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New quoting rules

Pull up a chair, have a biscuit - discuss the site and general questions about the LemonFool
ursaminortaur
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New quoting rules

#74854

Postby ursaminortaur » August 16th, 2017, 2:12 pm

melonfool wrote:I have removed discussion about moderation, which you are all aware is not to be done on threads. We have also removed quotes by the Independent - please read the rules, the updated rules (pinned in Biscuit Bar) make it clear that we will remove quotes where the organisation has said they do not allow it *regardless of the fair use rules*.

We are not going to list all those organisations, you can check for yourselves, but if you have not checked and we find that organisation does not allow quoting we will remove the post or the quote.

I would also add that the way to request that something does or does not happen with regard to moderation is to ask at the Biscuit Bar, or pm a moderator or admin. it is quite clearly NOT to just say "moderators stop doing that" as if we are doing it just to annoy you. I am moving house on Friday and exchanging contracts today so I can assure you categorically that I have better things to do than go around finding ways to annoy you.


I apologise for posting about this on one of the threads - I wasn't actually aware of the "Biscuit Bar" and thought it simplest to post about the issue on a thread where it had occurred. I asked politely whether you could stop removing such quotes as I had not seen the rule change. I'm sorry if that annoyed you.

The news stories that the independent publishes are published openly without the need to register or login and agree to any conditions. Hence the conditions you refer to above about an organisation not allowing quoting are an unenforceable contract term which undermines UK copyright law and in particular the concept of fair dealing exemptions to copyright such as that pertaining to reporting of current events

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/30

(2)Fair dealing with a work (other than a photograph) for the purpose of reporting current events does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that (subject to subsection (3)) it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

(3)No acknowledgement is required in connection with the reporting of current events by means of a sound recording, film [F8 or broadcast where this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise].


Hence I find it reprehensible that a site such as this would collude in this undermining of UK copyright law and would hope that you might reconsider this rule change.

melonfool
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Re: New quoting rules

#74856

Postby melonfool » August 16th, 2017, 2:23 pm

The rule was announced here:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6898

I think 'reprehensible' is a strong word. We are supporting publisher's right to do as they wish with their own IPR.

We have done some research into this and have decided (as far as I can tell, and Clariman will be able to give further input) that a low risk approach is best for TLF.

"The news stories that the independent publishes are published openly without the need to register or login and agree to any conditions."

The Independent's terms on their own website say they do not allow any copying.

"Hence the conditions you refer to above about an organisation not allowing quoting are an unenforceable contract term which undermines UK copyright law and in particular the concept of fair dealing exemptions to copyright such as that pertaining to reporting of current events"

I don't agree that automatically follows at all - for a start there is no 'contract' to be unenforceable. As 'fair use' is an exception to copyright all thie publisher is doing is reinstating its right to its own copyright.

The exceptions to the 'fair use' rule include:

"Has the use of the work impacted negatively on the market for the original work? If the creator or owner has lost potential revenue through the re-use of their work, it is not likely to be fair."

and it seems to me that it is likely that is the exception the Independent would seek to rely on.

If you would like to get into a legal battle or even just have a conversation about it with the Independent, then you are free to do so.

My understanding, and that of other moderators as you have seen, is to prefer NOT to do that.

However, Clariman will, I am sure, take your view into account.

Mel

ursaminortaur
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Re: New quoting rules

#74864

Postby ursaminortaur » August 16th, 2017, 2:46 pm

melonfool wrote:
The Independent's terms on their own website say they do not allow any copying.


As I said for any such condition to apply a contract needs to have been entered into - no such contract exists and hence the condition is unenforcable under UK law.

melonfool wrote:The exceptions to the 'fair use' rule include:

"Has the use of the work impacted negatively on the market for the original work? If the creator or owner has lost potential revenue through the re-use of their work, it is not likely to be fair."

and it seems to me that it is likely that is the exception the Independent would seek to rely on.


It is a standard part of copyright law that there is a balance struck. If you publish the whole or substantial parts of an article then yes you may harm the owner of the original work. However if you just publish small extracts - a couple of paragraphs, 100 words or so - from a large article then that is considered fair usage* and not considered to harm the owner especially if you post a link so that people reading the extract are likely to go onto read the original article.

