Consequences for copyright infringement

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New document: Copyright

Copyright infringement is a topic of vital importance to any website that hosts user content.

MyPTSD is committed to staying on the right side of the law, when it comes to copyright protections and violations.

To that end: a new policy will go into effect beginning May 25 2017

Staff will remove anything that appears to be in violation of copyright. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • images
  • quotations in excess (from studies, journals, books, etc.)
  • song lyrics (un-original) posted in full
  • poems (un-original) posted in full
  • infographics
  • anything else that is not easily verified as belonging to the poster
The simple ways to avoid a problem:
  • if you didn't create it, don't post it
  • if you aren't sure how much of it you can safely excerpt, provide a link but no quote.
While it is true that certain kinds of materials may be reproduced as fair use - it is also true that fair use is determined based on a number of factors, not simply whether or not the intention was to share or educate.

Added by Anthony: Fair use is majority null and void where a page containing fair use material is monetised. This website is monetised with affiliate advertising, thus 99% of cases void fair use.

The poetry threads and song lyrics threads will be locked. If you have original material that you have posted, that you wish to retrieve - please do so over the next four days. After that, the threads will be deleted.

Materials may be recovered post-deletion, but I'd prefer that individuals take responsibility for this on their own.

After May 25th, posting material that you do not own will result in the following:
  • First offence: Material will be deleted, and a warning given
  • Second offence: Permanent banning
Moderators will be deleting potentially problematic materials as they encounter them. There will be no member penalty for posting copy-written material prior to May 25, 2017. After that date, the penalty system will begin.

I will follow this post with some guidelines for proper and legal excerpting of material that is owned by others. But again - members must err on the side of caution now, and moderators will be applying their best judgement as to whether a post is violating copyright or not.

Please hold your questions until you've read the guidelines post, to follow.
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New document: Copyright

GUIDELINES: What is OK to post, what is not. I'm going to label these green, yellow, and red (for go, use caution, and stop)

GREEN: Your own content, and MyPTSD content
Your posts, your writings, pictures you have taken. If you created it from scratch, it is yours to post.
If it is material on MyPTSD (from home-page articles, quotes from other posters, etc.), it is fine to post.

YELLOW: Excerpting content belonging to others.
If you did not create the content you are posting, you must adhere to the following:
  • Song Lyrics: One to four lines only. You may link to the rest if you like.
  • Poetry: One to four lines only. You may link to the rest if you like.
  • Articles, Books: The bare minimum. If you would like people to read more than a few sentences' worth, excerpt a small snippet and link to the full article.
  • Studies: Only what is essential to your point. One to two short paragraphs in total. Link to the rest.
  • Diagnostic Criteria (DSM/ICD): Only the section that is essential to your point. Link to the rest.
  • Images: Public Domain/Free images only. Look for language like "Royalty and cost-free stock images, no attribution required" . You must provide a link to the source of the image, and that link should clearly show that the image is free for public use.

RED: Content you cannot post.
Excerpts of anything longer than what is specified, above.

Material you find on the web that is unattributed. Just because it appears to be 'free', doesn't mean it is.

Images that are owned by others. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • cartoons
  • photography
  • pictures of artwork
  • screen-caps
  • memes (whether drawn or photographed, manipulated or not)
  • pictures of products for sale (that you did not take)

"Fair Use": Fair use is the designation which allows material to be reproduced in an excerpted form. Fair use is evaluated based on five criteria. They are:
  1. The purpose and character of your use (ie, whether transformed/commented upon vs. borrowed without being transformed). Note: the vast majority of memes are borrowed without being transformed
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (more leeway is given for facts, less for fiction)
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken (this is rather more complicated than numbers; there was a landmark case where a paragraph out of a 300 or so page book was quoted, and because the judge determined that paragraph to be the entire core of the book, it was considered as substance, not volume. This is why the old rule of thumb, 10%, is not an accurate guideline).
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market (are you getting for free what you would otherwise pay for).
  5. 'Red flag' - meaning, would a reasonably intelligent person know that the material was possibly an infringement.
Your volunteer MyPTSD staff are not in a position to make judgements on fair use. This is why we are providing rather strict guidelines instead. If you have any doubt: use a link. MyPTSD is no longer liable for potential member copyright infringement, when the only thing present on our site is the link.

