Sunday, October 10, 2010

My own "intellectural property" protection policy

Given all the speculation and uncertainty discussed about copyright, implicit content, and other matters in some of my recent posts, I thought I would reiterate my own policy as to my own content. I want to place particular emphasis on the notion that any body of material for which I have spent a lot of time to develop does need the protection of a clear i.p. policy.

(1) These policies apply to material that reasonably qualifies as “intellectual property”. They would not apply to brief comments made in forums or on social networking sites or emails mainly for networking, rather than publication purposes.

(2) And items of substantial text (books to blog postings), images taken by me, and videos taken by me, or future items such as films, belong to me. I retain the right to sell and distribute these items in a manner of my choosing, as is usually expected with property rights, unless I sign a voluntary contract with another party (for example a trade book publisher or a motion picture distribution company) assigning publication or distribution rights. I will inform visitors of any such arrangements.

(3) Text items may be quoted without permission within reason, as long as attributed (by direct or “tiny url” hyperlink when possible on the web), under the Fair Use doctrine of copyright law, as normally understood. I am not concerned whether the material in which they are quoted is commercial or not, or whether my original was commercial (carried ads) or not.

(4) Original videos or music audio clips may be embedded in any site, including commercial sites, if I provide embed code.

(5) For still images, permission should be sought, unless I have specifically said otherwise or provided embed code.

(6) Although I think my need to resort to filing copyright complaints may be unlikely in practice for the foreseeable future, I will assure visitors who republish my material that I would follow normal DMCA safe harbor procedures as long as the potential infringer was served by a provider capable of serving as a registered copyright agent. I will not sell intellectual property to other parties just in order to litigate.

(7) If I enter into an employment arrangement with any party as an employee, hourly worker, or contractor but as a non-management “individual contributor” (for an entity that deals with the public in a neutral manner), I reserve the right to remain active as a self-publisher on the Web or in print without third party supervision. However, such an employing or business party may have policies requiring associates to submit their own materials to third party review; but if so, the parties must inform me before employment offer or business contract is offered, and should inform the public through websites if at all possible of any such policy. This would include government agencies.

(8) If I enter into an employment or business agreement where I have direct reports (in the usual sense of this concept in human resources) and will have such an arrangement with the same individuals for 120 days or more, or have the responsibility to underwrite customers or “grade” students, I will agree to submit anything I self-publish to third-party review to prevent prospective conflicts. Special considerations may apply with employers or business partners that are themselves media companies (for example, film studios or production companies). These provisions do not apply when informally supervising employees or contractors from third party agencies when the arrangements are expected to be temporary, and do not apply to lineage familial situations.

(9) Similar third party prepublication review processes would occur if the employing party were normally viewed as biased (a political party or a lobbyist).

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