* In the UK the concept is Fair Dealing rather than Fair Use which is the term used in the US. The UK Fair Dealing rules are somewhat stricter than the US Fair Use rules but in this case are very similar.
Last edited by ursaminortaur on August 16th, 2017, 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mc2fool
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Re: New quoting rules

#74866

Postby mc2fool » August 16th, 2017, 2:55 pm

The new rule pretty much kiboshes quoting from most, if not all, commercial news sites, as most will have T&C's like the Independent has.

The FT's conditions are rather curious, allowing you to publish the headline, a link, and the first 140 characters of the article. And for those thinking, oh bother, I'll just summarise it instead, well they have some rather picky rules for summaries .... https://help.ft.com/help/legal-privacy/ ... ht-policy/

The BBC is also rather curious in that it says you need to get permission to use any content from bbc.co.uk (http://www.bbc.co.uk/usingthebbc/terms/terms-of-use/ and go down to "*8 Using BBC Content") but then goes on to point you at a copyright exceptions page with a cute little video on the matter.

kiloran
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Re: New quoting rules

#74867

Postby kiloran » August 16th, 2017, 2:59 pm

I think TLF is a great resource, and it's clear that Clariman and Stooz have put in a lot of work to create and support it and want minimal risk. If they don't want to get dragged into the detailed meaning and interpretation of copyright law, and increase their potential risk, that's fine by me. I really cannot see the point of dragging out the discussion and taking up their time and the moderators' time.

Their site, their rules, and complying with the rules really has zero impact on my life.

Let's move on.

--kiloran

ursaminortaur
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Re: New quoting rules

#74871

Postby ursaminortaur » August 16th, 2017, 3:07 pm

kiloran wrote:I think TLF is a great resource, and it's clear that Clariman and Stooz have put in a lot of work to create and support it and want minimal risk. If they don't want to get dragged into the detailed meaning and interpretation of copyright law, and increase their potential risk, that's fine by me. I really cannot see the point of dragging out the discussion and taking up their time and the moderators' time.

Their site, their rules, and complying with the rules really has zero impact on my life.

Let's move on.

--kiloran


Sorry Kiloran,

But not being able to quote selected pieces of text from long articles means that discussions on current affairs etc will no longer be able to refer to them as evidence of facts. Discussions will degenerate into pure opinion pieces.

I for one always try to include links to back up my arguments. If I am no longer able to do that then I'm not sure it will be worth posting to these boards in the future.

Clariman
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Re: New quoting rules

#74876

Postby Clariman » August 16th, 2017, 3:22 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:But not being able to quote selected pieces of text from long articles means that discussions on current affairs etc will no longer be able to refer to them as evidence of facts. Discussions will degenerate into pure opinion pieces.

I for one always try to include links to back up my arguments. If I am no longer able to do that then I'm not sure it will be worth posting to these boards in the future.

TLF does not define the Ts & Cs of other website's that posters quote from. If you have a major issue with those websites, then may I suggest that you take up the argument with them, in the first instance.

In terms of practical ways around this, then how about giving a precis of an article or key point in your own words, followed by a URL link to the main article, perhaps drawing people's attention to the particular paragraph that you want people to read.

Clariman

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Re: New quoting rules

#74877

Postby kiloran » August 16th, 2017, 3:23 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:
But not being able to quote selected pieces of text from long articles means that discussions on current affairs etc will no longer be able to refer to them as evidence of facts. Discussions will degenerate into pure opinion pieces.

I for one always try to include links to back up my arguments. If I am no longer able to do that then I'm not sure it will be worth posting to these boards in the future.

I understand it may complicate our lives a little, but posting a link and paraphrasing the relevant section, or referring to "the 3rd paragraph" or whatever is surely a reasonable compromise.
Anyway, don't most discussions on boards like "Polite discussions" degenerate into pure opinion pieces already? Heck, many of them start as pure opinion pieces :)

--kiloran

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Re: New quoting rules

#74882

Postby mc2fool » August 16th, 2017, 3:53 pm

Clariman wrote:In terms of practical ways around this, then how about giving a precis of an article or key point in your own words, followed by a URL link to the main article...

kiloran wrote:I understand it may complicate our lives a little, but posting a link and paraphrasing the relevant section, or referring to "the 3rd paragraph" or whatever is surely a reasonable compromise.

