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1063

Review copyright issue
Topic by: autarch
Posted: November 19, 2003 - 9:08 PM PST
Last Reply: May 4, 2004 - 3:57 PM PDT

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author topic: Review copyright issue
autarch
post #1  on November 19, 2003 - 9:08 PM PST  
So the review page says this:

All submitted reviews become the property of GreenCine. We reserve the right to edit and/or amend submitted reviews.

Is Greencine actually claiming an exclusive copyright on all submitted reviews? I don't think I'll be writing any more reviews if that's the case. If you want me to contribute to the usefulness of the site (which is what writing reviews does), don't steal my work. I don't mind the edit/amend part, it's the ownership I object to.

How about changing this to saying that you claim a non-exclusive license to use the work in question?
dwhudson
post #2  on November 20, 2003 - 6:02 AM PST  
autarch, you might be interested in skimming this topic; thoughts?
Gradalis
post #3  on November 20, 2003 - 10:01 AM PST  
All submitted reviews...
Coincidentally enough, these terms are sitting on the desk of our attorney. Expect a revision in the days ahead.

resourcefully,
Jonathan Marlow
GC Content Acquisitions

hamano
post #4  on November 20, 2003 - 11:03 AM PST  
I've written a lot here, so maybe GreenCine can co-sign my next mortgage!
autarch
post #5  on November 20, 2003 - 5:41 PM PST  
> On November 20, 2003 - 6:02 AM PST dwhudson wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> autarch, you might be interested in skimming this topic; thoughts?
> ---------------------------------

It's the idea that GC will take it that bothers me. None of this is really based on any practical issue. I suspect that if I were to release a book of my film reviews that included ones I've posted on GC, I wouldn't get sued (that'd be some good press, "GC sues user for publishing own reviews"), and I doubt I'll ever publish such a book anyway.

To me, it's just a matter of ethics. I'm a big supporter of free software (free as in freedom) and the creative commons idea. I walk the walk, having released a ton of free software, and I like it when others play nice.

And since user contributions of reviews are a very important part of making GC a competitor in the rental-by-mail-via-web space, it seems not only unethical, but rather ungracious, to try to claim exclusive ownership over contributed works.

I'll look forward to seeing the new terms once they're posted.
rarcher
post #6  on December 2, 2003 - 8:16 AM PST  
doesn't the fact that greencine has these copyrights posted in the actually PROTECT your "work"?
otherwise, any clown could read anything in here, copy it and use it somewhere else as his/her own?

do you want the rights of your posts on the bbs too?
Cinenaut
post #7  on December 2, 2003 - 10:25 AM PST  
doesn't the fact that greencine has these copyrights posted in the actually PROTECT your "work"?
otherwise, any clown could read anything in here, copy it and use it somewhere else as his/her own?

do you want the rights of your posts on the bbs too?
hamano
post #8  on December 2, 2003 - 11:06 AM PST  
doesn't the fact that greencine has these copyrights posted in the actually PROTECT your "work"?
otherwise, any clown could read anything in here, copy it and use it somewhere else as his/her own?

do you want the rights of your posts on the bbs too?
© hamano
Cinenaut
post #9  on December 2, 2003 - 3:31 PM PST  
hamano
-- Cinenaut
dpowers
post #10  on December 2, 2003 - 5:33 PM PST  
> On December 2, 2003 - 5:34 PM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> that's a pretty good joke
> ---------------------------------
autarch
post #11  on December 3, 2003 - 4:22 PM PST  
> On December 2, 2003 - 8:16 AM PST rarcher wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> doesn't the fact that greencine has these copyrights posted in the actually PROTECT your "work"?
> otherwise, any clown could read anything in here, copy it and use it somewhere else as his/her own?
>
> do you want the rights of your posts on the bbs too?
> ---------------------------------

By default, anything you write is copyrighted by yourself, unless you explicitly agree otherwise (as with the GC review agreement).
autarch
post #12  on January 26, 2004 - 9:08 PM PST  
> On November 20, 2003 - 10:01 AM PST Gradalis wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Coincidentally enough, these terms are sitting on the desk of our attorney. Expect a revision in the days ahead.


Ping ...

