Legality of phpBB 3 Forumotion Converter.

Anonymous

Habitué
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
1,319
Well I have a site hosted on a Forumotion.com and I'm about to switch hosts to V Bulletin. Well they won't give you access to the directories so I did some searching. I recently found a download where you can convert a ForuMotion phpBB 3 forum and was wondering if this was legal. I imagine it must be since it's on phpBB's official support forum but I just wanted to make sure.
 

el canadiano

But I said ███████████
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
843
Yeah, it's pretty legal. Going from Forumotion > phpBB 3 > vBulletin is a good choice. I've gone from Zetaboards > phpBB 2 > MyBB on the same converter.
 

hari

Tazmanian
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
5,653
The only thing illegal probably would be a service provider holding on to your data and refusing to part with it or refusing to allow you to back it up or otherwise use it as you wish.
 

TrixieTang

Politically Incorrect
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
8,509
I believe that I recall reading that using any kind of "converter" is a violation of Forumotion's ToS. And it might not be completely legal since they consider the data to be theirs and not yours.

Although even if it isn't legal I doubt that they'd actually go after you if you used a converter.
 

hari

Tazmanian
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
5,653
I believe that I recall reading that using any kind of "converter" is a violation of Forumotion's ToS. And it might not be completely legal since they consider the data to be theirs and not yours.

Although even if it isn't legal I doubt that they'd actually go after you if you used a converter.
Again, ToS is not the law. I believe that if you fight it out with the right lawyer, you can invalidate their ToS.

Then again, if you have enough money to pay a lawyer, you should probably host with a reputable and proper web host, not a free forum service who can claim that they own the data just because they provide the service for free. It sounds absolutely ridiculous if you think about it right. How would it be if all free providers started laying claim on their users' data by simply modifying their ToS?

Does that mean that google can claim that all the mail hosted on their gmail is theirs because they happen to provide it for free? Imagine the uproar and the legal ramifications if that happens!
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
553
Who cares if it is illegal or not, they want to hold your data and claim it as their own forget them!
 

EthanJ

La Belle Époque
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
771
Does that mean that google can claim that all the mail hosted on their gmail is theirs because they happen to provide it for free? Imagine the uproar and the legal ramifications if that happens!
Well you say that, but Facebook have the right to use any of your photos or sell nearly all your data to third parties. Google have the right to collect all kinds of data about you. There is a difference between 'ownership' and usage rights, but it's not as great as you might think.

I know this has nothing to do with the OP's question, just thought I'd point it out.
 

hari

Tazmanian
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
5,653
Well you say that, but Facebook have the right to use any of your photos or sell nearly all your data to third parties. Google have the right to collect all kinds of data about you. There is a difference between 'ownership' and usage rights, but it's not as great as you might think.

I know this has nothing to do with the OP's question, just thought I'd point it out.
There is a fundamental rule of law which says no man can give more rights than he has in the first place. Is there any law which says google have a unrestricted RIGHT to my data under all circumstances? And no, I'm not talking of their Terms of Service or any such agreement. I am looking for an actual legal clause of the US contract laws which allows such terms to be incorporated legally or any court judgement which ruled that google have such rights. I am sure privacy laws in many countries would be directly opposed to such "rights" which google or any other company give themselves through a self-created ToS.

Usage rights is one thing and might be a legal grey area, but preventing access to your own data would be blatantly illegal in most circumstances.

Also usage rights generally acquired under such circumstances are not exclusive and unrestricted. No ToS can override your local laws relating to contract and intellectual property rights. That's why I always think people should know the law at least in the area of their specialization so that they don't allow others to ride roughshod over their legitimate interests.

At the same time I realize that google and Facebook are multinational giants and obvious in reality people would not be in a position to sue them over all issues, but I think the legal position is important whatever might be the reality.
 
Last edited:

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,501
Forumotion only 'owns' the database snapshot in its posession.
Part of its business is in selling you back your own data (aside from the also lucrative business of putting ads on people's forums, then charging you as much as shared hosting 'to remove ads for your visitors').

For all purposes, scraping your own public forum is not the same as asking for a snapshot of the database. You're effectively recreating your data from content you of your own made accessible, and members of your community authorized you to display and publish.

What could happen? Are you guys going to send yourselves a DMCA takedown request after you move out?

Converters are fine and legal. The only issue that they typically have, is that they disrupt a good chunk of the business plan of these forum hosters, and can have their authors requested to not share/release them (given how theyre legal, it would be safe to assume authors could be proposed $$ to get them to comply).
 
Last edited:

el canadiano

But I said ███████████
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
843
nneonneo doesn't release any of this stuff if someone objects to it, just letting you guys know.
 

Alex.

The Ancient Dragon
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
Messages
11,578
While I'm all for the greater good, I don't like companies like Forumotion or others that hold onto data you created. Paying, what I believe is $50 on average is a rip-off. Take what you want. If you feel you're violating your morals, then what is Forumotion violating?
 

cheat_master30

Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
3,840
I'll say one thing... just make the converter. If they complain, I'd say just tell them to get lost and keep distributing it. Yes, I'm not a lawyer, but I'd personally love to see someone actually knock them down a peg or two on this matter, even more so someone to win a court case and throw out their rather pathetic sounding 'legal notice'.

Stick with your morals. If you believe it's right to do this, go for it. And yes, some people will probably ban me or call me insane for saying this, but it's by far better to stick by moral beliefs and what you think is right than to be bound by insane 'laws' and 'rules' going against it. The better man is one who doesn't just mindlessly go along with 'authority', especially when said authority does something they see as morally wrong.
 

el canadiano

But I said ███████████
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
843
But still. Remember that Forumotion is using phpBB's software as well.
 

RosenCruz

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
32
What will they do ? Sue a youngster for crawling the forum database of his community ? I do not believe it.
 

cheat_master30

Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
3,840
My advice here; tell them to do their worst if they complain about it. We need more people willing to stand up against stupid 'rules' like this and not just buckle under the slightest pressure.

Just use the converter anyway.
 

esquire

Habitué
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
1,588
I read the Terms of Service for the site above very quickly (IMHO, not well done.) Can someone point to me where the company claims that it even owns the data? For members, upon signup, I don't see anything in the standard terms that even indicates that the company can claim that they own the data, unless it is something highly unusual and not obvious. If it's your forum, I'd be upset if the company's position wasn't clear from the outset. Still, if some of you talk about the company's "policies", show me where in the terms the company has a right to set such a policy.
 

RosenCruz

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
32
My advice here; tell them to do their worst if they complain about it. We need more people willing to stand up against stupid 'rules' like this and not just buckle under the slightest pressure.

Just use the converter anyway.
agreed. use it and tell them to do their best !
 
Top