Oooh, a precis / paraphrasing, eh? Well some sites have rules about that too. Are the mods also going to enforce the source site's rules for a precis/paraphrasing?

For instance an abstract of the FT's rules on abstracts would have to be a stand alone 30 word non-verbatim summary and follow other rules. (26 words, phew!) This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by mc2fool.

:D

melonfool
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Re: New quoting rules

#74893

Postby melonfool » August 16th, 2017, 4:37 pm

We will enforce them if we are notified of them/of breaches.

(Note, I did not quote you :D )

Mel

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Re: New quoting rules

#74896

Postby Nimrod103 » August 16th, 2017, 4:42 pm

melonfool wrote:We will enforce them if we are notified of them/of breaches.

(Note, I did not quote you :D )

Mel


Can anyone provide a short list of the main media sources which are now verbotten, and which are OK?
I had a quick look at the Telegraph T&Cs and I assume this is the phrase which covers it (apologies for copying it):

(2) reproduce, republish, modify, archive, distribute, store, archive or commercially exploit the Content without our prior written consent

I get the feeling this phrase might always have been there, but nobody took any notice before.

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Re: New quoting rules

#74897

Postby Gengulphus » August 16th, 2017, 4:42 pm

melonfool wrote:As 'fair use' is an exception to copyright all thie publisher is doing is reinstating its right to its own copyright.

No. By UK copyright law, they do not have the right to prevent the limited amount of copying done in "fair dealing" (*) quotes. They cannot reinstate a right that they never had in the first place, nor can any attempt to assert such a right for the first time succeed. And even if the copyright owner manages to make it part of a contract (which they might do as part of an agreement to let someone use their website), they cannot successfully assert it to prevent "fair dealing" - subsection (4) of ursaminortaur's link says that any term in a contract that attempts to do that is unenforceable.

melonfool wrote:The exceptions to the 'fair use' rule include:

"Has the use of the work impacted negatively on the market for the original work? If the creator or owner has lost potential revenue through the re-use of their work, it is not likely to be fair."

and it seems to me that it is likely that is the exception the Independent would seek to rely on.

I don't know where you got that quote from, but it doesn't actually look like a legal exception to me. It's not in the legislation ursaminortaur linked to, and the "not likely to be fair" wording is rather too vague to be a legal test. Furthermore, if e.g. a book is published claiming to be the definitive guide to subject X, and it gets a widely-read review that uses quotes to point out numerous factual errors in it, the sales of that book are likely to be seriously impacted by that review - but that's basically a prototypical case of why the "fair dealing" rule exists!

I suspect it's instead a rule of thumb: it indicates that it's likely that one or more of the actual legal limits on "fair dealing" has been broken. And so I suspect that what the Independent would seek to rely upon is the actual breaches of those legal limits, not that 'exception'.

Or indeed, it could be a rule of thumb about whether the copyright owner will bother suing for damages: if they haven't lost anything, they cannot win anything even if they do establish that it isn't "fair dealing".

melonfool wrote:If you would like to get into a legal battle or even just have a conversation about it with the Independent, then you are free to do so.

My understanding, and that of other moderators as you have seen, is to prefer NOT to do that.

Indeed, and I completely understand that. The site owners and moderators are volunteers, and I do not expect them to be willing to use the time and any other resources they volunteer on legal battles. Even if the copyright owner's attempt to enforce copyright is completely spurious because it's a "fair dealing" quote, arguing about it will use that time / other resources, and so I don't expect them to be willing to argue about it (**).

I should add that there are very definite legal limits on what is "fair dealing" quoting, and that I've seen a lot of quoting that breaks them. Probably the most frequently-broken one that I've seen is subsection (1ZA)(c) in ursaminortaur's link:

"(1ZA) Copyright in a work is not infringed by the use of a quotation from the work (whether for criticism or review or otherwise) provided that—
...
(c) the extent of the quotation is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used, and ...
"

I.e. quoting a long passage in order to comment on just one or two little bits of it (or indeed none of it at all in many cases I have seen!) is not "fair dealing"!

The net result is that it's often not at all obvious that the copyright owner's attempt to enforce copyright is completely spurious, which adds to the time / resources needed to deal with it in any way other than removing the material they object to.

