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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]
Copyright, friends lists and frienditto

My opinion on frienditto.

The majority of my friends-locked posts are friends-locked for copyright reasons, because I wish to retain that 'not published to a general audience' status on them. Some significant chunk of the others are friends-locked to one or two people, because it's occasionally a convenient way to communicate, not because they're truly private. (If I want truly private communication online, that's what encryption is for.)

If you don't trust people with what you've friends-locked, don't put 'em on your friends list. If you're on my friends list (and I'm reasonably free with that), I'm trusting you to honor that 'not published to a general audience' thing.

That said, I explicitly do not give my consent to have my writing on this livejournal, public, semi-private or private, copied anywhere else. I know what's required to retain copyright and it's a royal pain in the ass, and I'd ask that you not put me in a situation where I have to choose between that pain in the ass and losing my copyright.

If I comment in your journal or in response to a post you make in a community, you're explicitly granted the right to do whatever the heck you want with that writing. Just so that's clear, too.

The one exception is this post. If you really want to copy it somewhere else, feel free.

Frienditto is not what you should be declaring as a threat to your privacy. The issue is people who would be willing to breach your trust and copy friends-locked entries: whether using frienditto, screenshotting, copy and pasting, or saving the page and uploading it. Don't blame frienditto; blame the people who have access to your stuff and use it.

I agree entirely. (Having just spent an hour or so reading through a variety of information on frienditto, as it just showed up on my own friends list as a hot button of sorts.)

Aside from any copyright issues, the question this raises for me is that if one's semi-private and/or copyrighted posts have been posted to frienditto, how would one find out who did it (or, at least, whose password was used), so that one might direct one's ire appropriately? frienditto's FAQ suggests that this is, in fact, impossible, and this list of information suggestions that making that impossible is what differentiates frienditto from other tools that can do the same sort of archiving (and thus is its primary reason for existing).

I suspect that this easy hiding of identity and thus encouragement of paranoia is what's causing the majority of people's frustration on the topic, even if most of the folks who're upset don't state it that simply. Noting that other tools can archive friends-only posts as well is unlikely to do much to reduce that particular frustration. Enabling a violation of trust in such a way that it's not possible to even find out who violated your trust is likely to draw ire (though I assume this is obvious by now).

As far as I can tell, copyright violation is more likely to be a genuine legal issue, but I suspect this, not copyright violation, is what has most people upset.

(I understand that you may not really be the right person to be asking this question of, subbes, but it seems that the right people may be reading and/or responding to this thread, and other people may well have thoughts on the subject, so I went ahead and dropped the question here. I'd drop the question on jameth's post on the same subject, but as far as I can tell the cited quote is yours rather than his.)

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

My issue is that it makes it very easy to accidentally turn friendslocked posts into public posts. Sure, anyone can take a friendslocked post and post it publicly. Friendsditto makes it trivial to do without thinking, and therefore, by accident. And then the post is public, and you're just screwed. That's my objection, and why I won't friend anyone who uses it.

I have my doubts that anyone who uses frienditto would be doing something like that accidentally. Among other things, making friendslocked posts public, anonymously, is pretty much frienditto's reason for existing. The ability to do so has been publically stated to be the differentiator between frienditto and other archiving tools, in fact.

Oh ... yeah, I guess that would make more sense. It's not pretending to be a nice tool so as to trick people into giving them the power to do evil, it's actually an evil tool to enable people to do evil.

I'd just rather not friend anyone stupid enough to give passwords out to "kewl" websites :)

Yeah, I didn't look much at frienditto, but from what I saw it made it look like you could be archiving posts from your friendslist for easy searching/perusal later without realizing that you were making public things others intended to be private.

I think the idea is that people may "archive" their own friendslocked posts (though why anyone would lock a post and then put it on a public archive is beyond me), without realising that Frienditto then has their username and password and can log in as them if they want. Though again, why they would want to log in as random people around the world is beyond me.

Isn't the whole Frienditto thing a hoax perpetrated by the lovely folks at LJDrama?

