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(Message started by: A. Nony Mouse on Aug 18th, 2005, 5:01am)

Title: Forum/BB Postings
Post by A. Nony Mouse on Aug 18th, 2005, 5:01am
This is a GENERIC question, and I know specifics are devilish but I'm looking for a principle here.

If a member with no other business relationship joins a free net-based forum and posts messages there, does the member or the forum have IP rights in the messages' content?  The forum sign-up agreement and rules are silent on this, but they do assert the forum owners' right to delete messages found offensive, etc.

Title: Re: Forum/BB Postings
Post by mactheknife on Aug 18th, 2005, 9:01am
The general rule is, if you write something, you own it unless you transfer it by written agreement or operation of law (for example, bankruptcy or inheritance after you die).  So, if neither of these things have occurred, you own what you wrote.  That said, I hear a follow-up to your question coming...

Title: Re: Forum/BB Postings
Post by A. Nony Mouse on Aug 18th, 2005, 9:04am
If you insist...  ;)

No, no more questions at this time; that was what I thought and that's how I am going to assume.  

My dealings as the author with the site are still informal if not amicable, but he doesn't want to "lawyer up" any more than I do.

Title: Re: Forum/BB Postings
Post by julie on Aug 19th, 2005, 1:40am

I posted a message on a Yahoo group, regarding an upcomming bill in CA.  Someone took my message and used a lot of my sentences along w/ their own ad is making it as theirs and sending it as a letter to the editor of one of the local news papers.

What can I do about this?  I am thinking of publically noting this, since this person copied it off of one forum and forward their letter to the editor to several others, including the one they saw my posting on.


Title: Re: Forum/BB Postings
Post by JSonnabend on Aug 22nd, 2005, 6:11am
What are your damages?

Title: Re: Forum/BB Postings
Post by jmccoy on Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:54am
no monitary damages that I can see.

The specific group/forum has on their opening page  "post copies of the letters you write for those without the same confidence in their abilities to use."  I was not aware of this when I posted my message.

It basically is the principle of the matter that someone took my written thoughts and placed it in their letter to the editor with out my permission.

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