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Apostle of Carlin

What is site policy on excerpting articles?

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Apostle of Carlin

I just want to know, to make sure I'm doing things right here, and making sure I don't get AVEN in trouble with copyright lawyers.

Recently, I posted three articles from various news sites about asexuality. When I originally posted the articles, I made sure I posted a link to the original web site, the article's title and author, and an excerpt, typically 4 paragraphs or so, so the site can claim Fair Use under U.S. copyright law, and not get in trouble. People who want to read the whole article can click the link and read at the original site. Keeps things relatively easy for fellow aces, and keeps the site out of copyright trouble.

I did notice that one of the admins edited my posts with the articles, and put in the entire article.

I do like this site, I want to make sure what I'm doing is kosher, so I'm asking what policy here is as to excerpting of articles from other sites. I definitely don't want to get AVEN in trouble.

Cheers!

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Vivaldi Ives

Funny enough, I am just finishing up a continuing-ed class on copyright law. :)

I believe I have read at some point somewhere on AVEN that when someone links to an article on asexuality, the entire text should be copied into a post for preservation in case the original article is taken down. (Admods, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!)

I can't speak to whether this is kosher under U.S. copyright law or not (I am very much not a lawyer!), but I can say that AVEN is noncommercial and educational, which are two aspects taken into account for fair use. :)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

well I was researching copyright laws online for my blog recently and it said you should never copy/paste the whole article word for word unless you get in contact with the original author first to make sure it's okay. Generally quoting a few aspects of the article is fine, and summing up your opinion on it and what the article is about etc, and *always* link to the original source of course, but posting the whole article word for word is breaching copyright law and that's anywhere online, not just US (from what I can tell anyway)

There are whole websites about education of copyright law online to help protect bloggers and help them make the best decisions for their blogs (some bloggers have horror stories about being sued for copyright, over images as well as words)

Maybe it's different for forums, I don't know, but definitely when blogging copy/pasting a whole article is not okay unless you have previously sought full (and written) permission from the author. Sure people copy/paste other people's work online all the time, but that doesn't make it okay to do it. Every one of those people can potentially be sued if the original author has the money and decides they want to go down that route lol.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

Oops AVEN had a spaz and I got double posted haha

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Sally

well I was researching copyright laws online for my blog recently and it said you should never copy/paste the whole article word for word unless you get in contact with the original author first to make sure it's okay.

Yup. And when you quote a passage, put it in quotes to make it plain.

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WünderBâhr

My apologies for the delayed response. This was/is among multiple conversations going on, so I unfortunately got a bit sidetracked. :p

Currently, we do not have an official policy regarding citations which do not clearly state or give credit to copywrite materials/citations, aside from the general rule of content and following basic law.

The Admod Team is currently looking into this and will post an update as soon as it is possible. We appreciate your query and hope to have a clear answer, soon. Thank you.

Bipolar Bear

Site Comments Mod

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ithaca

The admod team can ask the archivist anytime, btw :p

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Rockblossom

Just to add a point about why "fair use" is important:

Many of the people who publish articles online, sell them to an online "newspaper" or other online publisher, or add to their own blog get paid by the number of page hits on their article. For people running blogs, they may be paid by sites running ads on their blog. For e-news sites, they often get all or part of their payment from page hits.

If you take a paragraph or two from their article (fair use) and then link back to the URL so that anyone who want can read the article - then you are informing your readers and maybe even helping the original author with additional page hits. If you take the whole article and post it, even if you cite the URL, there is no reason for your readers to go to the site to read the article, so you are "stealing" page hits from the original author. That may not translate into a lot of money, but it is some money. Respect for the original author should keep people from doing this, even if the author likely can't afford the cost of suing the re-posters for copyright infringement.

If you have ever published something original online, then had someone copy the whole thing and post it elsewhere without your permission, then you know how much it sucks. I know. I've had both articles and photos re-posted by "admirers" who just wanted to "give it wider distribution" and let their friends see it. I feel ripped off when that happens, not flattered.

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tristifere

Even if bloggers aren't paid (most ace bloggers don't get a cent for their content), it's still not OK to copy their entire posts. Once you've published something online (even on a blog, tumblr, etc), it is copyright protected. Under "fair use", others can quote, summarize, critique or satirize your work. So copying small portions of a work while linking back to the source is fine. If you copy an entire text and post it somewhere else, it does not fall under "fair use". Full-text copying is distribution and only the copyright-holder has the right to do that. Either get permission from the copyright-holders to copy their work, or just don't do it.

I see this issue has been on the Admods' radar since March. Have you already formulated guidelines for the forum which are in line with US copyright laws, or are you still working on that?

