||10-08-2004 05:46 PM
Posting of rankings from other sources, copyright info
Rankings are copyrighted by their respective publishers. They can not be posted here unless it's done in a way that complies with copyright laws. Simply posting rankings to provide information to others is copyright infringement. We also do not permit our boards to be used as a vehicle to circumvent copyright laws, that is permitting posts that solicit copyrighted material whether it's text, software, media files etc.
Unless you have permission to republish copyrighted content, your posts containing such much adhere to the "Fair Use" exemption in US copyright law.
This is a brief description of "Fair Use" (reprinted with permission).
The "fair use" exemption to (U.S.) copyright law was created to allow things such as commentary, parody, news reporting, research and education about copyrighted works without the permission of the author. That's important so that copyright law doesn't block your freedom to express your own works -- only the ability to express other people's. Intent, and damage to the commercial value of the work are important considerations. Are you reproducing an article from the New York Times because you needed to in order to criticise the quality of the New York Times, or because you couldn't find time to write your own story, or didn't want your readers to have to register at the New York Times web site? The first is probably fair use, the others probably aren't.
Fair use is usually a short excerpt and almost always attributed. (One should not use more of the work than is necessary to make the commentary.) It should not harm the commercial value of the work -- in the sense of people no longer needing to buy it (which is another reason why reproduction of the entire work is a problem.)
(n/a paragraph re:usenet removed)
The "fair use" concept varies from country to country, and has different names (such as "fair dealing" in Canada) and other limitations outside the USA.
Facts and ideas can't be copyrighted, but their expression and structure can. You can always write the facts in your own words.
We do NOT consider posting copyrighted material simply for others to comment on as Fair Use. If you wish to post such material you must offer the commentary and critique in your original post, and then others may comment on it. You should post no more than is necessary to offer the commentary/critique. Simply saying this list sucks, or #24 should be ranked higher isn't going to cut it as reason for posting an entire list. All works have commercial value regardless of whether they require a paid subscription or are free to view. At HF's our "free" content is supported by advertisers. If it's allowed to be reproduced everywhere else, there's no incentive to buy ads.
As a practical consideration when posting rankings the easiest way to comply with copyright law is to post short groupings of lists so you can offer adequate commentary and comply with fair use. You can certainly post #1-10 or #11-20, etc. of rankings as long as you offer thoughtful commentary about it. Just don't do something like, "Here's the list, comments?"
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