To sum up, I completely agree that the approach being taken by the site owners and moderators is a reasonable one, and probably the only reasonable one given that it's all done by volunteers. But I do think it important that readers should not be led to believe that copyright owners can "reinstate their rights" to get legal protection from genuine "fair dealing" quotes of the copyrighted works, as defined in copyright law - they can't!

(*) Used instead of "fair use" because it's the phrase that actually appears in the legislation - I think the two phrases basically mean the same thing.

(**) That doesn't mean I think it's always a good idea to cave in to spurious legal claims - sometimes they need to be resisted, e.g. for freedom-of-speech reasons. But it does mean that I think it's purely up to those whose time / other resources will be used resisting them to decide whether it's such an issue.

Gengulphus

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Re: New quoting rules

#74898

Postby hamzahf » August 16th, 2017, 4:47 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:But not being able to quote selected pieces of text from long articles means that discussions on current affairs etc will no longer be able to refer to them as evidence of facts. Discussions will degenerate into pure opinion pieces.

I for one always try to include links to back up my arguments. If I am no longer able to do that then I'm not sure it will be worth posting to these boards in the future.


If one is lucky, a link url might describe the topic of the article. I tend to agree however, that feeling constrained from quoting small sections of an article is not beneficial. Paraphrasing can lead to bias, selective quoting can be problematic but at least conveys the actual content of a link to back up an argument.

I come from a scientific background where one's written work is deficient without citing references. If I have to think twice about what I can reasonably extract from such a reference (as pointed out even writing a precis may be problematic) then my posts will simply become opinion pieces. I prefer to share information rather than my opinion, so it is likely that my contributions will be far less frequent than even now.

Regards
Hamzah

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Re: New quoting rules

#74900

Postby melonfool » August 16th, 2017, 4:59 pm

I got that quote from the Government website, from the Intellectual Property Office - I would assume they would be reputable in the matter?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exceptions- ... ir-dealing

" the "not likely to be fair" wording is rather too vague to be a legal test."

I don't think TLF is interested in getting into any 'legal test', that's kind of the whole point.

Mel

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Re: New quoting rules

#74901

Postby Clariman » August 16th, 2017, 5:11 pm

To be clear....

Moderator Message:
Nothing major has changed at The Lemon Fool with regard to copyright


If a publisher allows selective, short quotations with URL links to the original article then that is fine by TLF. We expect that to remain the default position for most sources and our rules have not changed in that regard.

What we have added to the rules is a comment that says some websites (like the Independent) prohibit any quoting whatsoever. The owners and Mods of TLF do not have the time to research all the potential sources of your quotes, so we expect you to know the Ts & Cs of the sites that you quote from and to act responsibly and to abide by those Ts & Cs. Where we find out that you have not abided by them, we will delete the quotations. That is not carte blanche to do as you please - it is passing the onus to you the poster. Anyone knowingly breaking the Ts & Cs of the source website risks being banned from TLF. The same applies for repeat offenders.

Hopeful that should clear things up and allow everyone to keep their hair on :D

Clariman

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Re: New quoting rules

#74907

Postby Gengulphus » August 16th, 2017, 5:27 pm

Clariman wrote:In terms of practical ways around this, then how about giving a precis of an article or key point in your own words, followed by a URL link to the main article, perhaps drawing people's attention to the particular paragraph that you want people to read.

Not all that helpful a suggestion, I'm afraid - adaptations of copyrighted works can infringe copyright. E.g. if I took a maths textbook, followed the structure of its argument entirely but rewrote it all in my own words, I would very arguably be infringing the original author's copyright. I.e. you just replace legal arguments about whether a quote is "fair dealing" with ones about whether a precis is an "adaptation" (or "derived work" is another term I've seen used)...

Personally, I would go for a two-pronged approach. Firstly, expect people in general to be reasonable, including copyright owners. When spotted, get rid of (or cut down to size) quotes that don't look like "fair dealing" ones - anything that is a significant part of what its source says, anything that is not commented on or only has a small part of it commented on, anything that is unattributed. But don't go out searching for attempts by copyright owners to prohibit "fair dealing" quotes, and don't require users to do so: the law is pretty clear that they're unenforceable. Given that, reasonable copyright owners won't actually try to enforce them against genuine "fair dealing" quotes.

