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Podium Charter Revision: Don't post entire articles or large blocks of text

thelnel52 2,385 2,588 July 27, 2010 at 11:58 AM
Dear Podiumites,

Thanks to copyright trolls like this guy [wired.com], we're going to have to change the way that you guys share news articles here in the Podium. To make a long story short, a lot of the stuff that gets posted in here is theoretically protected by the newspaper/magazine/website's copyright. This hasn't been much of an issue in the past, because most publishers simply appreciate the attention (and can't argue that the value of the copyright is being damaged with a straight face). Unfortunately, it seems as though the goal of these copyright trolls isn't to actually win a big lawsuit, but to force smaller sites to settle instead of hiring an expensive attorney to defend. Given the overriding principles of Slickdeals, you can imagine that we don't aim to rack up unnecessary attorney fees.

So, in response to this- we're establishing a new policy for pasting and linking articles:

From now on, posts should include the title of the original article, a link to the article, and your take (your own summary if you choose). Posts SHOULD NOT INCLUDE LARGE BLOCKS OF TEXT FROM THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. You can still quote from the article, but only use what you need to make your point (you guys are kind of doing this now by bolding particular parts- just quote what you might otherwise have bolded). Also, please err on the side of under-quoting.

I know that this will make things a little tougher on OPs, but I really do think that the extra bit of burden will (1) cut down on the number of lazy starts to threads, (2) help establish a focus for the discussions, (3) make threads less intimidating to jump into, and, most importantly, (4) help SD avoid being sued.

A similar note will be posted in the lounge.

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Joined Jun 2005
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#61
Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
skiman, by your standards it's in for a penny, in for a pound. Even an except would be a violation and infringement of copyright.
No idea what you are talking about. Excerpts have, AFAIK, always been allowed under copyright and I proposed no change to this standard. In fact, I proposed no change to any standard and no new system for copyright.

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
The above story excerpt was carried by the AP, as such it could be found in dozens if not thousands of news linkys on google.
Those links will direct interested consumers to authorized publishers.

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
Who rightfully earns the ad revenue for all those reproductions?
You mean revenue generated by the excerpts? An aggregator might attract enough traffic to sell ad space, but what it is selling is a service- legwork to gather and filter links- rather than selling content of the sites.

Drudge is an example of this.

As far as it concerns the original creator of the excerpted content, there is virtually zero market for excerpts, and as a result, no potential to harm the market.

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
And again I state for the record, research on news we use here, more than 30 days old, is already past it's "sell-by" date.
Nobody is using it to produce profit, not even the original source, though the company line is that copyright must be jealously guarded to insure all rightful revenue returns to the copyright holder.
What you are essentially saying is that there is little demand for the content, other than the demand you are creating. However, the cause of the demand isn't relevant. The fact of your demand is evidence of the content's value- to you if to no one else.

Ultimately, and rightly, it is up to the rights holder, rather than to you, to determine when the content is no longer valuable and no longer worth preserving. Even if there is just a little trickle of traffic generated by the content, it is their traffic to capture.

On a side note, the shelf life of news is not as short, as it used to be in the days of paper news. After all, our searches return results weighted far more heavily toward content than timeliness. That's precisely how you found the outdated article in the first place. And how every person looking for the same information will find it.


Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
By the time a story is a month old, there is no way to verify the content is on an authorized site or if it's on a site that swiped it already and gave due credit to the author and wire service but does not subscribe to that service or pay any royalties.
There is no way to be certain. However, there is a way to be 100% certain that you are not diverting interested consumers from the rightsholderSmilie

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
If I post an excerpt and do NOT use any linky, who would click to find it then?
Perhaps only the salient point is necessary to my OP and I do not need the entire article.
How much traffic would then be generated?
Oh dear me, I just deprived the author of profit. laugh out loud
Perhaps a brief excerpt would satisfy your needs and those of your audience. However, this is not typically true.

At any rate, it's well accepted that reasonable excerpts do not constitute infringement.

Note the use of the word "reasonable." Yes, it requires judgement to determine how much copying is reasonable. Best to err on the side of caution, lest your reasonableness be tested in court.

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
I maintain that MORE revenue is produced for the copyright holder if the entire article is reproduced in order to facilitate those who would do research, than using an excerpt and a linky for those who wouldn't read it all anyway even if you did post it in full.
I disagree. Maybe I'm just not paranoid enough, but if the whole content is available in front of my face I'm not likely to go look for it elsewhere and read it again.

At any rate, whether most people are like me, satisfied with a single reading, or interested in reading again from an alternate link, it does not matter.

Rights holders who see your side of things are quite entitled to release their content to be freely copied. However, you are not entitled to make that choice for them.