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Vestal

According to this website (UK's most popular Renewable Energy Forum), it's absolutely fine for members to post articles as they are deemed to be "in the public domain", but it is a matter of politeness to include a link to the original article.

Source: http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=22130.0

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tristifere

According to this website (UK's most popular Renewable Energy Forum), it's absolutely fine for members to post articles as they are deemed to be "in the public domain", but it is a matter of politeness to include a link to the original article.

Source: http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=22130.0

AVEN is an American site hosted by an American service provider and the property of an American citizen. What happens on this website falls under American copyright laws, not UK laws.

Furthermore, blog posts on the internet do not automatically fall under public domain. They are protected by copyright, unless the owner of that blog has specifically stated otherwise (through a creative commons licence, for example).

"Public domain" is the name for the corpus of works of which copyrights have expired or never existed in the first place. "Public domain" does not refer to "anything freely accessible on the internet". Freely accessible stuff on the internet can and often is protected by copyright law. See a credible source on copyright law: http://www.teachingcopyright.org/handout/public-domain-faq

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Vestal

AVEN is an American site hosted by an American service provider and the property of an American citizen. What happens on this website falls under American copyright laws, not UK laws.

As I wrote before somewhere, The Fashion Spot (a prestigious American forum with more than 70,500 members) encourages its users to quote ENTIRE articles: http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f60/raf-simons-artistic-director-dior-175983-12.html

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tristifere

AVEN is an American site hosted by an American service provider and the property of an American citizen. What happens on this website falls under American copyright laws, not UK laws.

As I wrote before, The Fashion Spot, an American prestigious forum, encourages its users to quote ENTIRE articles: http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f60/raf-simons-artistic-director-dior-175983-12.html

Yes, copyright laws are misunderstood and broken all over the internet. Looking at what other forums are doing actually doesn't help you at all, as these are often completely unaware of copyright laws themselves. Still does not make the practice legal.

I'm not going to bicker over this. Legit legal information is easily obtainable by googling and clicking on the links that refer to universities and .edu websites. These will back up what I've already explained in previous comments. So, this will be my last post.

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Vestal

Some people almost forced me yesterday to delete a bunch of posts (even the links). I removed them, but they probably had no right to pressure me into doing so.

Websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder, the European Court of Justice says: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26187730

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CosineTheCat

As the Moderator of World Watch, I am working diligently to figure this out. This being said, one of the policies that we have is if something that is posted in World Watch that the creator does not want there we do remove it, we still archive it because it is about asexuality, but we remove the quote itself. I'd also like to say right now, that if you have an issue with the posting of an article in WW please do not harass the member that posted it there. They do not have the ability to remove the post. Contact either me or one of the admin team with the link to the article and it will dealt with as quickly as possible.

CosineTheCat

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Kisa the Kit Kat

Legally Spanish Duchess was in the right. US law protects non-profits.

Also (as cosine said), we take down articles upon request. Please do not go after posters. If you have an issue with your article being posted here, send a PM to an admin, the Word Watch moderator or to admods@asexuality.org

Thank you

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Vestal

If you take the whole article and post it, even if you cite the URL, there is no reason for your readers to go to the site to read the article, so you are "stealing" page hits from the original author. That may not translate into a lot of money, but it is some money.

I see... At the end of the day, it's a matter of money. Now I understand why certain people get so angry... :ph34r:

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tristifere

Legally Spanish Duchess was in the right. US law protects non-profits.

Where do you get that information? Non-profits are still not allowed to copy-paste articles or blog posts full text. Non-profit status is only one of four factors to consider whether something is fair use. Another one of those four factors is the "amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole" (source). Which means: small portions = ok. Entire texts = not ok. That is still copyright infrightment, regardless of AVEN's non-profit status.

CosineTheCat said the team is working on this topic, so I hope you get it sorted. I'd really hate to see AVEN being open to nasty legal consequences - especially over projects like the archiving project (something I personally really like, but in the light of copyright concerns, I think AVEN should re-evaluate how to approach this project. There are other, less riskier ways of preserving ace discourse and ace news coverage for posterity).

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Vestal

The Tumblr ToS states:

“Subscriber Content License to Tumblr:

When you provide Subscriber Content to Tumblr through the Services, you grant Tumblr a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable right and license to use, host, store, cache, reproduce, publish, display (publicly or otherwise), perform (publicly or otherwise), distribute, transmit, modify, adapt (including, without limitation, in order to conform it to the requirements of any networks, devices, services, or media through which the Services are available), and create derivative works of, such Subscriber Content. [...] When you upload your creations to Tumblr, you’re giving us permission to make them available in all the ways you would expect us to (for example, via your blog, RSS, the Tumblr Dashboard, etc.). We never want to do anything with your work that surprises you.

