paste/I'll remove if you complain publishing rather than Writing something unique then contacting forums with similar topics and saying: "I'll put a link in for you if you'll..." whatever your deal might be. The second approach is stronger... but takes more work.

You'll need to consult an attorney on this as it is clearly apparent the intent is to use other's creative work in your own without asking.


8:17 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I hold with Tangor on this one.
You are trying to make a "product" out of content owned by and "lifted" from others.
Saying that you will remove ther content if they ask does not remove the basic fact that you have then already (mis-)appropriated the content of others and likely distributed it somewhere already. That event has already happened, whether you promise to "undo" the misappropriated content in future versions if asked.

That is the equivalent to a shop-lifter saying "if they catch me, I'll just promise to stop using the stolen gadget, and it should be OK, they can't punish me then". The real world simply does not work that way.
Plus, you are worse off than a shop-lifter, because in your case any kind of promotion (even simple Google indexing of your site) will guarantee that at some point someone's Google alerts on their name or topics will find you, with a potential DMCA complaint as result. Shop-lifters do not have that problem. They mostly need to just escape out the door with the items in their pockets. Not so for digital content.

And as Tangor mentioned, on most forums the posters own their content. Asking forum owners for permission have no meaning in that case. Even Facebook had to undo their original TOS, which stated that Facebook owned everything. After a user-revolt it was changed to the users owning their own content and hence the ability to remove it as well...


8:18 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

i thought as much. in my own defense there is no attempt in the slightest to pass anything off as my own. If i did, the book would be confusing and worthless at best as my idea is to organize others experiences, and the value is that it is experiences and how they are organized and filtered. (a good chunk is my own original description for each subject)

But i understand. I get the feeling that users wouldnt mind too much. I was also toying with the idea of itemizing key points instead of putting the quote. The links also serve the reader so that they can easily verify my info.

I guess ill just have to avoid forums where the forum owns the users posts.

One big question: Am i right to assume the US gives posters the ownership?

Thanks for that quick and descriptive reply

Oh, just saw that 2ned reply and its kind of assumed in the first.
The ebook is not online content, it is a static pdf in the end.
And i cant stress enough that the value to the reader is the fact that i DID copy every experience. There is no way to have original content in this particular part of the book as that would remove most all of the value, no matter how well i write it, unless i just lied and made up experiences.


8:26 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

All countries have some kind of Copyright and Trademark laws. How they are enforced and what penalties are attached vary from country to country. A bing or google on "copyright law" +"country" will provide many sites, most of which at the top will be the .gov (or equivalent).

I guess ill just have to avoid forums where the forum owns the users posts.

In most countries, forums can't UNLESS BY CONTRACT, TOS or OTHER AGREEMENT assume ownership of the poster's output/words/creation.

There are other ways to accomplish such an ebook, one example was given above, it is not the only way.

Good luck with the project! And, belatedly, welcome to Webmasterworld.


8:41 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh yeah, thanks for the welcome...my mind has expanded. Being a webmaster I dont like idea of content tieves or scrapers, or even spinners, i was reluctant at first to do the idea.
Im assuming the other ways to accomplish this book you are refering to tangor was itemizing the points and i better just do that.
Thanks for all the responses, look for them in my 2nd book titled "Cutting edge legal advice from the mind of Roy Walker" ha ha ha jk
Thanks ervryone


9:29 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

What is the difference between doing this and adding a quote in a normal, paper book and then citing the reference? You don't have to ask permission to do that, nor is it illegal in the U.S. or anywhere else I can think of.


9:35 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

In the USA there is a portion of copyright law called "Fair Use" which allows BRIEF portions of copyrighted works inside a REVIEW or SCHOLARLY USE. As I am not a lawyer I can't say that the above falls into that category since the entire product is nothing but cut and paste and might run foul of "Fair Use" unless there is a clearly defined scholarly review/report.

Even in this forum and Webmasterworld in general, we allow quotes with attribution, which serve the purpose of source material/attribution with full disclosure. And even then, it has to be spot on!


10:35 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

Wow. Two minds with but a single thought ;) Thanks to multiple tabs, I didn't see Tangor's post until after I hit Submit.

Part of the definition of "fair use" is the quoted text's size in proportion to the size of the original material. So a single sentence from a book or play will generally be fair game. But a single sentence from a three-line post... Go look up case law in your country of residence. Does it consider the individual post, or the author's complete corpus within a particular forum?

Matter of fact, there's a posting somewhere at WebmasterWorld* that lays out the difference among authorship, ownership and copyright. They can be three different things. Forums search for the three words together should turn it up.

* Stumbled across it just a few days ago while-- stop me if you've heard this one-- looking for something entirely different.


2:16 am on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tangor, what is this full disclosure for quotes you speak of?

I see a parallel between recording fair use and this, particularly for my purposes. The way i understand it is, an artist can use 10 seconds of any copyright audio/song as is. Anything greater and its not fair use anymore. Here's the parallel: ever heard of the genre of music known as mashup? There is a mashup artist called Girltalk, his songs are almost 90% random other peoples songs and some of them are hillarious, a particular humor that is entirely based upon how he organizes fair use samples of other peoples songs. This is kind of like my original unaltered idea of full quotes.

As for my original idea, I am surprised there is no way to just put the exact post and a link exactly as is and unaltered. I am 100% ok with people using my sites (entirely original, thank you) content in such a manner (great big chunks, bigger the better.) In fact, i might object to a small little chunk of my content, like a single unique sentence, with attribution, because of all the ways one could take a small sentence out of context and twist my words, relying on the tendency of many web users to not dig so deep or be suspicious (my industry is weight loss FYI)

Breaking a users experience into individual points, bulleted and what not kills two birds for me though. I hate birds


4:48 am on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Tangor, what is this full disclosure for quotes you speak of?

As stated. Do the research for more info.

Meanwhile, mixing what is allowed in audio media "fair use" is not a good idea. Audio is not text. Go with your gut... you previously indicated you thought it might not be a good idea. I personally agree with that. We can't help any further. None of us can give legal advice. But it is possible you might cross into legal issues if you undertake the above.

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