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
Hell, I can't even get people to read MY original content - they often comment it's too long to read and my posts are often shorter than the articles we discuss.
Yet you think that they will be more inclined to make the extra effort to click through to a new site to consume the same content?Confused

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
In the end the ONLY criteria for assessing damage should be the intent of the end user.
If it's posted to a blog which displays ads for profit, the content conceivably enables revenue generation.
If it is reproduced for the purposes of educational debate, then no copyright violation - of which damage is a necessary component - has occurred.
Intent is a murky business, which is why we rely so heavily on outcomes.

And, of course, both the site from the case in question and Slickdeals/The Podium do sell ad space to pay the bills. We come primarily for user-generated content. That is the primary source of value to ourselves as consumers.

However, I happen to have hard proof that you believe that including full articles adds value and makes The Podium a more compelling and desirable destination. Wink

The problem is that the value added is derived from the original content being reproduced. The value belongs to someone else.
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bulb TIP: To avoid the stigma of literacy, listen to audio books.
#62
Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
The above story excerpt was carried by the AP, as such it could be found in dozens if not thousands of news linkys on google.
Who rightfully earns the ad revenue for all those reproductions?
Wouldn't all of those people who rightfully post the AP's IP pay some sort of fee for the priveledge to do so?

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
Nobody is using it to produce profit, not even the original source, though the company line is that copyright must be jealously guarded to insure all rightful revenue returns to the copyright holder.
Or those who license the copyright priveledge, no?

Quote from Anonymouse View Post :
Oh dear me, I just deprived the author of profit. laugh out loud
Why should profit matter? What if a holder of a copyrighted good just doesn't want a capitalist company like slickdeals using their IP on their site?


Also, I asked this earlier but didn't get a response from any mods: If a person wants their ideas spread and doesn't care about (or believe in the moral justification of) copyright (just wishes to be sited to avoid the suspicion of plagerism), can or should we be able to post the entire article on the podium?
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#63
Quote from skiman View Post :
The Slickdeals service we are enjoying right now is ad supported. Look at the top of your page.

The fact that there are other types of content which generate traffic is irrelevant to the fact that the content of this forum generates traffic and revenue.
Nono2 This forum generates traffic. You have no evidence that it generates revenue. The Hot Deals forum, now there's a forum that we all know generates revenue.

Quote :
Very few of that articles republished here would get a pass on this point. Apply the same standard that you must use when avoiding plagiarism. You can reproduce facts without attribution, but not interpretations or opinions on what those facts mean. The greater the ration of original thought to common facts the greater the sin to copy.
And to which the judge deemed that the article the blogger reproduced did not contain enough original material to be covered.

Quote :
Most articles here are protected for copyright, as most contain significant amounts of analysis that goes well beyond a shared set of facts.
I see a handful like that. Most articles that I see published are mostly factual.

Quote :
You simply misunderstand this. Stop and think about what you are saying here. It is utterly impossible to meet that burden of proof. I could sell burned copies of CDs for $1 a-piece outside of Tower Records and not meet that standard!LMAO
No, I'm not the one with the misunderstanding. I've actually done research:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2...ge=printer

Quote :
Were your misunderstanding of the standard actual law, it would end copyright altogether. Which, in turn, virtually eliminates the financial incentive to create content. This is why it's nonsense.

The rest of us will use a more sensible standard. It is reasonably assumed that if people are buying unauthorized copies then they would have payed at least the same price for an authorized copy.

This is a direct substitute, one replacing the other in the market and is therefore correctly said to have harmed the market for the original.
There's absolutely no proof that someone downloading a shared song would have bought it in the first place and it blatantly ignores the argument that file sharing increases revenue in some cases. It's plainly clear to see that oftentimes people download songs and such just to sample the song and never had any intent to purchase whatsoever. And then there are the people that are out to amass such a large collection, they have more music than they ever could have possibly afforded to purchase outright. It's simply greedy to assume that everyone that downloaded would have purchased and ignorant to persist in that argument after being told clear reasons why it's factually false.

You're just being disingenuous if you continue to claim everyone who downloads would buy.

Quote :
Hoping that a court will judge the nature of a republished article to be primarily fact is a VERY thin shield.
Roll And yet... We have Righthaven getting the smackdown not only on this point but several others.

I'm not the one with the misunderstanding here...

Quote :
Which should not be misread to conclude that the work in question is not protected by copyright.
The judge concluded that it is not protected under copyright in this case.
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Steve Gibson on password policies [grc.com]: I mean, I don't get this change it every eight weeks. ... It's not as if passwords are traveling by camel after they've been stolen, going to the bad guys, and so there's, like, some weird eight-week window, like, oh, we're going to change your password so that the stale password no longer works. ... And all this does is make IT people despised because users, who are not dumb, they think, why am I - why do I have to do this? What problem is this solving?
Joined Jun 2005
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#64
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
Nono2 This forum generates traffic. You have no evidence that it generates revenue. The Hot Deals forum, now there's a forum that we all know generates revenue.
Look at the top of the page.