You also agree that this license includes the right for Tumblr to make all publicly-posted Content available to third parties selected by Tumblr, so that those third parties can syndicate and/or analyze such Content on other media and services.

An example of what it means to "make all publicly-posted Content available" to a Tumblr partner for distribution or analysis would be licensing the Tumblr "firehose," a live feed of all public activity on Tumblr, to partners like search engines.
Note also that this license to your Subscriber Content continues even if you stop using the Services, primarily because of the social nature of Content shared through Tumblr’s Services - when you post something publicly, others may choose to comment on it, making your Content part of a social conversation that can’t later be erased without retroactively censoring the speech of others.

One thing you should consider before posting: When you make something publicly available on the Internet, it becomes practically impossible to take down all copies of it.”


Also in the US (which is where our server is located), the Copyright laws that affect us state:

Fair use40 Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.”


Legal information provided by CosineTheCat.

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praetorius

An important consideration in all of this is that "fair use" in US law is not unambiguously defined, especially with regards to newly-emerging issues about internet content, but contested on a case-by-case basis in court. A major determining factor in whether or not something is fair use is whether or not one side in the argument has a multi-million-dollar legal team bent on making the other side miserable. For many blog post excerpts (or entire reproductions), the blog author may be upset, but won't have the time and resources to contest the issue in court. However, just because AVEN runs a low risk of being sued into oblivion, doesn't mean that there shouldn't be a policy effort to not trample the wishes of bloggers helping out asexual visibility.

Archiving is a definite concern when linked material can just vanish away entirely. If I were supreme dictator of AVEN (which I am thankfully not), I would recommend having moderators maintain a non-publicly-visible archive of "important" articles of the kind they'd otherwise copy into a post. So long as a link to the original site works, that link, plus short selected excerpts, would be used in AVEN posts instead of cut-and-pasting the article. If that link becomes broken in the future, then it could be replaced with a link providing access to the archived copy.

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CosineTheCat

The reason we use the whole article is because if anything was to happen to the original it's just gone.

We have had this happen with some of the posts world watch posts from 2002, and we only noticed when Ithaca started to do the archive.

Depending on what the blog would like we can tailor what we do to suit them, but we still include them in the archive because they're taking about asexuality. It may be a personal story or it may be something explaining asexuality. It is still visibility.

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A Member Once Known As tqz

If you take the whole article and post it, even if you cite the URL, there is no reason for your readers to go to the site to read the article, so you are "stealing" page hits from the original author. That may not translate into a lot of money, but it is some money. Respect for the original author should keep people from doing this, even if the author likely can't afford the cost of suing the re-posters for copyright infringement.

Well, not quite. If I hear a song on the radio, I don't ignore the possibility that there might be more songs. Maybe you would ignore the possibility, maybe someone else would, too. Myself? I would think more songs could be possible, though I know sometimes there aren't any more songs. Admittedly, there are times when I hope there are not anymore songs by whoever.

I would say there are definitely reasons for someone to follow the link even after reading content. As mentioned, finding more by that author seems most obvious to me, or at the very least to make sure it really was the whole article and it wasn't chopped. If I don't follow the link, then it may very well be likely that it didn't seem worthwhile to me because of the quality of the content. That may sound harsh, but I think it's realistic to accept that possibility instead of dreaming of lost money when the content was never considered being worthy enough by someone else. That's simply the same thing as failed advertising, e.g. when it's inadvertently self destructive.

When I consider my own knowledge about page hits, I completely disagree with the way that suggested notion was presented. Seems to me like a coy accusation by using those subtle quote marks. When someone uses scare tactics to discourage me from doing the “wrong” thing, I get a sense that person is playing on my ignorance. I don't believe relying on a lack of true understanding ever plays out well for anyone who wants cooperation from others. However, I will concede the topic of page hits isn't easy for me to convey in a single paragraph, else I would have supplanted that notion that so subtly criminalized seven billion people.

OTOH, claiming someone else's content as one's own content? That is a whole other matter… Yet, if that idea isn't kept distinct from the rest, then I think you will find there will be lots of confusion backed by defensiveness from people. If that idea is kept distinct, then it seems to me people will have a better understanding of the importance and without a loss of their personal integrity.

I doubt a stereotyped set of desires would be fitting for every author. I think encouraging people to connect with the author is great, such as when mentioned earlier in this thread about asking the author for permission. Such relations could be great for visibility, too.

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tristifere

The reason we use the whole article is because if anything was to happen to the original it's just gone.

We have had this happen with some of the posts world watch posts from 2002, and we only noticed when Ithaca started to do the archive.