So any progress on this? It hasn't changed. I'd like to write some reviews sometime.
stevendj
post #13  on January 28, 2004 - 8:08 AM PST  
> On January 26, 2004 - 9:08 PM PST autarch wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On November 20, 2003 - 10:01 AM PST Gradalis wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Coincidentally enough, these terms are sitting on the desk of our attorney. Expect a revision in the days ahead.
>

>
> Ping ...
>
> So any progress on this? It hasn't changed. I'd like to write some reviews sometime.
> ---------------------------------


Yeah, me too. For now I'm just posting occasional reviews to LiveJournal.
hamano
post #14  on January 28, 2004 - 9:18 AM PST  
We'd like to read your reviews... how about this, you can post links to reviews you've placed elsewhere, where your ownership is protected. Post a link as a "review" or go to this new thread and give us a link. This might be a good stop gap measure until the legal department at GC catches up.
IWhitney
post #15  on January 28, 2004 - 9:51 AM PST  
> On January 28, 2004 - 9:18 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> We'd like to read your reviews... how about this, you can post links to reviews you've placed elsewhere, where your ownership is protected. Post a link as a "review" or go to this new thread and give us a link. This might be a good stop gap measure until the legal department at GC catches up.
> ---------------------------------


That's what I've done. If it's a movie I've written a longer review of, I put an abbreviated version in GC and link to the full version. Protects copyright & adds site traffic. A one-two knock-out punch of love.
autarch
post #16  on January 28, 2004 - 5:22 PM PST  
> On January 28, 2004 - 9:18 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> We'd like to read your reviews... how about this, you can post links to reviews you've placed elsewhere, where your ownership is protected. Post a link as a "review" or go to this new thread and give us a link. This might be a good stop gap measure until the legal department at GC catches up.


EWAYTOOMUCHWORK!

I'll just wait. I'm not that desperate to post reviews. I just happened along a coming soon disc for a move that probably not too many folks here have seen (Chi-Hwa-Seon) and thought I'd post a review since it's such an amazing film.
artifex
post #17  on January 29, 2004 - 4:55 AM PST  
> That's what I've done. If it's a movie I've written a longer review of, I put an abbreviated version in GC and link to the full version. Protects copyright & adds site traffic. A one-two knock-out punch of love.

We'd love to have your movie review over at Everything2, also. Think of that site as a free, user-driven encyclopedia.
underdog
post #18  on January 29, 2004 - 11:31 AM PST  
Hey guys,

Sorry for delay with this. Our legal expert here on staff is actually away traveling for a bit. But what I can tell you is this: We actually did change the terms for reviews awhile back (at least the file itself). Unfortunately, before we can officially post the new terms, it is connected to something else being changed on the site (part of a "build") which was delayed. This all *should* be fixed within a week or two (we're told) so we just ask your patience. If you're uncomfortable posting a review under the current wording, feel free to wait until it is changed soon.

We have not forgotten!

Thanks again for your patience. Soon...

Terms of endearment,
Craig
autarch
post #19  on May 1, 2004 - 10:58 PM PDT  
Sorry for delay with this. Our legal expert here on staff is actually away traveling for a bit. But what I can tell you is this: We actually did change the terms for reviews awhile back (at least the file itself). Unfortunately, before we can officially post the new terms, it is connected to something else being changed on the site (part of a "build") which was delayed. This all *should* be fixed within a week or two (we're told) so we just ask your patience. If you're uncomfortable posting a review under the current wording, feel free to wait until it is changed soon.

We have not forgotten!


Are you sure you haven't forgotten? It's certainly been a while, and the terms remain the same.
Shaky
post #20  on May 2, 2004 - 7:34 AM PDT  
I came to this discussion late, but I would like to point out that you're all getting upset over nothing.

Greencine cannot take your work without compensating you for it. That's part of Title XVII of the United States Code, the part that covers copyright. Ever hear of the deals where someone sold the rights to a song or book for a dollar? The reason they make it a dollar, and not just make it a gift outright, is that for copyright to be transferred the owner has to receive compensation. No compensation? No copyright.

You can grant someone a license to use your work, and that's basically what you're doing when you write a review for Greencine. You simply give them permission to use it, and their agreement grants them license to edit your work as well. However, contrary to what they may put in their legal notice, they do not own the work and cannot own it unless you sign a contract that includes payment for the work.

The agreement is worded the way it is because lawyers know that they can word an agreement any way they want in order to manipulate the parties involved, but that if it were to ever go to court that the parts of the agreement that are contrary to law will be struck. If you go through the fine print of most apartment rental agreements, you'll notice plenty of language that is actually contrary to state law. Same with car sales contracts. You'll even see language that says that "if part of this agreement is found to be in conflict with state or Federal law, the remaining portion of the agreement will continue in effect," or something like that, to avoid having the whole agreement struck down by bad language in one part. The idea is that they put that stuff in there to manipulate you into NOT pursuing it in court, since you probably don't know the law and think the agreement is binding. Copyright agreements like the one Greencine has are no different.

So, don't worry about it. As soon as you have fixed your work in a tangible medium of expression (which means that you've written it down or typed it into your computer), you own the copyright to that work. Greencine can't just then claim ownership of it because of a notice on their site. You can reproduce your review wherever you want and do whatever you want with it, and Greencine can't do a thing. I seriously doubt they even want to prevent you from using your own work, but have just fallen prey to overzealous lawyers.
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