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    Over the last several weeks, Ralph and I have been discussing copyright policy on the WAF. It started by my asking the question "Is there a copyright policy on the WAF". Ralph responded with some links to discussions that had taken place on just what copyright included. There was no consensus in any of these discussions as to what copyright was. Lots of personal ideas but nothing concrete.

    I think that there should be some "guidelines" in all forums regarding copyright. I would like to see some guidelines on the BRD sub forum but I don't want this to turn into something that invokes hard and fast rules. What I would like to solicit is what the members of the forum think. Should there be guidelines or not? If there were guidelines establish, it would not be the Moderators role to police them. Members would be expected to police them selves.

    As I have already said, I think that there should be guidelines for what is acceptable to post on the BRD Forum. If the members agree and we can decided on some guidelines then they would be pinned on the form for everyone's reference.

    Here are my personal thoughts;
    1-pictures of things in books should not be posted on the forum unless written permission has been given by the author. I have been guilty of this in the past but I will not do so in the future;
    2-photos found anywhere that say they are copyright should not be used;
    3-photos posted on a forum should not be used without first asking the posters position. The fact that someone else has taken something from a book and posted it somewhere does not give them the right to give you permission to post their photo.
    4.if you are given permission to re-post a photo credit should be given to the person or organization that gave you permission to do so.
    5-#4 brings up a difficult question. There are many organizations that post things on-line with no clear statement about copyright. I have found these phots/text really useful in my research. I would consider this type of photo/text to be in the public domain. WIKI has specific rules in this regards and makes life easy there.
    6-one of the things brought up in one of the conversations that Ralph forwarded to me was in reference to how do individuals on a forum protect their pictures. There was consensus here. Putting your name or initials on, or across, a photo should indicate copyright by the person posting the picture. For text I would say you should state that it is copyright material at the beginning of your thread or post.
    7-translations from the original language, probably German in our case, to your mother tongue, usually English in our case, are copyright material. This an established point of law.

    Now it is your turn to add subtract etc. and see where we go from here.



    I thought that this was covered in the 'Terms of Service'.





      There is certainly much that is not understood about the term "Copyright" and this is usually a topic of discussion in academic circles. First off... I am not a lawyer but I taught at university and I hold copyrights.

      In order to hold a copyright one has to apply for it as it is a legal term of art. Just because you say there is a copyright that is not enough to satisfy the law. If I quote from my own copyrighted book, or post a photograph from it, I can leaglly do so. You cannot if you do not credit me with the work. If you credit the photo to me you can post it under the "Fair Use" doctrine that allows academic discussion. This is what is generally done here on the forum.

      You may be opening up a can of worms as Fair Use generally applies to what we do here. I would say that one should always credit published work, including photos. However, if I own a photograph album (of photos I did not take) I am free to post those photos as my own work product but they are not copyright until I officially copyright them. I would also say one should not post photos with watermarks without crediting the source.

      I hope this is helpful.


        I agree with the post above and believe that "Fair Use" applies even to photos from books, used in a discussion on a forum such as this.



          Thanks for referring to the "Terms of Service" for copyright. That is an excellent reference.

          SCHUPO and Chris,

          My aim was not to get into any legal discussion. Just to find a way for us to talk about copyright. And fair use is fine with me as long as people using the forum understand what "fair use" is. What may need a little expanding in the "Terms of Use" or in our musings here is just what "Fair use" is.

          I was considering how to approach this subject over the last couple of weeks when I received an email from a friend containing a link to a thread on another forum on the WAF. The thread was interesting but when I found photos from my personal collection being used without my permission, or acknowledgement that they were mine, I decided to get the views of others. This was after I had started my conversation with Ralph.
          With the few posts that we have received already I am pleased to see that there is a simple solution to deal with posting of copyright pictures, pages of books etc.

          It is less clear as to how one protects the written word. Any one have any suggestions on that?