Depending on what the blog would like we can tailor what we do to suit them, but we still include them in the archive because they're taking about asexuality. It may be a personal story or it may be something explaining asexuality. It is still visibility.

Thanks for explaining that, Cosine. However, you can also archive and save content for posterity through archive.org. Next to saving the content, it also preserves lay-out and other (non-visible) data which might be of interested to aces and researchers at a later date. Plus, you won't have to figure out the copyright issues on your own website. Archive.org has hammered down their policy and are working within the law. Save the website on archive.org, and save the link here on AVEN - that would be the best policy in my opinion.

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Vestal

I think encouraging people to connect with the author is great, such as when mentioned earlier in this thread about asking the author for permission. Such relations could be great for visibility, too.

It would take ages to contact all the authors (one by one) before posting their articles...

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praetorius

It would take ages to contact all the authors (one by one) before posting their articles...

It might not be too bad if AVEN moderators already had a good standard "form letter" ready to go --- just fill in the blanks with the URL in question, and send it off. You wouldn't be composing personal missives to every blog writer. However, it would still take some work. Encouraging authors in the broader community to put, e.g., Creative Commons clearly on anything they'd be happy seeing shared would also be a good way to support growing visibility efforts.

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tristifere

It might not be too bad if AVEN moderators already had a good standard "form letter" ready to go --- just fill in the blanks with the URL in question, and send it off. You wouldn't be composing personal missives to every blog writer. However, it would still take some work. Encouraging authors in the broader community to put, e.g., Creative Commons clearly on anything they'd be happy seeing shared would also be a good way to support growing visibility efforts.

Those are really good suggestions! Instead of butting heads, this sounds like a good solution to have several parties work together for visibility and archiving efforts.

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A Member Once Known As tqz

I think encouraging people to connect with the author is great, such as when mentioned earlier in this thread about asking the author for permission. Such relations could be great for visibility, too.

It would take ages to contact all the authors (one by one) before posting their articles...

Yes, true. Posting the links likely wouldn't need that.

OTOH, the means of contact could be as simple as finding the author's statement on their website about terms of use. This might be on the same page as the content itself, on their About page, on their Contact page, or a link from one of those pages. Actual correspondence would only be necessary when wanting to do something more than the author's statement.

Of course when in doubt for lack of such terms, definitely archive a copy somewhere. Like newspaper clippings. It's public, it's meant to be known, it's meant to be remembered, thereby it's meant to be not forgotten.

Well, except that which was better left unwritten. Though, I'd imagine such items aren't currently in question…

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CosineTheCat

I'd like to state that SpanishDuchess is not a moderator on AVEN. They are simply a member wanting to bring visibility to everyone in AVEN from other communities. Even if the we as the mods have a templates people grabbing the articles would not be required to use them.

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ithaca

The reason we use the whole article is because if anything was to happen to the original it's just gone.

We have had this happen with some of the posts world watch posts from 2002, and we only noticed when Ithaca started to do the archive.

Depending on what the blog would like we can tailor what we do to suit them, but we still include them in the archive because they're taking about asexuality. It may be a personal story or it may be something explaining asexuality. It is still visibility.

Thanks for explaining that, Cosine. However, you can also archive and save content for posterity through archive.org. Next to saving the content, it also preserves lay-out and other (non-visible) data which might be of interested to aces and researchers at a later date. Plus, you won't have to figure out the copyright issues on your own website. Archive.org has hammered down their policy and are working within the law. Save the website on archive.org, and save the link here on AVEN - that would be the best policy in my opinion.

As the one who started the whole archive process, I've worked with archive.org for a few years now and, trust me, it's not perfect. I love it that sometimes it has saved things in a good way, but many other times it's not done to the standards that we'd like to preserve our history. It loses entire pages, videos, audio, breaks links, and who knows, one day archive.org itself might be gone for technical issues or money or other reasons. I prefer trusting the fact that AVEN will be here, rather than relying on any other server and website.

AVEN is a non-profit organisation who uses this content for educational purposes, not for plagiarising or for any malicious intent, as it can clearly be seen by the way we format it. We always try and accommodate the authors of the content as much as possible, as those who have been in contact with me regarding this project will be able to confirm. However, I have to second the other people who have asked that we leave volunteer members out of any controversy, as we are all working in good faith and with the best intentions.

If you find that you are the author of anything we are archiving, and would like to ask some questions or voice some concerns, please do so privately with me or with the World Watch Moderator. If you are not connected to any content we are archiving but don't like how we're doing it or think there's better ways, please feel free to come up with more constructive suggestions either privately or in this thread.

Thanks.

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