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Talking about "don't be evil" as of late...

by fbbbb / May 23, 2007 10:29 PM PDT

I noticed that CNET reviews have this disclaimer under them.

"Please note: All submitted content becomes the sole property of CNET Networks, and may be used, edited or rejected at CNET Networks' sole discretion. You acknowledge that you, not CNET Networks, are responsible for the contents of your submission."

I don't have any qualms with either half of that paragraph, but I do have objections to both being in effect. If you claim my work as your property then I would suggest that the least you can do is to indemnify me for it. On the other hand if you insist that I take responsibility for my content then I would expect you at best to be a sole licensee of the content.

What do you think?

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An answer.
by udayan71 / May 24, 2007 2:22 AM PDT

Your first scenario has CNET accept both ownership and responsibility for whatever you post. If you post libellous things, under your suggestion, CNET is to blame.

Your second scenario doesn't work because you are using CNET's resources and their community. Furthermore the complications of the DMCA mean that everytime you post, you will have to expressly state that your suggestions etc. can be used without fear of a lawsuit from you regarding your copyright being violated.

As for evil, this is evil: adjective - profoundly immoral and malevolent and noun - profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, esp. when regarded as a supernatural force.

I find it impossible to say that CNET is or embodies any of those things.

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It's most definitely evil...
by Evil Penguin / May 24, 2007 5:01 AM PDT
In reply to: An answer.

I think the key to this argument is "All submitted content becomes the sole property of CNET Networks"...

Why isn't something like "You grant CNET full usage rights to any content that you submit" enough? Why does CNET demand ownership of the content?!

I don't really see a problem with giving CNET the right to use the content both on the site and possibly in some other way in combination with me still being responsible if it's illegal in some way or whatever.
What I have a problem with is that, as I understand it, can not retain ownership and the right to use it in whatever other ways that I want.

This actually has me seriously upset, can you give me some contact info to whoever I should contact about this?

If this can not be worked out I think I'm out of here for good, THIS IS EVIL!

I'll send an email to whoever

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incomplete sentence
by Evil Penguin / May 24, 2007 5:03 AM PDT

That last sentence should have been something like "I'll seend an email to whoever is responsible, if I can just find some contact info..."

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CNET is just like any other company
by bol_reality_check / May 24, 2007 5:12 AM PDT

CNET is a media company and has its team of lawyers like any other big company.

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Sure...
by Evil Penguin / May 24, 2007 5:15 AM PDT

Well, sure. It's not that I don't understand how this came into place.
It doesn't make it any less evil, though.

And while CNET probably doesn't care that some users are ticked off an leave, the whole thing seems really unnecessary to me.

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A possible way to protest...
by Evil Penguin / May 24, 2007 5:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Sure...
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(NT) (NT) I have passed your concerns to the powers-that-be.
by udayan71 / May 24, 2007 6:50 AM PDT
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(NT) Thanks, udayan71!
by Evil Penguin / May 24, 2007 6:52 AM PDT
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And I know for a fact that same language,
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 16, 2007 1:26 AM PDT

or something close to it, is in the user agreements of Compuserve (dating to when it was an H&R Block Company) and AOL, as well as the message boards on Yahoo and MSN.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Property of CNET...
by John.Wilkinson / May 24, 2007 2:07 PM PDT

I believe the issue circles around the idea that if Cnet has the right to use it, but you still are the proper 'owner,' then you would have ultimate control over how, when, and where it's used. Topics and quotes are frequently used in weekly newsletters, polls, etc, and they want to have complete discretion when it comes to using it without the need to contact you for permission. It also alleviates the concern that you may come back later, say if it is used in a major publication, and claiming they owe you something. Essentially it lets them do what they want without any strings attached. It really is a standard legal statement, particularly when dealing with larger companies, and isn't something I expect to be changed.

-->"If this can not be worked out I think I'm out of here for good, THIS IS EVIL!"
Note that the same clause is not given in regard to these forums. It's you're decision, but if you read the fine print you'll find many of the places you visit make similar statements so your hotspots may dwindle quite a bit.

John

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The clause is right there on the "Create a new thread" page!
by Evil Penguin / May 25, 2007 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Property of CNET...

