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Inadvertently breaching copyright

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Storker, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    Not quite...the copyright only resides with one entity. The buyer may have unlimited access to reproduce the image (or whatever is specified by the copyright holder under the terms of agreement), but the copyright either resides with the original owner or is transferred completely to the buyer. Even with unrestricted access, unless the copyright is transferred to the buyer, the buyer typically does not have the ability to grant access to a third party to reproduce the image. It is the copyright owner who can designate how (and by whom) the image is used.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Negative ghost rider. Here's a bit from Copyright Ownership: Who Owns What?

    He doesn't address forum content per se, but when you agreed to the ToS, you also agreed that we retain copyright along with you. We don't claim exclusive copyright, and you are free to publish your content anywhere you see fit.
  3. Steve_C

    Steve_C Contributor Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    Copyright protection only works in your own backyard. I have written several technical books published in the US and Europe. They are copyrighted. However, nowadays within a few months people can find and download free copies from web sites. The sites, if you can trace them, are Eastern European or Asian. Even with the efforts of major international publishers and their lawyers it is impossible to stop them. I imagine pictures are the same.

    An interesting question is where is the revenue stream to pay for this. Since no money is ever paid it makes me suspicious about what else they are downloading to your computers.
  4. Clark Fletcher

    Clark Fletcher Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hickory, NC
    This thread only demonstrates why we have intellectual property lawyers who do nothing but deal with copyright law.
    RyanT likes this.
  5. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    The stock answer is that a "copyright is a bundle of rights." There is a right to reproduce a work, a right to create derivative works from the original work, and others. A copyright owner can transfer or license any subset of those rights to others. The original creator of a work owns all the rights in the bundle until he transfers or licenses some or all away.
  6. HowardE

    HowardE Diver Staff Member

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boca Raton, Florida
    As do I.

    This is also why on any website that we build, we repeatedly ask the client if they actually have the right to use the photos they're providing to us. In one case, we had someone who didn't have permission, and they were sent a bill from Getty Images for $400.

    Additionally, I advise my clients to NOT worry about tagging their images with SEO friendly Alt tags, or names, as the google image search is just a place for people to reuse images without permission. Very few people actually click the search to see images that are "labeled for reuse"

  7. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    Ok, yes, there can be joint copyright holders, such as in the case of jointly produced work. "Typically" one entity owns the work and then is free to license that work, under whatever agreement they choose, to a second party. That license can be as restrictive as a "one time use" or range all the way to a completely unrestricted use in perpetuity. I haven't read SB's TOS regarding copyright. The way this sort of thing typically works is that the original creator agrees to transfer ownership of intellectual property and then the new owner, effectively grants the original creator an unrestricted license to use the material. This is a common practice in academic publishing, for example.

    I should have read SB's TOS on this though. If I had realized I was transferring copyright, I never would have posted anything. My contributions are incredibly valuable on the open market; I didn't realize I was making the chairman rich! :rofl3:

    In all seriousness, regardless, as @Clark Fletcher said, the details can muddy quickly, which is why there is the entire field of intellectual property law.
  8. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    In case you or anyone else missed it, this is what the ToS currently says:

    You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content.

    (my emphasis in bold). I had never looked at the ToS until now (DOH!--and they made me a mod), because I come here to talk about scuba not law, but this is exactly what I expected the ToS to say.
  9. Rred

    Rred Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    Well, the ToS could be called an adhesion contract or otherwise unilateral document with no negotiating (contracting) being possible, and thrown out in many jurisdictions. That's a debate for another day, I'm only trying to make it clear that regardless of the ToS, the board has compilation copyrights--which are not "the" copyright to any material itself.

    The advice that 'we" (a forum group on a much larger online service) got from a leading intellectual property legal firm, was that we automatically had "compilation copyright" and could retain and republish the complete threads that had been posted. That's something very different from 'copyright' in general, which remains with the creator, until and unless LEGALLY and properly transferred or assigned otherwise. That's law in the US, before any question of ToS or contracting is involved.

    As a forum, scubaboard has the *compilation* copyrights. That is, the copyright to the compilation of messages. That in itself doesn't give them the right to re-sell or re-purpose any one member's message(s) in and of itself, by itself. So while the board could publish and sell "The best of scubaboard annual", the board could find it problematic is they sold t-shirts with "DeepDiverDaveys" most pithy original cartoon and comment, singly..

    Copyright law, like poker or golf, is really very simple. Which is why lawyers are so often required to clarify it. (sigh)

    The US Copyright and Trademark office has long had outstandingly simple and clear brochures available on all this stuff.
  10. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    Not "regardless" but in addition to. A board's ToS could conceivably modify the right to a compilation. It all depends how it's worded and gets interpreted if it's ever litigated. As always, no matter what something says, if money or ego is at stake, all bets are off. The good thing is that most people don't care about posts they leave on Internet forums.

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