Copyright - 'Ownership' of Post Content and Files Attached to Posts

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
This post is to clarify the site copyright policy with respect to post content and attachments here in the Elsmar Cove forum.
Revised 11 January 2010

Registered Visitor A said:
Marc, Registered Visitor X says that once I post my own work here, the site assumes ownership of it. ". . . the site owner claims ownership of anything posted here." What does that mean? As the author of it, do I not retain rights to it? Please clarify and sorry to be such a pain in the ass.
It disappoints me that Registered Visitor X has distorted the policy here to you in a PM (Personal Message).

Registered Visitor X is 180 degrees wrong. That is *totally* NOT true. I (the site, if you will) do *NOT* claim copyright on anything posted here, including attachments. I have been very specific in pointing that out.

Registered Visitor X should not be contacting you about copyright aspects here in the first place because Registered Visitor X has no authority to speak for the Elsmar Cove web site. If Registered Visitor X had a problem with a post or attachment that another Registered Visitor makes, Registered Visitor X should have used the 'Report this Post' link so that the moderators and I are aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.

It makes it worse that Registered Visitor X has misinformed you about the site / forum policy with regard to anything you post here. The bottom of each forum page also plainly states: "The Elsmar Cove Web Site is *CopyFree* "

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From: Elsmar Cove Web Site and Forum Privacy Policy and Copyright Information (which there is a link to near the bottom of every page in the forum (the Privacy & Copyright Statement link).

"Except for some documents in the subscription access directories, everything on the Elsmar Cove is free to the public. If you use information from the Elsmar Cove, we do appreciate your citing the source, however, in one way or another.

If you post in the Forums (this includes attachments to any post) you do *not* have a right to assert copyright claim(s) now or in the future. We don't assert that we own the rights to post content, including attachments to posts, and neither can you. However, once you post or you attach a file, you agree not to come back at a later date and require me to remove your post(s) and/or attachments(s) for copyright or other reason(s). This is a free system and my policy is to NOT be a money grubbing type with lawyers at hand, but rather to be a free resource for folks. If the contents of your posts are 'golden' to you, I suggest you post elsewhere or write a book and sell it. If you post here, your question(s) and any and all answers to questions(s), as well as any attachments you contribute, are in the public domain."

Added 20100111: Essentially it is simply a matter of understanding that anyone who posts and/or attaches a file in the forum can not come back at a later time and demand that I remove their post(s) and/or attachment(s). By posting and/or attaching one or more files in the forum, the person is granting the Elsmar Cove the right(s) (if you will) to keep the content posted.
****************************

You might note that I started posting most of my (now somewhat old) courses on the site over 12 years ago (some have been updated since the 1990's when most of them were first written and reposted) for people to copy and use. Here is an example: Implementing An ISO 9001 Quality Management System - You will also find it (and others) in the Free Files directory as a .pdf file. A few other examples are:

https://Elsmar.com/APQP/
https://Elsmar.com/FMEA/
https://Elsmar.com/8D/

In short I practice what I preach. The only time I charge is if someone wants a copy of the powerpoint data file. I have gone into companies and found documents with much of, or all of, some of my old course material that I have posted. I am pleased that people / companies feel the material is good enough to use in whole or in part. They took the time to take one or more of my .pdf files and used the content in making their own courses. That's why I post most of my materials. I used to make a fair amount of money when I did those courses. I do NOT expect to profit from them forever. Sharing them without restriction makes me feel good, too.

You might also want to read through the copyright discussions here: Elsmar Cove Forum TOS and Forum Policies where we discuss posting of copyrighted documents.

I am not a proponent of copyrights (or patents for that matter). They inhibit innovation. There is not a person out there who writes something that does not draw on what others have previously written in one form or another. I'm not saying there is no original thought/writing in the world, but when you write something ask yourself what you are drawing on to write what you are writing. People are born and learn based upon the knowledge of others, most of which is in the form of words or pictures. As we grow older we learn more and more from others through speech, through writing and through pictures. For those of us who write, or have written, we draw upon the words and themes of others every time we write something. We don't pull everything we write out of thin air. We take the words and pictures of others and rearrange them, reword them, typically we do some interpretation of them, but in the end we are drawing upon and recycling the works of others ever time we write something. Think about it.

I will say I am glad, in a way, that Registered Visitor X did contact you because it triggered me to review the policy and I found a spelling error which I corrected, so some good has come out of this. And, it has caused me to add this policy to the Elsmar Cove Forum TOS and Forum Policies forum here.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
11 January 2010 Revision

11 January 2010 Revision:
***********
Old:
We don't assert that we own the rights to post content, including attachments to posts, and neither can you.

New:
We don't assert that we own the rights to post content, including attachments to posts,. However, once you post or you attach a file, you agree not to come back at a later date and require me to remove your post(s) and/or attachments(s) for copyright or other reason(s).

*********************

I have revised this to clarify the intent of the policy. The above policy is many years old. People are so copyright crazy these days that it's become (in my opinion) just a money grab (but that's another story). Heck - Disney wants "forever" as if ol' Walt was the first with a cartoon mouse... Rearranging other peoples words and then claiming 'original content' is the height of arrogance in my opinion.

When I wrote that policy some years back my intent was to ensure everyone understands this is a free forum on the internet where anything posted is essentially free game, so to speak. Good Lord, it's on the internet! You can't get much more public. In addition, I wanted to ensure everyone knows that I have no intention of profiting off of posts here by claiming copyright on content of posts people have so generously posted in order to help others. For all intents and purposes, anything anyone posts, or files they attach, they are putting into the public domain by choice. Like I say, the forum is open to the public and is on the internet.

When I first made the policy it was to ensure that everyone understands that, unlike 99.9% of the sites out there, I do not claim any rights what so ever to what someone posts here. I had the "neither can you" in the policy because some years back a person who had several hundred posts, not to mention a lot of attachments that others attached to posts in threads the person started, started deleting every post and attachment he could in every thread he started and his posts in every discussion thread he participated in. I don't remember exactly what the reasoning was other than at some point that person had their feelings hurt in some way. I was lucky - I saw what he was doing quickly and stopped the person by changing his 'permissions' (user group). The next step on that person's part was to contact my ISP at the time and demand the site be taken offline because of copyright infringement (I refused to allow him to delete all his posts). So it was a bit of a mess that I do not want to go through again.

As some of you have probably noticed there is a one week time limit on editing posts (except, of course, for moderators). The event I recounted is the reason that there is a time limit on editing posts.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions about content ownership on the site. Essentially it is simply a matter of understanding that anyone who posts and/or attaches a file in the forum can not come back at a later time and demand that I remove their post(s) and/or attachment(s). By posting and/or attaching one or more files in the forum, the person is granting the Elsmar Cove the right(s) (if you will) to keep the content posted.

Comments, questions, or requests for further clarifications are welcomed in this thread.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#3
Nothing significant has changed. Elsmar has always been Open and Free for all intents and purposes. This is just a quick entry to show verification that there are no significant changes since the original 2010 posts.
 
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