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Copyright laws with thirdparty (users) comments

Discussion in 'Copywriting & Sales Persuasion' started by Artema, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Artema

    Artema Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I move my question here as I think this subforum is the better place for my question.

    I have a page where users can post their reviews about trips, food, places... I've realized that another website is copying automatically this user's comments and publishing as their own user's comments. They are just stealing the comments, nothing I write/generate.

    Can I do something to stop this? If the users post their comments on my website, am I the legal owner of these comments and can I claim copyright for them or not? Can this person get banned from adsense for this?

    I guess its hard to prove the owner of the other website stole my comments and not the users posted the same comments on his website?

    Thank you in advance.
    Regards
     
  2. bryanon

    bryanon Executive VIP Premium Member

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    It mainly depends on your site's Terms & Conditions, as well as the jurisdiction that you operate in.
    I'm not too sure about the US but in most of mainland Europe, you can claim ownership of user-generated content in your site's terms of service. If/when you've done this, it is relatively easy to send a copyright infringement notice to the owner/host of the copying website and have them take the stolen content down.
    You need to be aware, though, that claiming ownership over user generated content also means that you agree to take responsibility for this content. So if your users submit anything that is illegal or stolen/copied in the first place it is your responsibility, rather than theirs - which is the reason why most sites aim towards making it clear that user generated content is NOT owned by them, rather than the other way around.
     
  3. Artema

    Artema Newbie

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    That's a very good answer. Sound very reasonable.

    Regarding the jurisdiction that I operate in, do you means the country where I live? or the country of the company that hosts my webpage? I guess hosting my webpage in Cocoa Island is not the same as hosting it on the US or Sweden?