The main problem I see is that I don't retain any rights to use the content I write and post here, which is just dumb.

And that exact clause is right there on the "Create a new thread" page in these forums, I suggest you go there before claiming that it's not relevant to the forums.

http://forums.cnet.com/5204-10152_102-0.html?forumID=97&tag=forum.fd

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(NT) Ah, my mistake. :(
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(NT) udayan71 is full of it
by abdmal9 / May 24, 2007 7:09 AM PDT
In reply to: An answer.
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(NT) And how did you come to that conclusion?
by Dirty Pirate / May 24, 2007 4:17 PM PDT
In reply to: udayan71 is full of it
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(NT) Pls don't post unless you have something of worth to say
by cyndymcc / June 16, 2007 4:11 AM PDT
In reply to: udayan71 is full of it
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Not sure about "full of it", but
by fbbbb / May 24, 2007 9:23 PM PDT
In reply to: An answer.

I don't think you read the post or the clause.

This was in the reviews section. Granted, a lot of that I see in there is speculative rubbish from people who don't even own the stuff they're commenting on, but nevertheless the fact that you could bring a well-searched review into there, have it modified in some way by the management and be open to a libel action from the manufacturer for example is a potentially evil thing.

In the most plain way possible, CNET effectively claims ownership and unlimited rights of all submitted material. In the next sentence however, CNET however renders the original poster fully responsible for the contents of the submitted message - in effect, any consequences arising from the use of the submitted message in any form.

As I said, there's absolutely no problem with either half of the paragraph *in isolation*. I have no problems with CNET owning all submitted content to do as they wish. On the other hand I will take responsibility arising from my posts if they are clearly mine and are effectively under my copyright. But not both.

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I hope this is useful.
by udayan71 / May 25, 2007 12:38 AM PDT
Curious about the issues you [and Evil Penguin] brought up, I asked about this specific part of the Forum policies on your behalf.

From what I gather, from those 'above,' the CNETNetworks.com Editorial Site Terms of Use are the overarching final say from CNET on the issue - I say that with one caveat: If you are still perturbed after reading the passage I have placed below, the link at the very bottom of my post puts you right in touch with CNET Membership Support.


From the Site Terms of Use: http://www.cnetnetworks.com/editorial/terms.html

Content on our sites
Our sites include a combination of content that we create, that our partners create, and that our users create. All materials published on our sites, including, but not limited to, written content, photographs, graphics, images, illustrations, marks, logos, sound or video clips, and Flash animation, are protected by our copyrights or trademarks or those of our partners. You may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, or in any way exploit any of the materials or content on our sites in whole or in part. If you would like to request permission to use any of the content on our sites, please review our copyright notice and visit our Permissions and Reprints page.

You are solely responsible for all materials, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, that you upload, post, e-mail, transmit, or otherwise make available on our sites ("Your Content"). You certify that you own all intellectual property rights in Your Content. You hereby grant us, our affiliates, and our partners a worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, transfer, transmit, distribute, and publish Your Content and subsequent versions of Your Content for the purposes of (i) displaying Your Content on our sites, (ii) distributing Your Content, either electronically or via other media, to users seeking to download or otherwise acquire it, and/or (iii) storing Your Content in a remote database accessible by end users, for a charge. This license shall apply to the distribution and the storage of Your Content in any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed.

Finally, if you still have any questions that you would like to address directly to Membership Support follow this link: http://cnet.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/cnet.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php

We at CNET take what you and Evil Penguin have had to say very seriously. I don't want you to think such things are taken lightly, and I hope you see from the effort undertaken by various people at CNET, that we do indeed consider this to be of importance.
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You see, that does make sense.
by fbbbb / May 25, 2007 1:24 AM PDT
In reply to: I hope this is useful.

So it looks like the reviews clause has to be updated to reflect what that says.

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Still missing that edit button....
by fbbbb / May 25, 2007 1:28 AM PDT

And thanks, I knew they probably weren't that evil Wink

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Really, really missing that edit button...
by fbbbb / May 25, 2007 1:33 AM PDT

Although I don't like the irrevocable bit. It's standard through I know.

