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Thread: Non-Photog forum terms of use

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    Non-Photog forum terms of use

    Just been made aware of the terms of use on another non-photography related forum. Hidden amongst the content section, not photo posting section where I thought it would be, was this:

    Copyright is transferred to xForum of material submitted onto the xForum website and you grant xForum a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right (including any moral rights) and license to use, license, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, communicate to the public, perform and display the content (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, for the full term of any Rights that may exist in such content. You also warrant that the holder of any Rights, including moral rights in such content, has completely and effectively waived all such rights and validly and irrevocably granted to you the right to grant the license stated above.
    Although I don't completely understand the full implications of what it says, alarm bells went off when I read it. Am I wrong in thinking that any posted photos via their uploading system/database, grants the owners the right to sell images for profit etc?


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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Terry, not being a legal eagle or anything remotely similar it does sound totally dodgy to me.

    I don't think anyone here would have a problem if you were to name the said site / forum so that others can check it out if only for their own self protection -------
    Andrew
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    I think the alarm bells are ringing loud and clear! It certainly looks to me like it's the long way of saying "we can do anything we like with your photos and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it"!

    Agree with Andrew - name and shame!
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    I don't think it needs 'name & shame', it just needs to be aware of.
    There is no such thing as a free lunch & to display your pics freely to the world has a cost.
    The site owner(s) has a right to recover costs the best way they think
    Col

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    No different to the T&C that Flickr, Facebook have/had.

    I reckon a lot of sites just grab the T&C from somewhere else and alter the site name and use it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colinbm View Post
    I don't think it needs 'name & shame', it just needs to be aware of.
    There is no such thing as a free lunch & to display your pics freely to the world has a cost.
    The site owner(s) has a right to recover costs the best way they think
    Col
    Your not saying that its OK. are you ?
    Big difference in being honest and being dishonest, by making it difficult to find T&C or by wording them in difficult to understand language they are dishonest in my opinion. Why would,t they put this information on the front page in big bold lettering ?
    Last edited by atky; 16-01-2011 at 8:16pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atky View Post
    Your not saying that its OK. are you ?
    Big difference in being honest and being dishonest, by making it difficult to find T&C or by wording them in difficult to understand language they are dishonest in my opinion. Why would,t they not put this information on the front page in big bold lettering ?
    If you want to ride on someones back, you have to feed them
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    Ah, but don't led me to believe its free and then take something off me as payment.

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    We don't live in a free world
    There is no such thing as a free lunch, never
    Internet be aware always
    Col

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    Deplorable....but...as Rick said millions post to sites like this every day with no care in the world...and even if you explain the conditions still dont care.
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    The T&Cs are pretty common - a search on "a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right" turns up heaps of sites (at least first 4 google pages) with the wording from your site. Hence, I don't think "name and shame" is relevant, too many others have the same clause.

    I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me I would not be posting any images there. It seems a pretty broad clause, and IMO it should be objected to (on any site where it appears).
    Regards, Rob

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    My guess is that in the majority of cases, the basis for this rule is to allow the site to continue to use any content you upload on the site, not generally sell it, profit from it etc. Take the case that a photo is uploaded to a site, then for some reason the photo becomes famous, and the photographer leaves the site, and moves on, due to increased business activity and lack of time to participate. The site promotes themselves as the 'place' where the famous photo first appeared (which is true and valid). The photographer now wants it removed from the site! This clause gives the site owners the right to continue using it.

    I doubt that there would be many photos that get used by the sites to make money for themselves.

    However, I agree that the wording of the clause could be improved, and is open to abuse in its current form.

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    Rick, certainly sites need T&C's that allow them to a) display images, b) keep displaying images and c) use images as site promotion. I am not so keen on the
    license, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, communicate to the public, perform and display the content (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed,
    part. I can see that a site may need "derive revenue or other remuneration from" if it earns income (but I'd like to see some indication that the images are incidental to that) and also "publish". However, as a whole, the clause seems to be giving a site the rights to do whatever they want with an image, and regardless of the fact that they probably won't, I don't like the idea that they could.

