All material on this site, unless otherwise stated, is copyright © Jon Dowland 2019, all rights reserved.

comments

By submitting a comment on this site, you are agreeing to transfer ownership of your comment to me. The comment is then incorporated into the page to which it references and is covered by the copyright of that page.

This might sound controversial, but my reasoning is thus: I think comments are very important. In some cases, comments might contain corrections or similar material that I would like to incorporate back into the main article. This would be the only practical way to achieve this. I also would like to ensure that I can keep comment material alongside that from which it stems, irrespective of what I might do with that material in the future.

I do not intend to use ownership of a comment to defame or otherwise mis-represent the original author’s opinion, but you only have my word on that.

The only exception to the above rule is comments on this page: if you disagree with this policy then you have the right to comment on this page without transfering ownership of your comment.


Comments

comment 1

paragraph redacted

Your current policy, transfer of ownership, means you can do whatever you want with the comment text and the comment text falls under the license of your site. As your site is "all rights reserved" that means the comment author is prohibited from using their own comment's text elsewhere without requesting and being granted your permission. I will not be leaving any remotely complex comments on your site while that is the case.

Essentially every site that accepts submissions of user-generated material includes boilerplate language in the terms of service that requires submitters do one of two things:

  1. grant the site owner an irrevocable license to use the submitted user-generated material for any purpose the site owner desires
  2. release their submission under a permissive license or even to the public domain

I would suggest you employ one of these approaches.

Comment by Anonymous,
comment 2

Thanks for your comment. I've chosen to redact the first paragraph, drawing a comparision between this site's policy and a YouTuber of ill repute. Your argument is strong enough without it.

Your current policy, transfer of ownership, means you can do whatever you want with the comment text and the comment text falls under the license of your site.

Correct. I originally wrote this in 2008. My intention at the time was to be sure I had a right to reproduce people's comments. At around the same time I had started trying to figure out how I would go about licensing the content on my site. My desire then (and now) was to do so under some kind of free content license, but at the time I thought I was going to need to go through all my old blog posts (etc.) before slapping a blanket copyright statement over them, to be sure I wasn't going to misrepresent someone else's content (e.g. photos, pictures). I never did perform that audit.

I think one of the reasons I went with a copyright-assignment rather than license-grant scheme was that I wasn't sure which content license I wanted to go with, and the former model gives me the ability to change in the future. However, I'm not generally comfortable with copyright-assignment in Open Source Software, and it's not reasonable for me to expect people to be comfortable with it in blog comments either.

As your site is "all rights reserved" that means the comment author is prohibited from using their own comment's text elsewhere without requesting and being granted your permission. I will not be leaving any remotely complex comments on your site while that is the case.

I'm not certain that your interpretation is correct, here: but I'm not certain it's not, either; and if you are right, then this is a very unintended consequence.

I would suggest you employ one of these approaches.

Thank you for your suggestion. Your comment has spurred me to finally resolve this matter properly. I intend to both apply an open-content license to the whole site, and switch to a license-grant scheme as you describe, in the near future.

Jon,