The first thing you need to do is make simple analogies.
Let’s talk about ‘on-line’ shopping.
Way back in the 1800s, people could buy things via a
catalogue. They’d see what they wanted, write a letter
put their cash in an envelope, (or buy a ‘money order’)
and mail it off. Eventually the purchase would come in
The very same principles that applied in the 1800s via
‘mail order’ apply in the 2000s to ‘on line’.
If I wrote to you, let’s suppose it was a nasty letter,
and you showed it to all your friends, and your lawyer,
and even went so far as to post it in the local newspaper,
exactly where can I find some sort of legal grounds to
I wrote it.
I sent it to you.
You own it.
You can burn it.
You can hang it up on the wall.
It is your’s.
When someone sent the artist, Pablo Picasso a check
for ‘lessons’ and he returned it with a drawing on the
back, that check writer could sell that drawing.
That the drawing was Picasso’s was not the issue,
is no ‘copyright’ or ‘copywrong’, it was Picasso’s
That it was sent to the check writer meant it belonged
to the check writer.
Hence, in the example of email, I can not complain if you
take my email and send it to your local paper, as long as
you say; “This was written by Jaylar. “
Thirdly, often those who own message boards claim they
own the property in the posts. As long as you recognise
that you have copied this post from a Message Board;
as long as it is a Public Message Board, meaning virtually
any member of the Public can log on and see the posts,
the question of ‘privacy’ becomes moot.
You may make the same post to ten message boards…for
example if one were dealing with a particular issue and
it was the major talking point on ten message boards, and
you wrote your opinion, then copied and pasted it to ten
message boards, would they all be left to sue each other
for the post you made?
Think of it.
Think of all the ‘lol ‘s you posted.
Who owns the ‘lol’s?
If someone were to take your post, however, slap their
name on it and repost it, then we are talking plagiarism.
Plain old plagarism, going back hundreds of years.
Nothing new about plagarism.
Recently, there has been this uproar about photographs
of celebrities. One can understand the photographer who
took the picture wishing to be credited with the picture.
But all those photos in all those magazines which fill the
shelves …what is your legal position?
If someone snaps a celebrity walking out of a movie theater
and puts it into a magazine, and you take that photo and
put it on your computer, or post it as your avatar, what
law have you broken?
You are not saying you took the photo. You are not saying
that it is a photo of you. Just as people who cut photos
from these magazines and hang them up in their rooms have
never been charged with an offense, why should you be?
Anytime you are threatened by a law suit, (we are not
talking criminal acts here) because you used a photo
of a celebrity as an avatar, or copied something from
wiki to use as an ‘authority’ (as long as you give credit)
use common sense.