Quote from redmaxx View Post :
And to which the judge deemed that the article the blogger reproduced did not contain enough original material to be covered.
No, he did not. This is your misrepresentation of what was written in the opinion and of long established copyright law.

There is no bright-line for copyright. It's not a question of eligible or ineligible, but of more or less protected.


Quote from redmaxx View Post :
I see a handful like that. Most articles that I see published are mostly factual.
Mostly? To what degree? How badly do you want to roll the dice that your judgement will agree with that of the court?

Respect the copyright.


Quote from redmaxx View Post :
No, I'm not the one with the misunderstanding. I've actually done research:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2...ge=printer
There's absolutely no proof that someone downloading a shared song would have bought it in the first place and it blatantly ignores the argument that file sharing increases revenue in some cases. It's plainly clear to see that oftentimes people download songs and such just to sample the song and never had any intent to purchase whatsoever. And then there are the people that are out to amass such a large collection, they have more music than they ever could have possibly afforded to purchase outright. It's simply greedy to assume that everyone that downloaded would have purchased and ignorant to persist in that argument after being told clear reasons why it's factually false.

You're just being disingenuous if you continue to claim everyone who downloads would buy.
Research is great, if it is relevant.

Such studies are certainly questionable, but the important and relevant consideration which you still fail to understand that this is not comparable to music piracy.

Taking something without paying for it and paying an alternative but unauthorized seller are two very different ideas. Selling bootlegs another thing still.

Again, it can be reasonably assumed that if a person pays an unauthorized party X for content, he or she would be willing to pay the same to an authorized party.

It is a direct market replacement. One-to-one.


Quote from redmaxx View Post :
Roll And yet... We have Righthaven getting the smackdown not only on this point but several others.

I'm not the one with the misunderstanding here...




The judge concluded that it is not protected under copyright in this case.
The judge did not conclude that the material is not protected under copyright. He concluded that RIghthaven (a) had no standing and (b) even if they did have standing, they had not made a case for compensation.

Just as in the other case we were recently discussing, this decision does not have the implications that you think it has. It was a smack at Righthaven, but should not be misconstrued as a license to republish material without obtaining the rights.

First, it is relevant to this plaintiff and this defendant only. The rightsholder may have sued this defendant or another with different results.

Second, the fair use question is preempted by the determination that Righthaven did not have standing. The rationale for fair use may have been different if the court were playing for keeps.

Third, the fair use rationale provided is, IMO, poorly reasoned. It fails to properly account for a number of factors, the biggest being the effect of widespread practice of the same behavior- i.e.- carte blanche for copiers under the banner of fair use. What does it mean for content providers and creators when they no longer have any rights to control use and re-us?

Fourth, it may well be that Righthaven simply botched the case. I have no way of knowing what arguments were or were not made, but the Judge came away with the impression that the case for harm was not made.

But that case is fairly easy to make, IMO.
X people visited MJS to read and discuss the article in question. X= viable consumers for the content.

Those are all page views that should have gone through the rightsholder.

Harm = Pageviews @ MJS * (the number of ads on rightsholder page) * (average revenue per page view/ad)

I'm sure this formula is incomplete, and could be refined by someone with better knowledge of traffic tracking. For example, by subtracting referrals to the rightsholder from MJS, to whatever degree that information is available.


And, of course, there's good old right and wrong. Don't copy other people's content without permission. For most, it's an asset that people create or acquire to make a living. If you and your online pals want to read the material, go read it from the people who own it and let them capture whatever revenue they may.
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#65
I have two quick comments on this.

First, we do get revenue from the 728x90 banner you see at the top of the screen. It's not a ton of money, but it's not zero either. Every time someone in here unsuccessfully tries to change someone else's mind, SD is getting some fraction of a cent.

Second, I agree w/ skiman and Dr. Wu. You can easily distinguish you guys cutting and pasting stories from the AP sending stuff out to local papers, because the local papers pay for access to those AP stories. Also, copyright law is fairly vague. There's a balancing that has to take place- an excerpt might be OK, might not. If it's for education use, that's a better, but not necessarily OK. If it's for profit- that's worse, but not necessarily fatal.

Righthaven's loss in this case doesn't suddenly open the door for widespread copyright abuse. The only thing we know from that case is that Righthaven didn't have standing versus that particular defendant. If newspaper A, acting on behalf of itself, suddenly decided to sue website B tomorrow under a similar set of facts, it's entirely possible that newspaper A would win.
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I'm giggin' on these deals, treat them like dominoes. I flip them on they back, and tell them vamanos.
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#66
I still don't agree (the judge specifically said online discussion is "OK") but apparently that's the end of that. Sadwalk
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#67
I didn't mean to kill the conversation, you don't have to do your sad face.
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#68
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/...n_browser/
Quote :
A lawyer for copyright troll Righthaven is declaring under penalty of perjury that an update to his computer's browser prohibited him from electronically submitting a legal filing before an angry judge's deadline.