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    Agree Rob, and my guess is that even though that is there, the majority of sites wouldn't do so. As I said before, the wording is the same on most of these sites, so I would not be surprised if they just grabbed T&C from another site and just copied them, not really even understanding what they had, and the implications of it. But that doesn't excuse the fact that you are right, they could and some would use their rights in the clause and thus abuse the rights of their members.

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    Thanks all for the comments so far.

    Normally I wouldn't have a problem with these sort of terms, as I use the external hosting site that has terms that I like or just not post pictures that may be commercially viable (ie phone pics and poor p&s snaps). However, the site has recently introduced a 'no external image hosts' policy as well, which I don't entirely disagree with as it stops the old 'this image is no longer avilable on flickrbucketfish.com' appearing in old posts.

    Should also be said that the owners of this site regular submit articles to a monthly mag. As I read the terms posted they are able to use any image hosted by the site.

    Terry

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    What I find alarming, is the initial wording of the T&C's:

    Copyright is transferred to xForum of material submitted onto the xForum website and....
    does that mean that the creator of the image loses their right to the copyright of it, once uploaded to this site?
    If so, that would subsequently mean that the author of the image has no rights to use it as they will, and has to ask xForum for permission to use their own images!!

    as for the free world idea, I think it most certainly does exist, and there are many more websites available that allow free image hosting, without such drastic limitations(for the users).
    They make money from advertising and so forth(DPR's T&Cs aren't so draconian), as far as I'm aware deviant Art is also not so callous in their conditions.

    ...deviantART does not claim ownership rights in your works or other materials posted by you to deviantART (Your Content)...
    As with many sites, they do ask for non exclusive royalty free use of images, but no transfer of copyright of your images!!
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    That was also one of my concerns, AK. As it is not a photog forum, most members wouldn't be aware that 'handing' copyright to xForum means they no longer can legal use the images. That is how I initially read the teesnsees.

    For those that requested, I will not be naming and shaming this site as I am sure it is more a case of poor legal information and not an attempt to steal photos. I have been involved with the site for a while and the owners have always had the best of intentions.
    Last edited by terry.langham; 17-01-2011 at 2:16pm.

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    Have raised the issue with the site owner and they are looking into it. Apparently the wording was done by their legal advisor/solicitor to cover their own butt when using photos for internal/front page articles and site promotion, however I would say the legal rep isn't a specialist in copyright law. Is there someone here, or does anyone know of somewhere I could point them to for better information?

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    Yep! Julia Gillard or Tony Abbot, they're both lawyers and could keep the issue going for years. By then the site will be closed.
    In all seriousness - the Copyright Council.
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    IN my experience my photographic competition organisers would much prefer to use the same excuse of "oh this was all organised by our legal advisor" when in fact in most cases it wasnt, and the offending term was simply copied from another competition.

    Its easier and tidier for most of these terms to simply grab everything - sort of leaves nothing to chance. Its a bit like using a nuclear bomb to clear up some dog poo when a simple trowel and plastic bag would do the trick.

    However, there is a definite percentage of places like FB and Flikr have - because there is nothing like a free lunch, and its a deliberate act by some to gain.

    But then there is also a very large percentage of people who reuse the dodgy terms like these and simply rely on people not reading them (very few do anyway), and just want to cover themselves from any potential claim.

    I'd suggest to them, that with Ricks blessing of course, they they review the similar term on this forum (and many other reputable sites) and use that - after all they've clearly copied the term from somewhere else.

    As it stands at the moment, if its not changed, its a site to both stay away from, and also raise the issue publicly. I dont quite understand why people are so shy about questioning something when it simply "isnt right". If more people were asked in public why they were doing something that wasnt "right", then there would be less doing the wrong thing
    William

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