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Rapscallion 01-12-2012 06:03 AM

Copyright issues
There's a potential threat to every website out there under the SOPA legislation. This is not a debate or argument, it's an acknowledgement of the potential for that legislation to make life very difficult for this site.

You know, to the extent of taking the site down and stuff.

For years, in the same way that everyone else has managed, we've been content with links to articles and a small snippet of text quoted from the linked article etc. This was done under the auspices of 'fair use' in the copyright legislation. It's not a right, but rather a defence in case someone got shirty. That's a risk that's proved to be worth taking.

However, with the potential for SOPA coming along and buggering up all the fun, we've got a situation where this site could be taken offline for one member doing just that. In short, if you're linking an article, please don't post copy from it as well. If we see it in future, we're just going to erase the copy and paste, more or less on sight until we know more about what we're dealing with.

Quite frankly, there's no point in giving us all a link and then pasting what it says there anyway.

We're approaching a million posts. I don't want to have to trawl through the archives to edit out anything containing copy from other sites, you know what I'm saying?


fireheart 01-12-2012 08:38 AM

What about pictures?

Dave1982 01-12-2012 10:08 AM

This applies to ANY and ALL copyrighted material. Text, pictures, video, etc.

As the site rules say, if in doubt whether something is copyrighted or not, it's best to assume that it is.

Rapscallion 01-12-2012 10:46 AM

Linking to it on someone else's site is fine - that's their problem. Mwahahahahaha!


Pedersen 01-12-2012 03:47 PM

Even that might be iffy. In some cases, even linking to infringing material has been determined to be as bad as hosting it yourself. 2600 magazine used to link to sites that would allow you to download DVD decryption software (named DeCSS), but a judge ruled that was the same as hosting it yourself.

Other variations on the theme have been heard around the world, too. As such, even linking to copyright infringing material might have a nasty effect, depending on how far these laws wind up going.

Andara Bledin 01-12-2012 05:28 PM

The gist of SOPA is that content providers become judge, jury, and executioner and are given the power to force sites to be taken offline entirely over even a single claim of infringement. And they can go straight to the host to do it, too.

Basically, anything that isn't original content is a potential threat, as SOPA gives copyright holders the right to force people who are only very peripherally involved to act on claims without any proof that those claims have any validity.


MoonCat 01-13-2012 01:13 AM

There are online petitions against this regulation that you can sign. I don't have a link but I wouldn't think they'd be to hard to find.

sms001 01-13-2012 01:22 AM

Avatars too?

Dave1982 01-13-2012 10:08 AM

The avatar issue is actually a good point, as probably every avatar on the site has been lifted from somewhere or otherwise contains something that could be or is copyrighted, mine included (not counting the personalized avatars many members have had custom made).

However, we've had to delete some Fratching posts from this thread already so I've closed it. If there are any further concerns they can be addressed with the mods privately.

Dave1982 11-25-2014 05:48 PM

Bumping this one up. SOPA/PIPA may have been defeated, but it's still against our site rules to copy and paste material in its entirely from other sites. You need to provide a link to the original material - or a proper citation if that isn't possible - rather than just copying it into a post.

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