...
Roll
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Annoyed
Quote from slickdeals View Post :
  1. Using quotes enables phrase search and it makes the order of the terms important. Thus "rotten apple" would return posts with "rotten peach & apple" but will not return "the apple is rotten."
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#69
Wonder if his copy of Windows is genuine... Scratchchin
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Quote from redmaxx View Post :
Wonder if his copy of Windows is genuine... Scratchchin
Who's?
Mine?
I should hope so, considering Steve Ballmer [microsoft.com] handed it to me personally at a seminar in Rockford, IL.
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#71
Okay, I'm going to be "that guy", but how the hell is mouse still the last guy to reply to this thread? I cannot be the only one that thinks about this sort of stuff....
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#72
Quote from thelnel52 View Post :
Dear Podiumites,

Thanks to copyright trolls like this guy [wired.com], we're going to have to change the way that you guys share news articles here in the Podium. To make a long story short, a lot of the stuff that gets posted in here is theoretically protected by the newspaper/magazine/website's copyright. This hasn't been much of an issue in the past, because most publishers simply appreciate the attention (and can't argue that the value of the copyright is being damaged with a straight face). Unfortunately, it seems as though the goal of these copyright trolls isn't to actually win a big lawsuit, but to force smaller sites to settle instead of hiring an expensive attorney to defend. Given the overriding principles of Slickdeals, you can imagine that we don't aim to rack up unnecessary attorney fees.

So, in response to this- we're establishing a new policy for pasting and linking articles:

From now on, posts should include the title of the original article, a link to the article, and your take (your own summary if you choose). Posts SHOULD NOT INCLUDE LARGE BLOCKS OF TEXT FROM THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. You can still quote from the article, but only use what you need to make your point (you guys are kind of doing this now by bolding particular parts- just quote what you might otherwise have bolded). Also, please err on the side of under-quoting.

I know that this will make things a little tougher on OPs, but I really do think that the extra bit of burden will (1) cut down on the number of lazy starts to threads, (2) help establish a focus for the discussions, (3) make threads less intimidating to jump into, and, most importantly, (4) help SD avoid being sued.

A similar note will be posted in the lounge.

Hi OP.


Just thought I'd ask you to speculate on our exposure to the copyright troll these days.
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#73
Sometimes articles are massive. And even with extensive editing, your points (quoted posts) may be a bit lengthy. Many read only that which is posted, and don't bother to check out the link as I'm confident you know.

It's somewhat difficult to post your view without a considerable amount of quoted text.

Can you elaborate which sites to avoid quoting?

I'd be interested in a response to Wu's post as well.

Thanks.
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#74
Quote from MadisonAlexa View Post :
Sometimes articles are massive. And even with extensive editing, your points (quoted posts) may be a bit lengthy. Many read only that which is posted, and don't bother to check out the link as I'm confident you know.

It's somewhat difficult to post your view without a considerable amount of quoted text.

Can you elaborate which sites to avoid quoting?

I'd be interested in a response to Wu's post as well.

Thanks.
I'm actually no longer with SD- I've just come back to the podium to continue on my quest to change one person's mind about something once. I think I'm getting close.

If you're still curious about my take, I have two (well one). On the legal side, I absolutely have not been following this issue, so my position is "I don't know" both to what the rule should be and which sites we should absolutely avoid quoting. As a poster, a consumer of information, and a person who attempts to be fair-minded, I like the rule as written and understood.

If I were in the content creation business, I would want to reap the fruits of my labor. I think that someone who copies an entire article is devaluing my work and diminishing my ability to reap those fruits. We all understand that it wouldn't be OK to just post a full version of Lethal Weapon 2 or a .pdf version of "You Negotiate Like a Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League" by Amy Trask on the site. The fact that an article is ad supported vs. having a price tag shouldn't change its protection.

Finally, I think that the work that it takes to avoid just block-quoting is actually important and desirable. Theoretically, that extra churning of ideas should push someone further from their initial emotional reaction and towards a more rational conclusion.
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#75
Quote from thelnel52 View Post :
Finally, I think that the work that it takes to avoid just block-quoting is actually important and desirable. Theoretically, that extra churning of ideas should push someone further from their initial emotional reaction and towards a more rational conclusion.
It's a little beyond that. The poster of late posts a link and the entire article. When mods are notified and the post deleted, the next time they post a link and the article save a couple lines. Next, save a paragraph.

When it is further pointed out that this is post-and-run trolling, next a single comment line is included, often not related to the article, or not addressing any particular point of the article.

Very infrequently does further discussion occur even when responded to directly, by multiple members.
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