Quoting a Quote Containing IP Infringing Material

Col

Aspirant
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Jan 20, 2008
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21
Re: https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/copyright/897324/infringement-by-retweet

The above case is still pending. My feeling is that the plaintive will lose, as there is already case law which generally protects embedding of images, video and audio from copyright claims. And in the case of retweets, retweets are embedded textual content.

However, any forum software I have ever used does not embed quotes. After all, posts to a forum are generally (or very often) considerably longer than a tweet. So, the ability to quote just part of the original (and perhaps annotate) seems to be a basic requirement. This makes embedding of message board quotes impractical.

So, with a forum a quote, we are creating a new instance of the material - protections for embedded content will no longer apply.

With any forum software I have ever used, when we quote a post from another member containing an an image, the original image is embedded within our quote. So, we are good with images. The same with video and audio files. But, what of text?

When we quote another post on a message board, we actually copy the text. What implications does this have for potential copyright violations? On the face of it, if a post contains copyright violating text, so probably will quotes of this material. And the problem here is that those who have (in all innocence) copied the text by quoting it are potentially on the hook too.

Can anyone here point me to any information or law relating to this scenario. I've searched up and down and cannot find the answer.

Thanks.

 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
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Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,167
I'd say this comes down to your site's policy on quoting. I think most copyright legislation makes allowances for "fair use" of copyright material when used as part of an article or discussion. There's really little need to go beyond what's allowed.

If someone on my forum were to post a thread like "Look what I found on xxx forum...." with an entire post quoted, I would either remove it, or edit the quote to a few words and link to the original. I don't want people quoting entire posts or articles from elsewhere. If it's relevant, I want them to post their views, critiques, etc., ABOUT the post or article, perhaps with quoted passages for reference.
 

Col

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
21
Hi Nev_Dull,

Thanks for the reply. But that's not what I mean.

If someone posts copyrighted material in a way which infringes IP rights, but this is not obvious, what's to prevent those who might quote the post falling liable? The case referenced in my open post aside, it is pretty-well established that embedding copyrighted material (pictures, video and audio) will protect the poster (they are not creating a new copy). However, except in narrow cases (such as occurs at Twitter), text from the original post is not embedded, it is copied. You see the problem?
 

Nev_Dull

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Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,167
In the event someone were to take content from another source and post it on your site as their own, I don't think anyone quoting that post would be held liable. I'm not a lawyer and don't claim expert knowledge on copyright law. However, I think it would be difficult to make a case against someone simply quoting a passage from another post, which they believe was written by the first poster. At most, I think the admin would be asked to delete the quoted content or just remove the thread.
 

Col

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
21
Again, thanks for the reply.

From the the link I included in my opening post:

When you retweet - using functionality built into Twitter's platform that is fundamental to how Twitter works - can you be held responsible for copyright infringement if it turns out that the original tweet, unbeknownst to you, included infringing content? A case pending in Chicago raises precisely this question.

I think that case will be resolved favorably, because it was done innocently and was an embedded quote - case law seems to support this outcome. Irrespective, the scenario I outline is potentially much trickier because it creates a new copy of the infringing material. I just wondered if anyone here has come across any case law in this area.
 
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