Common materials/public domain: The christian bible is an excellent example of this. Most bibles are under copyright. While the original text is not, anything from the translation, to the adaptation, to the forward/annotations/commentary - that material is likely owned. This means, the entire book is under copyright. For historic texts such as this, there is often a free for common use online version. If you want to excerpt material from the bible, use that one. If you want to quote from an old text, find the online free version. If you cannot find that, you must assume the work is protected.

There's no author mentioned, so it must be free: Nope. Plenty of people are dealing with wrangling their own copy-written material back into their control. That's why laws around copyright exist. No matter how bland/innocuous a photo may be, no matter how many posters the poem has been reproduced on, no matter how often you see this material posted elsewhere on the web: you must assume that it is owned, and that the owner is interested in protecting their rights to their material.

QUESTIONS? Generally you would open a help-ticket. I am going to open this thread for awhile to take any follow-up questions from members.
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I've changed the start date for the penalty, since it took longer than I thought to get the guidelines up.

The new date is May 25th. Post #1 has been edited to reflect this.

What do you, as a member, need to do?

If you have original content (poetry, fiction, lyrics) posted, and you do not have your own copy, please make a copy prior to the 25th. After that time, those threads will have been locked and archived.

Check the images you have on your profile cover and make sure they conform to the guidelines. If they do not, please take them down. Post the link verifying that the image is free (or stating that you are the creator of the image) as a profile post. If you have multiple links, add them as comments to your first link - no need for each to be is own profile post.

Staff will be editing posts retroactively, but there will be no penalty given for posts made before May 25, 2017. After that point, posts containing infringing material will result in one warning, with the second infringement resulting in automatic ban.
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3 questions:

Profile covers. Its so old that I don't remember where I got it from. I do remember trying to make sure they were of fair use but I honestly don't remember where they are from.

Old thread covers are the same, including my diary.

ETA: ~ Excuse my momentary lasps of sanity. Media is gone. :wacky: Shows how much I used it. ~

Don't hold me to old stuff. Horrid memory. I never really like the thread covers so I may have 2 or so out there somewhere.
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I do remember trying to make sure they were of fair use
Revert back to what was just said about fair use. Unless you contacted an image owner and asked whether you can reproduce their image here, OR, you have receipt that you paid for the image, OR, you are the original image author and copyright holder of said image, then there is no such thing as fair use for an image just because you see it used elsewhere online or such.

A little lost

I have a bit of a weird question that I need to explain why I'm asking....basically How can I prove I have authority?
Here's why :
I beta read and proof read books for authors prior to publishing. Occasionally I find come across a really cool quote that I would like to share. I ALWAYS contact the author and request permission to copy it , explain why and where I'd like to use it...then if they are ok with that, check if I need to wait until publishing has happened.
Mostly they say yes, it's ok. One author requested I don't state the name of the book as it was a pivotal plot twist in a story but otherwise it was ok.
If they say no....then I NEVER go against their wishes....that's just part of the contractual agreement I have with the authors themselves.

There is one piece I want to share and have permission to use even though the book won't be published before 23rd May.
How can I prove I have permission please?


How can I prove I have permission please?
All copyright permission must be in writing, so if you have that in writing, then you can forward it to staff via a ticket if needed. It is only staff you need to appease, then we have a permanent record here for the future.

You can simply forward the permission to our contact email address [email protected] where only admins have access and can attest you have said permission by viewing the entire request and permission. Again, permanent record then attained.

I would simply add a note to the post that you have forwarded the copyright permission for use to the administrative address.

Any copyright permission given verbally, is not legally binding, thus cannot be used.

Deleted member 12723

Thank you for the warning about profile covers. I took mine down and replaced with a pain birthday card from my grandson. I really appreciate the heads up and giving me a chance to clear this up.

Deleted member 37474

1. Will this lesson the privacy of private messages? Will staff be reading through them looking for
Copyright stuff?

2. I take a lot of pictures. If you are concerned that it is not a private photo will I be asked about it or immediately 1 warning away from being banned?


Will this lesson the privacy of private messages? Will staff be reading through them looking for
Copyright stuff?
If you are concerned that it is not a private photo will I be asked about it or immediately 1 warning away from being banned?
It's your responsibility to note, in your post, that you took the picture. As long as you do that, there's nothing to worry over.
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