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Author Topic: An Internet post question  (Read 9205 times)

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Chuck

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An Internet post question
« on: January 30, 2009, 12:00:43 AM »

I've been batting around a novel, barely in the beginning stages and it may never even get started. It started to percolate from several Internet forums on which I post or just read.

On a couple of the forums, a certifiably (I believe) paranoid schizophrenic has been posting, saying she's being stalked, harassed, libeled and threatened by dozens of stalkers, employed by somebody who hates her and wants some documents she supposedly possesses. They have bugs planted in her home to listen to her, have taps on her phone line, tell her where she can go, what she can wear, etc, etc.

What I'd like to know is, if this book gets off the ground  and since those posts are out there for the world to see, can they be used, or taken and modified slightly? No living human can write her rambling, incoherent nonsense and do it justice. Obviously her name wouldn't be used. Just curious if such laws exist on Internet postings.
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Elena

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 11:13:36 AM »

Hi Chuck,
Interesting question. Here is what I know about the status of intellectual property on the internet at the moment. Basically it is illegalish - It's a definite grey area. One of the things it depends on is who actually owns the copyright. This is a very difficult area since in both Google and Yahoo supported blogs or forums the contents are claimed by the companies. It's in the fine print. Even e-mails and photos transmitted via Google.  Google clearly (but buried in very fine print) claims all copyright to anything that passes through any of their services.

Whether this wholesale claim where permission is assumed by agreeing to all the terms included in screens and screens of fine print will be supported by courts if a case ever gets there, is dubious.

With e-mails specifically there is much less interest in protecting them under current copyright laws.

It might be interesting to see what the sponsor of the forum you're reading has to say about it.

I would say that using it as inspiration would not be a problem. And text books on the subject usually have examples of this sort of personal expression, a good source for more language.  My mother was so good at the paranoia bit that she fooled experts. Had more than one hysterical shrink who bit hook, line, and sinker, calling me to say that I had to get to Chicago instantly, because s/he had fallen for one of her more creative stories.

Elena
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Dave Freas

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 12:53:38 PM »

Hi, Chuck.

I'm no legal expert, but common sense says you could write such a novel free from worries about Copyright infringement.

I'm sure there have been other novels (maybe many) written about people such as the lady you describe.  You're just adding the new twist of her displaying her paranoia in a post on a forum instead of whispering it to friends and neighbors.  As long as you don't drop her postings verbatim into your novel, I think you'd be safe.

You mentioned in your post that No living human can write her rambling, incoherent nonsense and do it justice.  I'll bet if you study her postings and play with them a bit, you can produce equally (un)realistic postings for your novel that no one could ever trace back to that lady.   

Just my $0.02.

Hope this helps.

Dave
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B L McAllister

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 01:40:35 PM »

I strongly suspect that, if you try, you'll find you can imitate her rants without using her words.  To say it can't be done based on only a few tries (or none) seems to me to be throwing the towel in a bit early.
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

Dave Freas

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 02:22:31 PM »

I strongly suspect that, if you try, you'll find you can imitate her rants without using her words.
Exactly what I was saying only stated more clearly.

Thanks, Byron

Dave
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 08:24:44 PM »

Elena,

Re your comment below

Google clearly (but buried in very fine print) claims all copyright to anything that passes through any of their services.

Whether this wholesale claim where permission is assumed by agreeing to all the terms included in screens and screens of fine print will be supported by courts if a case ever gets there, is dubious. 

If I understand you correctly, this means that, if I send a novel, non-fiction book, article, or short story to my publisher or agent as an e-mail attachment, or in the body of an e-mail, through an e-mail service owned or controlled by Googe, Google can claim to own it!

That's positively chilling.

Elena

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 09:23:04 PM »

Jim,

That is exactly what they say - that they have all rights to everything that goes through their system. I have no idea if this has been challenged in any court, nor do I know if Google has ever tried to use their "right". But, I did read it in their fine print. They also included photos in their laundry list.  Made me wonder what use they have for all those photos of newborns sent around to families and friends.

IMHO they will wind up with a data base so big that between not knowing what to look for, and where it might be it's just puffin' in the wind. But, I sure do wonder what they were thinking.

Elena
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B L McAllister

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2009, 06:24:39 PM »



If I understand you correctly, this means that, if I send a novel, non-fiction book, article, or short story to my publisher or agent as an e-mail attachment, or in the body of an e-mail, through an e-mail service owned or controlled by Googe, Google can claim to own it!

That's positively chilling.

Obviously they can claim anything they want to claim, but can they make it stick?  I suspect not.  If I send a copy of the US Constition and Google pounces on it, I suspect their claim will annoy the courts.  Still, fighting a stupid claim of that sort is expensive, so the big guys sometimes win without worryiing about whether they deserve to or not.
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

Elena

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 12:00:09 PM »

Byron,

They are  not going to use your emailed copy of the Constitution. What they might use is information distributed by someone who has subsequently become famous or infamous, and without any specific  permission of the user, since they can claim by clicking on 'accept their terms' you have already turned over all your rights to them.

This data then can be published in some way that earns money for Google, without further permission from the victim, and without paying them. That would be a very valid court case if it were to happen.

Elena
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B L McAllister

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009, 12:49:00 PM »

Byron,

They are  not going to use your emailed copy of the Constitution. What they might use is information distributed by someone who has subsequently become famous or infamous, and without any specific  permission of the user, since they can claim by clicking on 'accept their terms' you have already turned over all your rights to them.

This data then can be published in some way that earns money for Google, without further permission from the victim, and without paying them. That would be a very valid court case if it were to happen.

Elena

Provided one finds out about it, and provided one has enough money to get through the early phases of the suit.  As for the Constitution, my email progrram is Eudora, so the Constitution may be safe.
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

VetteRanger

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Re: An Internet post question
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2021, 11:17:11 PM »

Hi Chuck,
Interesting question. Here is what I know about the status of intellectual property on the internet at the moment. Basically it is illegalish - It's a definite grey area. One of the things it depends on is who actually owns the copyright. This is a very difficult area since in both Google and Yahoo supported blogs or forums the contents are claimed by the companies. It's in the fine print. Even e-mails and photos transmitted via Google.  Google clearly (but buried in very fine print) claims all copyright to anything that passes through any of their services.

Elena

This is absolutely 100% incorrect. It's one of those conspiracy-theory rumors people like to start, and in the 12 years since that comment, you'd have heard MANY big stinks about it--very public--by this time if there was even an ounce of truth in that claim.
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