            If you are serious and not just trying to influence with opinion, read the :


            I used the law incorporated in DMA to shut down a website using my pictures , the pictures were not copyrighted officially and do not need to be , if your the first to post the photo on the web , it is considered yours as long as it is not protected by other means as from a published book etc .
            If its your picture you took , it will always be yours unless you give explicit permission to someone else to use it , written is best , be careful with fair use .

            As far as copyright goes , there is no precedent , each case is judged on its own evidence , and will be up to a jury to decide .

            Like I said earlier , I just went through this and spent a great deal of time neck deep in law and hours talking to lawyers and legal advisers , if enough complaints are filed , they will shut a website down , I got it done !



              Thanks for your comments and the link. I started the thread to get opinions and the thoughts of others who use the BRD forum re copyright. It is not my intention to pursue any legal avenues re pictures from my personal archives that were used without my permission. I will mention to the individual concerned what I feel is "courteous behaviour" when using photos that are not ones own. With the opinions and links provided in this thread I think we have something that we can point to as a fair and decent way for all who post to this forum to treat other peoples photos and intellectual property.




                Understand Gordon , its a touchy subject to some folks who think its OK to do certain things , I have seen so many threads about this over the last 15-20 years , especially with the modelling community in regards to recasting things for personal use , stuff like that .


                  There's been a pretty liberal interpretation of "fair use" when the purpose is for scholarly sharing of information. For example, a university professor would not need explicit permission to show a picture to his class in the normal course of educational work. He could even publish the study for academic purposes and not for profit. But the same university professor could not take the same content, put it in a book, and publish it for profit without permission of the photo's copyright owner. Likewise, someone who publishes the work of another, with permission, can not pursue legal action against someone else unless there's some sort of exclusivity contract.

                  As I understand it Internet discussion areas, like this one, are in a gray area. In one sense we're no different than the university classroom, but in another sense we are "publishing" materials because we don't have control over who sees them.

                  Universities have policies about this sort of stuff. They are easy to find online. Here's just one:


                  It's a good document, but here's a small piece from it:

                  • All internet material is copyright-protected, regardless of whether the copyright ownership is explicitly stated;

                  • Thus, internet materials cannot be used "freely," nonwithstanding the ease (relative to print materials) with which digital texts, images, audio files, etc., may be incorporated into one's papers;

                  • However, for legitimate academic research or writing the principle of academic fair use does allow certain amounts and types of copyrighted material to be included in one's research or writing without the need to obtain explicit permission for this;

                  •Where such materials are used, they must always be appropriately cited (see Citing Internet Sources for examples).
                  This applies very neatly to what we do here on this, and other, Forums. Notice that in the case of me quoting this copyrighted text I am following the rules, which means that I did not have to contact the website owner to post this quote.

                  Where things go off the rails is when someone has a blog or website that is not engaged in discussion. These are more like "published works" and start to become a bit more towards commercial speech rather than academic. Especially if there are banner ads or other signs of commercial activity. Gaining money from such activities, without permission, is a no-no. But even that is a squishy area from what I've read.

                  Best practices for a Forum is to be as careful as you can when using someone else's materials. Always cite where it came from, never misrepresent the materials as your own. Use the materials sparingly and when there's a real purpose for doing so. And my own personal rule of thumb is to not introduce MORE copyrighted materials onto the Internet that can be misused by others. Which is why I try to reuse what is already available, or use my own photos, to the extent that I can.

                  Last edited by Collectinsteve; 11-07-2013, 10:42 PM.


                    Murky subject, at best.

                    US law, fair use is contained within 17 U.S.C. ยง 107:
                    "Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship."

                    By this definition, one could argue a forum post is commentary, criticism, research, news reporting, and/or teaching.

                    For example: Illustrating a fake BGS jacket compared to an original?
                    Commentary (this is a fake. This isn't)
                    Teaching (This is a fake. This isn't)
                    News reporting (This is a newly introduced fake or FYI: be aware of this fake)
                    Research (here's a camo variant not seen before)

                    On the opposite end of the spectrum, one could argue that any image downloaded off the internet without permission is theft of intellectual property even if it resides in a file on your computer and is only seen by you.



                      I'd like to add this link to the conversation. I found it interesting perhaps you might as well.





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