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13 years ago @ IntenseDebate Blog - Who Owns Your Comments? · 0 replies · +3 points

You're kidding, right? I can make this really simple for everyone.

International copyright dictates that anything I create, including my thoughts and opinions in my own words, including comments that I post anywhere, are mine until I specifically assign rights to others. (Sometimes by simply posting the comment, depending on the site's posted TOS.)


We're dealing with blogs here. Publishing platforms. And publishers, as we all know, by and large have complete editorial rights. I once wrote a Letter to the Editor at the local paper and it got published. After, of course, they edited it. And THEY DID change the tone! But that's what happens. I wasn't entirely happy because IMO my tone was important, but that's reality. It's the common practice, and /that/ for a reason.

As a site owner, I am responsible for what shows up, how, etc etc. I want to be represented in a professional way (on my professional sites, which is what I'm most concerned with when it comes to this topic). I want to allow people to interact. I DON'T want to discourage them from commenting by completely deleting a comment because of one bad/inappropriate/copyright-infringing/whatever part! The draw of this service is to foster community, right??? Then don't make me chase people off in that way!

My site = my control. The creators of the publishing platforms respect this obvious fact, even providing me with an "edit" button. Just because the comments are stored on ID's servers doesn't make them ID's to decide what does or doesn't happen with them! That is to say, basic universal rights of publishers (site owners) shouldn't be taken *away* by a service. If I'm over-reaching and editing too much, then people will stop coming. Offer a "Report This Edit" feature for edited posts, where if someone edited my comments in a way that overstepped their bounds, then you can find out and take action against that publisher's account if necessary. You can even make it so a commenter gets an email notification when their comment gets edited. But don't change the face of publishing and make yourselves the protector of commenters. It's not needed. Abusers will alienate themselves.

I don't get the mass paranoia of commenters here. Get a grip! If you are really so distrustful of the people whose sites you're commenting on, go find sites with better integrity, that you can trust to not misconstrue your words. Don't hold decent site-owners hostage because some people MIGHT take advantage of a situation.