And secondly, if you do encounter a copyright owner who objects to a quote, don't waste time on trying to decide whether it's a "fair dealing" one or whether they're being unreasonable. Just remove the quote - it will mean that unreasonable copyright owners get their way when they're not legally entitled to, but nothing worse than that, and I strongly suspect it will be a lot less work than trying to enforce a "users must check their sources' terms & conditions" rule.

Gengulphus

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Re: New quoting rules

#74932

Postby dspp » August 16th, 2017, 7:25 pm

Gengulphus wrote:
Clariman wrote:In terms of practical ways around this, then how about giving a precis of an article or key point in your own words, followed by a URL link to the main article, perhaps drawing people's attention to the particular paragraph that you want people to read.

Not all that helpful a suggestion, I'm afraid - adaptations of copyrighted works can infringe copyright.....

Personally, I would go for a two-pronged approach. Firstly, expect people in general to be reasonable, .....

And secondly, if you do encounter a copyright owner who objects to a quote, don't waste time on trying to decide whether it's a "fair dealing" one or whether they're being unreasonable. Just remove the quote - it will mean that unreasonable copyright owners get their way when they're not legally entitled to, but nothing worse than that, and I strongly suspect it will be a lot less work than trying to enforce a "users must check their sources' terms & conditions" rule.

Gengulphus


In essence #2 is what has happened here. TLF have realised the Indie's over-enthusiastic claim to copyright. TLF have decided that we are not on some quixotic mission to take on the Indie in court. So TLF have just removed the quote. And to be clear TLF have tweaked their Ts & Cs about this and alerted board users. Some of whom have got in a huff as they think that TLF should be standing firmer on this as a matter of principle. The reality is that we (TLF, mods) have limited time, limited resources, and are simply trying to keep the TLF site out of harms way as best we can. In my opinion the best thing users can do is to not stalk off in a huff, to keep posting, and do their best to cooperate thoughtfully.

regards, dspp

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Re: New quoting rules

#74936

Postby stooz » August 16th, 2017, 7:45 pm

For my two pence - if the link to the article is posted on TLF then a discussion about it, that's all that's needed. If you want the context behind the debate on TLF- click the link and read the article. It does not need duplicating here. It only serves as laziness from clicking a solitary link.

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Updated quoting rules

#74939

Postby PinkDalek » August 16th, 2017, 7:53 pm

One thing that is clear from all this is that a number of posters do not read the Biscuit Bar, do not read the Announcements at the top of each board and probably don't spot the Rules have been updated.

How to resolve such things is well nigh impossible. Even with a separate Topic started (and locked) on each and every board, to say the Rules have been updated, they'll often be missed by those who use TLF by, say, only looking at the relatively small number of Topics shown at "New posts" under "Quick links".

It is similar point to the one I attempted to make regarding the use of Mod Boxes (which quite quickly moved off-topic):

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6630

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Re: New quoting rules

#74942

Postby hamzahf » August 16th, 2017, 7:56 pm

Clariman wrote:What we have added to the rules is a comment that says some websites (like the Independent) prohibit any quoting whatsoever. The owners and Mods of TLF do not have the time to research all the potential sources of your quotes, so we expect you to know the Ts & Cs of the sites that you quote from and to act responsibly and to abide by those Ts & Cs.


I tend not to read website terms and conditions in all their detail (seriously does anyone?), so made an initial query about the treatment of quotes from the Independent in reply to a post where I first encountered the moderators message. I have taken the point and will not quote from the Independent in the future, but it would be helpful as part of the sharing nature of such a site if people who know if a particular popular site is potentially problematic could make it known. I don't wish to create problems for the moderators of this site, but the assumption of fair use seems a reasonable default until I learn otherwise. At some point a site's restrictions may become apparent and whilst I accept TLF is not going to know about every website it should be possible for someone to quickly give pointers to general and financial news sources that we can quote from under the assumption of fair use.

From my perspective this falls under the umbrella of the contributors then being enabled to use this site without causing problems for the owners and moderators. I note Clariman's response and those of Gengulphus, but I remain of the view that some further guidance than what I quoted above might be helpful.

Regards
Hamzah


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