Comments on Registration Agreement

This forbids us from posting copyrighted material even if we have obtained the permission of the person who owns the copyright. That sounds extreme and unnecessary.

What exactly is my ISP going to do if I open a thread on the SDMB looking for romance? Kiss me? The “P” in ISP does not stand for Police.

I hadn’t noticed this before. The Reader has the epitome of a scary TOS. Why would they even want to reserve such a right? Can’t it be argued that this makes the Reader legally liable for the content of my postings? After all, not only are they publishing my postings, they own a nonexclusive irrevocable right to them.

1800 posts and you’re just now reading the Agreement. Nice.

Addressing your 1st and 3rd points, they both relate to the same thing. The Reader wants the right to (potentially) publish the stuff you post here. They aren’t saying they own the copyright, they aren’t saying you can’t post your own stuff elsewhere, they’re just saying that they want the right to publish it. Since you can’t give that right away for other people’s stuff, they don’t want you using it outside of ‘fair use’ (which would also cover any republishing they do). Simple.

FWIW, I do agree that the “we’ll tell your ISP” clause sounds a bit naive in this day and age, but was probably written when the Internet was younger and ISPs were more involved in monitoring good behavior.

That last one is at the bottom of every page in the forums. You’ve never seen it before?

You’re obviously a poor reader. When I said that “I hadn’t noticed this before” I clearly implied that I had read the registration agreement in the past.

There is a difference between reading something and noticing the absurdity of it. Specifically, I wonder about the motivations of the Reader that caused them to desire such a right over my work. It sounds evil to me, but may not have in the past. Get that, or would you like me to explain it in a third way?

The problem here lies in determining if the poster really has got permission to reprint from the copyright holder, or is just lying out their ass.

You “read” the agreement, but missed that part (which, as garygnu noted is at the bottom of every page) and I’m the poor reader? Okay.

Once again, you fool, I didn’t “miss” anything except the wide reaching implications and wondering why the fuck the Reader wants such rights.

If you are given the right to post a copy from the copyright holder, are not you now also a copyright holder, though a one with restricted rights?

No, not at all. You’re merely being allowed to use the copyrighted material. You have no rights of your own to that material.

I think it’s like borrowing a car. If you get permission, you can drive it. But you can’t sell the thing.

Looking at another part of the registration agreement:

Nitpicky I know, but it seems to me it should say that “A parent or guardian must register on behalf of users aged 13 through 17 and is responsible for…”. If little Billy asks me for $14.95 (or whatever the going rate is) in order to register and I give it to him and he registers himself, I think you’d have difficulty holding me to those terms since I did not see them (of course, the “I” refers to a hypthothetical parent, not I as in Canadjun); he is the one doing the registering and being presented with the agreement.

Obligatory IANAL, and even more so IANAUSL

I won’t speak for the Reader, but nearly identical language is often found on many other message boards I’ve been to (as well as my own) to allow the Board to display your posts, and to prevent you, if you’re banned or simply have a wild hair, from “demanding” that the Board owner remove any, some, or all of your posts.

I sincerely doubt that the Reader ever intends or even thinks there is a 0.0000001% chance that anything on here would be published by them.

As to them being “legally liable”…I think you’re misunderstanding things.

Bingo! (B-3, I-17, N-44, G-50, O-62, if you want to check.) Without that rule, if I posted somebody else’s copyrighted material and claimed, “They said I could,” the message board staff would be faced with the choice of either spending the time and effort to check up on my claim, or letting it go and opening themselves up to possible legal trouble if it turned out I did not, in factm have permission.

Well, except for the fact that they have already done so. In the last couple of SD books, there’s been little snippets of Doper postings at the ends of the chapters.

Why? If he made it to 1800 posts without reading the Agreement,all the way through, then it’s probably a safe bet that his own normal online behavior makes it unnecessary–i.e. he’s not a jerk. As far as I can tell most of the Agreement is just common sense and consideration.

But how would you know it is without reading it?

I find the fact that they keep our credit card numbers on record the most distrubing. NO good reason for them to do that. They don’t have automatic renewal systems, so they should delete our credit card information the moment our dues are paid. The rest, at least I found, to be rather standard.

There was a rather amusing pitting a year or two back about this issue. Someone got all worked up over this issue…ah, yes. “Fuck Chicago Reader for having the right to steal any idea we post here.”

So consider your company, there.

You guys are lucky. The first draft required an annual blood sacrifice to Cecil, and your firstborn son.

There’s a second draft?!