MSX Resource Center policies - Update

by snout on 05-01-2006, 01:51
Topic: MRC
Languages:

For the first time since the launch of the PHP-based MSX Resource Center, our policies were updated. As we expect our visitors and members to be aware of these policies and to act accordingly, we suggest you have a look at them.

Relevant link: MSX Resource Center - policies

Comments (20)

By DarQ

Paragon (1038)

DarQ's picture

05-01-2006, 02:02

How nice of you to tell us WHAT has changed.. NOT Sad

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

05-01-2006, 02:05

Well, looking at formulation, everything has chanced. Here's the oldie:

Copyrights

Everything on the msx.org domain, except for reactions on newsposts, forum entries and files in the freeware downloads database, is copyrighted by The MSX Resource Center. This means that copying, duplicating, altering, modifying, lending of any graphics, texts, content, code (in whatever form) or user information is not allowed. It also means that newsposts from third parties are copyrighted material. The MSX Resource Center has all the rights regarding these newsposts and is for example allowed to alter the contents of such posts. Files on the msx.org domain, regardless who submitted them, are copyrighted by the original author. If an author has declared his files ‘Public Domain’, ‘Freeware’, ‘Shareware’ or whatever, these files must be seen that way. Submitting newsposts to other sites based on content seen on msx.org requires referring to www.msx.org in that particular newspost. Linking to www.msx.org is of course allowed. You are allowed to link directly to newsposts, forum threads and even downloads in our downloads database, provided that you link to our frontpage as well.

Discretion

All provided user information on this site will be kept totally confident. Only the site administrators have access to this information for administration purposes. We will not share your information with anyone else.

Disclaimer

Most linked files are linked with the permission of the author. Therefore it is illegal (as stated in the copyrights section) to copy these links without a written permission of the author. Unlike the content stated in the copyrights section we cannot assure that the linked files are protected by law. Therefore we take no responsibility whatsoever for any linked files. If you feel that one or more of our linked files is violating your copyrights, please contact us. We will remove these links as soon as the violation of copyrights is proven. Please understand that we cannot be held responsible for any content on remote and/or linked sites. We will not place banners which advertise illegal software. We cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by using any of our services provided. Also,we cannot be held responsible for any information published on our site by the site owners or members. Adjustments to our policies may be made without prior notification.

By HansO

Paladin (672)

HansO's picture

05-01-2006, 08:51

3.2 MRC does not claim any copyrights to user submitted content. In accordance with 2.1 however, MRC may publish submitted content, without limitation, at its own discretion, in any form available.

Hm. Content submitted to the MRC may be used in ANY form WITHOUT limitation.

I feel that this is a bit too much. The rights of the owner of content should include the right to limit the publication in other ways than the MRC uses now.

At least the owner should be aware that he gives away all rights of publication. I would never give up that kind of rights.

I do not know the GPL etc in such details to judge if this is acceptable for content made under the GPL for example.

By HansO

Paladin (672)

HansO's picture

05-01-2006, 09:02

Adjustments to our policies may be made without prior notification.

Hm. Does this mean that even what is written now in the policies may change and the new policies will be applicable?. So the MRC hereby claims the right to do anything including claiming copyrights on submitted content wihout keeping their curretn agreements about that in the policies?

By tfh

Paragon (1771)

tfh's picture

05-01-2006, 09:38

No...
Dutch law will prohibit them from doing just that Smile

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

Manuel's picture

05-01-2006, 09:44

"The posting of copyrighted content is not allowed"

This is weird. Isn't any content copyrighted? I mean, if I write a piece of text, I own the copyright, right?
(Your policies may mean that the copyright gets transferred to the MRC foundation though... but that's not the point.)

Maybe I'm a nitpick, but if you want to have such formally stated policies, you'd better let Latok (or someone else who studied law) have a look at it, if he didn't already... If he already did, then I suppose I and Hans are wrong or misunderstanding things Smile In that case: please make the text clearer. One thing that you already did a bit: motivate the policies. This helps a lot in understanding them.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

05-01-2006, 11:13

Thanks for the comments. We'll work on making the policies a bit clearer but basically things have not changed and all we really do is ask you to use your common sense and not to deliberately spoil the atmosphere or endanger the contents of our website. However, it's not that we -want- to have such formally stated policies, situations of the past more or less forced us to do so, as a 'use your common sense and be nice to each other, please' did not - for instance - protect the archival value we feel our website has. So far we've only lost one picture in our photo shoots section, I'm not to keen on losing any other content at the MRC.

By tfh

Paragon (1771)

tfh's picture

05-01-2006, 11:52

Hi Snout!

Too bad common sense doesn't cut it anymore therse days...
Anyway, I was wondering where MRC draws the line on "copyrighted materials". The Yellow Allert demo which we made like 200 years ago, features the original Konami Nemesis3 music routines & tracks, and "stolen" GFX from multiple games.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

05-01-2006, 16:41

It's not easy to state how far exactly our policies stretch. Posting about and linking to software (wether or not in our own database) is something we do if we feel there is enough news/original value to the subject we report about. We have explained this policy to the Japanese Computer Gaming Association, which - amongst others - defends the copyrights of many Japanese gaming companies. Although this is no guarantee we will never get asked to remove software that contain elements that 'cross the border', it does work a bit like a safety net for us. Basically we decide per case wether we want to take the risk or not, using common sense and our enthusiasm for MSX as the rules of thumb Wink

By tfh

Paragon (1771)

tfh's picture

05-01-2006, 16:44

OK, noted Smile
Thanks for the explanation Smile

By mth

Champion (482)

mth's picture

06-01-2006, 02:22

Manuel is right about the wrong use of "copyrighted" in section 4.2 and 4.3: anything written by a user is copyrighted, unless that user explicitly renounces those rights (making the work public domain). The way section 2 talks about copyright is correct.

