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Fair Use and Fair Censorship


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Posted by Bob on February 03, 2001 at 19:36:34:

I participate in discussions on a sports related forum and there has been a controversy arise that I find interesting from a legal standpoint. I'm just looking for opinions since I'm not a direct party to either of these issues.

Both issues involve a pair of web sites, let's call them Site A and Site B. Site A was the original site web site and, after a dispute, Site B was created by people formerly under the employ of Site A.

While there was no legal action arising out of this, there seems to be some animosity between the owners of the two sites - which, by the way, share striking, but perhaps understandable similarities.

Two incidents arose that I thought were interesting. Both involve postings to Site A's message boards.

1) Site A chose to delete postings by users that referenced Site B - but did not delete posts referencing other sites that might be viewed as competitor sites.

Question: Could this raise a potential legal problem?

2) Both sites have editorial 'Rumours' sections wherein they post (clearly labeled) rumours about the goings-on within the sport. One user of Site A complains that his posting to the Site A message board was published "almost verbatim" on Site B's Rumours Page.

Question: Assuming the user is correct, does this fall into "Fair Use" or has the poster of the message been wronged.

Thanks,
Bob



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