I thought that the need for 'not published to a general audience' status went out with the copyright changes in the late '70s?

Not what I meant, exactly. I was a little unclear. See my response to jlassen below.

copyright law does NOT require to state copyright, or publish your work with a (c) notice. Since the byrne convention, Copyright is automatically assumed.

Further one does not need to "protect" copyrights. If someone illegally frienditto's your shit (or pirates it, or prints it anc calls it their own, or puts it on tshirts and sells it -- see the many online art communities for this) and it is available to a billion people, it is still yours, and you still have the copyright to that work. Frienditto doesn't change anything, and neither does making a live journal friends locked.

Re copyright — if someone violates your copyright and you do not pursue legal recourse (primarily, if you don't do a cease and desist), then you set a precendent that makes it drastically more difficult to protect that copyright on that particular work in the future. It can also affect your ability to get legal redress for copyright violations on related works, though that's a lot more fuzzy. While I am not a lawyer myself, I've actually been over the parts of copyright law that I care about with a lawyer, so I'm pretty sure my understanding is not too far off. (My explanation of it is another matter entirely, of course.)

Re friendslocking — no, that doesn't change copyright at all, but it's pretty much impossible to publish something that you've already published to a general audience. Friendslocking my fiction is not about retaining copyright, it's about retaining further rights in case I ever care. Admittedly I wasn't particularly clear about that in this particular post because I've said it before.

For the record, your tone read as pretty...well, condescending at best. I'm assuming that wasn't your intent. If it was, let me know and I'll respond in kind. *grin*

sorry if my tone was off. Didn't mean it to be condesending. Tired and at work, and prob. didn't put enought thought into my reply. It's just that there is soooo much mis-information concerning copyright law that floats around, particularly amognst people that it affects the most -- writers, artists, publishers, etc.

As for it being impossible to publish something that you've made available to a general audience... well thats a case by case, market by market issue -- I know plenty of people who have sold work thats been "published" electronically to other paying print markets -- And I know people who have explicitly MADE sales because editors saw their piece online and asked to buy it. It happens.

But if you've identified possible markets for your work, and they DO care about such things, well, then that's a specific case.


sorry if my tone was off.

'Sok. That's why I asked. I appreciate the advice and figured it was likely you meant it that way. *grin*


Re copyright — if someone violates your copyright and you do not pursue legal recourse (primarily, if you don't do a cease and desist), then you set a precendent that makes it drastically more difficult to protect that copyright on that particular work in the future. It can also affect your ability to get legal redress for copyright violations on related works, though that's a lot more fuzzy.

Actually, this is one of the reasons I like the Open Software License. It allows people to disseminate their software and work for non-commercial purposes without giving up their commercial rights. Creative Commons has several versions of copyright. The most commonly used Creative Commons licenses for blogs are the "non-commercial" licenses. One of the advantages with non-commercial licenses is community defense. If people know you wrote it, they can let you know when someone steals it and puts it up on a pay site. Cease-and-desist orders are a pain if you have to include non-commercial sites, but are more manageable if you just have to worry about pay sites.

Copyright is cheap, $30, but patents are expensive. It is not uncommon for someone to hide a process (trade secrets), have someone else discover it, then the second person patents it. The first person then has to pay the second person royalties. Sometimes a better tactic, if you do not want to patent something, is to release it as public domain, then the second person cannot file a patent due to "prior art".

If you do not like the "non-commercial" licenses, you might want to do an archiving once a year to a CD-R or DVD-+R, and file a copyright with the copyright office. I can show you how if you care, or you can check their website ( www.copyright.gov ), it is super easy. Even though copyright is automatic, you lose a lot of money in punitive damage and stuff if you do not get a registration. And you have to have the registration before the act of infringement to get maximum money. I would have to look it up, but I think you get 5 years after you publish to apply for a registration.

Who know holds 5 copyrights

Note also that I never said anything about stating copyright or (c) notices. I am well aware of the lack of a requirement for such things. *smile*