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Just a mistake, then?
by Evil Penguin / May 25, 2007 3:08 AM PDT
In reply to: I hope this is useful.

The Terms Of Use that you quoted don't say that the content posted becomes the sole property of CNET, just that CNET is granted an irrevocable license to use it.

But on http://forums.cnet.com/5200-10152_102-0.html?forumID=97 the wording is rather different.

Is that just a mistake, then?

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simplify simplify simplify
by punterjoe / May 26, 2007 12:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Just a mistake, then?

Maybe they should just reword it to "All your content are belong to us"?
Wink

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(NT) That might be more honest , heh
by fbbbb / May 27, 2007 11:01 PM PDT
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(NT) Sounds pretty much the same to me... :/
by Evil Penguin / June 4, 2007 12:27 AM PDT
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(NT) I hate to bump this, but any progress, CNET?
by Evil Penguin / June 14, 2007 3:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Just a mistake, then?
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In reply to: An answer.

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Legal Loop Holes
by mikeburek / June 14, 2007 10:06 PM PDT

Maybe it should be more like CNet and the poster are co-owners. Or that CNet gets full use of whatever is put onto the CNet network, without the sole-ownership clause.

In an earlier post udayan said that CNet needs the ownership so that the DMCA can't be used against CNet by the poster and that CNet doesn't have to go through the long legal process everytime they want to use the posted content. But what about the DMCA being used against the poster after the material is posted. What if the poster writes something really good, and so posts the same thing to other sites or uses it in their own book or such? Then couldn't CNet legally send a DMCA C&D letter to that poster?

From the link http://www.cnetnetworks.com/editorial/terms.html that udayan posted, it says "You certify that you own all intellectual property rights in Your Content." So could you even legally post to another site after posting to CNet?

The whole legality and consequences of such "necessay" long and drawn out legal statements is that you can start creating time-delay situations. So if I post something libelous on CNet, then morally, CNet should not bear the burden of that. So they keep my info and send any lawers after me. But a determined lawyer would also sue CNet still because CNet took ownership of that content and had the right to edit/remove it, but didn't, and diseminated the content. This is the reason they can sue YouTube, when it was the poster who infringed.

Also, the poster could:
A) Write comment on his own blog.
B) Write same comment on CNet.
C) Realize the comment should be removed.
D) Remove comment from the blog he controls.
E) Oops, can't remove CNet's property from CNet's network.
F) Comment gets noticed by someone.
G) Poster shows he removed what was his and CNet left their property online.

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A long drawn out thread, this is.
by udayan71 / June 15, 2007 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Legal Loop Holes

I thought my rather lengthy post of the 25th of May had addressed the queries of those who were most concerned. Regardless, here we go again...

From the link http://www.cnetnetworks.com/editorial/terms.html that udayan posted, it says "You certify that you own all intellectual property rights in Your Content." So could you even legally post to another site after posting to CNet?

Y-E-S.

As for your A-G scenario, the ability to delete your own post is not granted to users because they may manipulate it to cause grievance, or to deny having made an incendiary statement against another user.

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One last response, Udayan?
by Evil Penguin / June 18, 2007 12:21 AM PDT

Udayan, thanks for responding yet again.

I think what is causing the confusion is the discrepancy between what the "Site Terms of Use" page (http://www.cnetnetworks.com/editorial/terms.html) says and what for example the Create a New Thread" page says (http://forums.cnet.com/5200-10152_102-0.html?forumID=97).

Terms of Use says:
"You hereby grant us, our affiliates, and our partners a worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, transfer, transmit, distribute, and publish Your Content and subsequent versions of Your Content for the purposes of (i) displaying Your Content on our sites, (ii) distributing Your Content, either electronically or via other media, to users seeking to download or otherwise acquire it, and/or (iii) storing Your Content in a remote database accessible by end users, for a charge. This license shall apply to the distribution and the storage of Your Content in any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed."


The create new thread page says:
"All submitted content becomes the sole property of CNET Networks, and may be used, edited or rejected at CNET Networks' sole discretion."


IANAL, but to me the latter sounds significantly worse for the submitter, not like a shortened version of the site terms of use.

I believe that one of the two must be wrong and should be fixed. (A link to terms of use instead perhaps?)

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