I get the feeling there is some overlap between the different sections: section 2 is about submitted content, while section 4 is about the forum and reactions, which are a form of submitted content. Is there any reason why the rules for section 4 would not apply to some other form of submitted content? If not, you could merge the two sections.

By mth

Champion (482)

mth's picture

06-01-2006, 02:30

"It is not allowed to submit any content that is of illegal nature, or endorses illegal activity."

Do you really mean "endorse" here? I can imagine you don't want people linking to illegal content, but that's not the same thing. Endorsing of illegal activity would include statements like "I think it's good if an emulator includes the original MSX system ROMs" (just an example, not my opinion). Even though you might not agree with such a statement, I think the statement itself should be allowed.

By arnold_m

Master (173)

arnold_m's picture

08-01-2006, 00:36

HansO brought up the question whether it is acceptable to submit GPL'ed programs to the MRC thereby giving the MRC the rights set forth in their policicies, to those programs.
My understanding of the GPL and these policies is that it is indeed not allowed, let me explain why.

Suppose I make an archive containing the sources of GNU Binutils and precompiled binaries for target Z80. It is perfectly legal for me or anyone else to make that archive available on a website. However if I would to submit this archive to the MRC, I would grant the MRC the right to alter the distribution package (2.4), in particular they could then distribute the binaries without distributing the sourcecode (*), and I have no right under the GPL to allow someone to do that.

I think the MRC should not reserve the right to alter distribution packages without prior consent.

Of course there would be no problem if someone in the MRC would surf to http://www.gnu.org/software/binutils/ to grab the sources him or herself in order to make and distribute such an archive.

(*) I am not certain whether this falls within the scope of the rights preserved in article 2.4.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

08-01-2006, 00:50

I think what they mean is: if you submit some zipfile with something in it.. then they add a msx.org textfile orso saying 'this file has passed through www.msx.org'

In a way, the contents of the 'zipfile' has changed.. but I doubt they bother to debug the actual content of the zipfile to change a few bytes for april-fools :P

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

08-01-2006, 01:05

Although we are going to tweak the policies a bit more (and your input has been of great help), I'd just like to reassure you all a bit. These policies aren't here to generate problems, they are here to prevent them. They are not even meant to limit those with good intentions in their freedom on the MRC at all, but contrary intend to give our visitors as much freedom as possible without bringing the contents of our website - intentionally or not - in danger. The result? MRC as you have always known it, with more clarity on what you can and can not do on our website, and a little safety net that protects all contents submitted to the MRC to remain on the MRC for the long future to come. It is clear that the policies still need some improvement in order to be able to achieve those goals, so we'll start working on an improved version of the policies and will let you know once they're op. In the mean time, we won't hold the current policies against you in cases where common sense clearly indidactes that would not be a smart thing to do ^_^

By HansO

Paladin (672)

HansO's picture

08-01-2006, 17:35

Perhaps you should define the term 'content' more precise.

If content is what is written on the forum or submitted as newsposts I do not see a problem.

But if the term content is extended to photographic material and archives with software and artwork I suspect your policies to be too wide, and (I assume dutch law is applicable) assuming too much rights taken from the copyright holder. There is a lot of legal hassle around photographic material redistribution for example, you cant just reuse that as you state 'in any way'. Even the dutch law about privacy can mean that you have to remove a picture of a person in certain circumstances.
So exclude photographic material, artwork and software as being 'content'. No problems with (ducth) law, and no problems with GPL and such.

By Sama

Ambassador (2060)

Sama's picture

08-01-2006, 17:52

Submitting content to MRC, be it photographs, artwork or anything, implies a non-exclusive license, not a copyright transfer. There are no conflicts with (Dutch) law on that part. I may add to that that the material to which MRC claims the copyright, is automatically limited to that material that is explicitly made by MRC or exclusively made for MRC (although even the latter would probably be seen as an exclusive license, rather than a copyright transfer).

By HansO

Paladin (672)

HansO's picture

08-01-2006, 18:24

I did not assume MRC to claim copyright (which is anyway impossible under dutch law) but to claim publication rights with too much lberty.

I refer to this article:

3.2 MRC does not claim any copyrights to user submitted content. In accordance with 2.1 however, MRC may publish submitted content, without limitation, at its own discretion, in any form available.

That use of submitted content: without limitation, in any form available, is also on weak grounds with dutch law. The law limits what you may do anyway.
So why are you trying to take so much liberty with content if your intentions are as good as Snout said?
I would understand and have some sympathy for an article where you state that material (not content!) submitted is published by the MRC can not be withdrawn from publication on the website as it is.
But please do not claim publication rights without limitation, at your own discretion, in any form. That will probably not hold in court and also gives the wrong impression of this hobby/amateur initiative called the MRC.

By poke-1,170

Paragon (1756)

poke-1,170's picture

10-01-2006, 00:04

perhaps the creative commons would be applicable ?

By HansO

Paladin (672)

HansO's picture

11-02-2006, 13:27

The Creative Commons could be applicable indeed. I choose the (non-commercial version, dutch) as the license for my website. More relaxed and less unnecessary restrictive than the current MRC one!