GNU agreements and removal of website content

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photoresearcher
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GNU agreements and removal of website content

Post by photoresearcher » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:05 am

I'm a registered member of a website forum, the site has two sections, the main forum and a "wiki" section.

Registered members of the site are encouraged to contribute to the wiki. The site also promotes the wiki via the homepage, an online magazine and has been featured on national tv, radio and newspapers.

The site displays a GNU Free Document License (V 1.2) allowing use of the text content of the wiki subject to compliance with the GNU License, however there are no indications on the site to advise submitters that their submissions are made under such an agreement and the subject is specifically excluded in the site T&C's, there is however a reference to the criteria for magazine contributions.

The only reference to submissions to the wiki are contained in a standard disclaimer page (the site name has been disguised by myself)

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"No contract; limited license

Please make sure that you understand that the information provided here is being provided freely, and that no kind of agreement or contract is created between you and the owners or users of this site, the owners of the servers upon which it is housed, the individual XXXXXX XXXX Forum contributors, any project administrators, sysops or anyone else who is in any way connected with this project or sister projects subject to your claims against them directly. You are being granted a limited license to copy anything from this site; it does not create or imply any contractual or extracontractual liability on the part of XXXXXX XXXX Forum or any of its agents, members, organizers or other users.

There is no agreement or understanding between you and XXXXXX XXXX Forum regarding your use or modification of this information beyond the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL); neither is anyone at XXXXXX XXXX Forum responsible should someone change, edit, modify or remove any information that you may post on the XXXXXX XXXX Forum Wiki or any of its associated projects. "



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I have on occassions edited my own submissions by removing the existing text and replacing the entire section concerned by re-writing, in other instances i have simply deleted a page as my editing options allowed. All contributions and edits are logged (time, user and the physical changes made can be viewed) but the information is only available via viewing a "recent changes" page. Simply reading a standard wiki page does not reveal who and when a contribution came from.

I now wish to remove a large part of my contributions but the site administrators have stated i should not do so and any attempt to edit the particular sections in question (purely my own contributions) will result in the sections being re-instated by site administrators using a "roll back" facility. The reason given is that all works are "submitted under a GNU agreement". Other members have removed their own content either by editing themselves or by asking site admin to delete for them. Site moderators and administrators also claim i do not hold any copyright relating to my own submissions and any use of site content which breaches the GNU Free License Document would not be pursued by the site. I find it quite suprising that in view of previous deletions and a desire that any contributions should be used in accordance with the GNU Free License that the site are refusing to allow me to remove my own work.

Polite requests asking for the location of the servers on which the information is stored have also been ignored.


Now you are bored silly (apologies for being long winded) my questions are...
Is the refusal to allow the removal of my contributions (either by myself or by site administration) reasonable?

Is the statement "submitted under a GNU agreement" a valid excuse to prevent deletions bearing in mind the site T&C's, guidelines, comments raised by site administrtors and previous deleted works?
Photoresearcher

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