Debate forum, who owns a posting?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Dr Z
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:04 pm

Debate forum, who owns a posting?

Post by Dr Z » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:18 am

Hello,

EDIT: This should have been in the copyright infringement section ;)

A few years ago I joined an online forum, which actually turned out to be a privately run LimiTeD Company. Investors became shareholders and everything was ok for a short while.

When the owner was “short coming” with financial information, of course shareholders asked how their investment was doing only to be banned from the site. Anyone that dared bring the subject up, I being one of them, was also banned. The site owner then begun a spree of selective deleting/editing of posts to cover his tracks.

A fair number of banned customers as well as shareholders have asked for all of their postings to be deleted, as well as deleting of their profile. To this day all requests to remove/delete said postings and profiles have been ignored.

This year, the site owner decided to move one of the banned customers, hundreds of technical posts/guides into a “sponsor only” section, and changed the author profile name to “guest”, in essence profiting from another’s work. This upset many people.

Of course now the question is does the site owner have the right to use material against the wishes of the author?

I have searched this site and can understand that a copyright is owned by the author of the postings. I have also read on a similar posting in here that, quote:

“In posting on the forum, you will have accepted the terms that this type of publication implies. In posting you are accepting that your content will be published by the site owner, and also that the site owner has the right to edit or delete your post as he sees fit.”

I read into this that the site owner is then allowed to edit/delete postings, but it does not make him the owner of said postings… The only “terms” that were agreed to whilst registering were basic, no porn, illegal content, be nice to each other etc, but it did clearly state, and I quote:

“All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of **** will be held responsible for the content of any message.”

So my question is if this private LTD is in breech of copyright laws. Does the company have the right to refuse deletion of profiles and postings at the request from their authors?

Any help appreciated

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