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Copyright in posts / t&cs / Daily Mail

(17 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JaneAustinAllegro Tue 10-May-16 14:37:19

Dear MN -
In the light of the Daily Mail's keen approach to wholesale lifting of user's posts, I took a look around the site terms & conditions of use (had to find the link hidden in the privacy policy - couldn't find a more obvious location for it?). I see that (as is completely usual for social networks), we grant you a royalty free etc licence to reproduce our words. Slightly less usually, you do not restrict that licence to use for the purpose of running the site and the boards, but extend it to granting you all commercial rights in user content posted, without any share of income to the user or requirement to seek consent. That's a pretty outdated approach to T&Cs by the way.
subject to that non exclusive licence to you, users retain the copyright in their posts.
Can you confirm whether the recent spate of articles are under licence from MN? they've been drawing heavily on text - i don't see eg how today's article on Puzzled's wedding gift thread could constitute a fair dealing exception by the DM since the whole of their article bar a few lines is a direct lift of user's posts, together with screenshot images.
So does that mean that the DM are infringing copyright, or MN have licensed the content to them?
would appreciate some clarity as it has a material effect on what users should feel comfortable with posting on here.

Jasonandyawegunorts Tue 10-May-16 14:54:20

The fair dealings law would come in to a lot of it, you can quite legally republish stuff as long as it's used in the context of "This was posted on mumsnet", "This was a reply on the same thread". "In mumsnet lists of top ten tips to help kids sleep so and so was given as number 6."

This includes screen shots and a percentage of the written text, as long as it's framed as coming from this site.

It's the same law that those 100% unofficial documentary makers used to use, where very short clips and movie posters can be used without seeking permission from the rights holder.

JaneAustinAllegro Tue 10-May-16 14:56:22

for fair dealing it has to be proportionate to the item as a whole - so you can use a short clip in a film for purposes of comment / review, but when 90% of an article is a straight reproduction, you fail on that head. Accreditation is helpful (ie "this came from mumsnet") but a credit does not make it fair use.

Jasonandyawegunorts Tue 10-May-16 15:00:29

a credit does not make it fair use.

You mean fair dealings?

I thought fair use was US and is slightly different?

I've not read the articles in question though so i can't answer.

JaneAustinAllegro Tue 10-May-16 15:13:52

neither the UK fair dealing exception to c'right infringement (as opposed to a fair dealing law, since you're getting into pedantry!) nor the US fair use doctrine confer non infringing status on something purely by virtue of a credit to the original author / owner being given. But you obviously knew that. If you had read the articles, you'd see that MN content comprises around 90% of them; not fair, credit or no credit. SO the question is more whether they're infringing, or licensed by MN.

Jasonandyawegunorts Tue 10-May-16 15:21:28

What is the percentage that can be lifted for written work?
I don't know the answer to that, i think courts decide on a case by case bases depending on the work. What if it's deemed a news source?

you obviously knew that

Yes, i know that. Unless the content is given under a Creative Commons license.

Becca19962014 Tue 10-May-16 16:37:23

I asked MN about this and they said they're going to reply on this thread later today as they're investigating - I reported a post by the OP saying they'd be contacted and ignored a request by a DM journalist on the site.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 11-May-16 12:46:40

Any update on this, HQ?

Comiconce Wed 11-May-16 12:58:06

Watching with interest. There have been so many MN chats reported as 'news' in the DM in the past few weeks that I no longer feel very comfortable posting much on here.

LaPharisienne Wed 11-May-16 13:03:47

Watching with interest. Would never post anything controversial on here having seen threads reproduced in DM articles.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 11-May-16 13:04:25

This was happening when I came in about 6 years ago. People countered it with a flood of anti-Fail usernames. Can't remember if that worked, though.

Becca19962014 Wed 11-May-16 13:13:51

The email I had from beccamumsnet yesterday said mnhq intended to post later here yesterday but it could take some time as part of the issue is the person was contacted via PM for permission by a journalist and they want to chase that before responding.

I don't think she'll mind me repeating her email here.

ZenNudist Wed 11-May-16 20:37:02

I was disgusted with the guardian earlier (I can't think of any other word). The wedding gift request for more money made it to number1 of most popular items (I know, the readers fault). It's the lowest form of journalism. Like when you read all about unfortunate victims cribbed from their Facebook page.

I expect shitty 'journalism' in the mail but the guardian is now as bad.

I'm surprised mumsnet aren't doing more to protect their users. Unless the free publicity is attractive?

I also wonder what newspapers are doing to verify something is true. We have no idea what is and isn't made up but any regular mn-er will have finely honed trolldar. Newspapers printing as fact any old bobbins people write isn't journalism. I think it reflects badly on mn in the media too bit we dont care about that anyway.

TrojanWhore Wed 11-May-16 20:52:07

"Unless the free publicity is attractive?"

Does the pope shit in the woods?

There has been a spate of articles recently that are essentially lifting MN threads. It's tiresome.

MrsHathaway Wed 11-May-16 21:30:11

I'll be interested to see MNHQ position on this. The most recent ripoff publicised thread was lifted mostly without comment.

Must credit This Morning with using the thread as a springboard for talking about weddings more generally and only fleetingly discussing what actually happened to poor puzzled.

JaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-May-16 11:46:42


Please take a look at JustineMumsnet's post about this on a thread about the same topic, over here .


PlectrumElectrum Tue 31-May-16 22:21:30

Is there any update on MN position on this yet? It's clearly a regular feature now for the daily mail so it would be good to know that the issues raised have been addressed & what the outcome is with the legal advice that was being sought.

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