Who Owns the Info You Post on Forums?

Thread Title:
Who owns a post?
Thread Description:

Interesting topic as i've yet to develop much more than a rough set of guidelines here at Threadwatch.org

Joe asks:

Let's say a person (Joe) has been a member of a forum for several years and has made hundred's of posts. Many of the posts contain links and information that Joe no longer has on his computer but knew he could find with a quick search on the forum.

Now let's say Joe and the site owner had a disagreement and the owner of the forum deleted Joe as a member and blocked his IP from the site.

What rights does Joe have in retrieving the information in his posts from the forum?

Can he demand the site owner provide him copies of his posts? Can he demand that all posts he made be deleted from the forum?

Who has the rights to the information in those posts?

Some good information follows from rcjordan, Adrian and Respree


The Person who authored the thread

I believe the person who authored the thread owns the copyright. You want to do this for the simple reason that Threadwatch is only seen as a place for people to post their opinions, and not an necessarily an endorsement of those opinions.

That way, any legal issues that arise from somebody's potentially contraversial/ libelous thread is not the responsibility of Threadwatch, but the responsibility of the poster.

Interesting take..

Would that hold up legally grnidone?

I've recently updated the guidelines and am really making much of it up as situations arise. A legal disclaimer seems to be a very needed thing though...


In a nutshell, the posting member owns the copyright unless the member is in your employ for the purpose of posting on these boards.

Which raises the question "Do you have the right to edit/delete posts owned by other poeple?"

I would suggest adding to the guidelines something along the lines of :-

1) Posts are owned by the posting member and are the opinions of said member.
2) As part of membership, members grant Treadwatch.org licence to edit/delete posts as required in accordance with the guidelines.

This means you need to have your guidelines tight and solid.

As always, conault your lawyer.


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