View Full Version : Forum policies


tompe
02-14-2008, 07:32 PM
Could somebody tell me if the forum policies exists somewhere were I can read them. People are claiming that a specific policy exists and I want to check that this policy really is a policy since i find the policy stupid.

The claimed policy is that you should use the country information about a person to decide if to answer a question or not.

Nate the great
02-14-2008, 07:59 PM
I don't think that qualifies as a policy because it is practicably impossible to follow. Slightly over half of the members here do not have their location listed. Of the ones that do, how would you know that the location is correct? How the heck could you know what the applicable laws are?

A reasonable policy would be to suggest that the recipient of the information check to see what the local laws are.

Nate the great
02-14-2008, 09:31 PM
That was my personal opinion, and here is my opinion as a moderator. I was not aware of this policy. Had I known, I would have tried to convince the others that it wasn't practicable.

DaleDe
02-15-2008, 01:01 AM
Could somebody tell me if the forum policies exists somewhere were I can read them. People are claiming that a specific policy exists and I want to check that this policy really is a policy since i find the policy stupid.

The claimed policy is that you should use the country information about a person to decide if to answer a question or not.

There is no policy not to answer a question based on location that I know of. However, I do try and tailer my answers based on the user location sometimes. It just makes it much easier to answer than saying: if you live here the answer is but if you live here the answer is ... For example I seldom recommend the Kindle as a solution to folks that live in Greece.

Dale

tompe
02-15-2008, 06:26 AM
There is no policy not to answer a question based on location that I know of. However, I do try and tailer my answers based on the user location sometimes. It just makes it much easier to answer than saying: if you live here the answer is but if you live here the answer is ... For example I seldom recommend the Kindle as a solution to folks that live in Greece.

Dale

Check this thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20028

Where people are saying things like:

Please note, Jon, that BarnOwl is in the Netherlands. I don't know if that country has yet implemented the EU Copyright Directive in its laws, as the UK has, but, if it has, then removing DRM from a LIT file will be illegal for him, as it is for me. We must certainly not encourage people to break the law!
__________________
Harry


What we want to try to do if we can is to not post a reply to someone who we know lives in a country where using such tools are illegal. I know it won't be possible to do this 100% as not everyone puts in the location. So we can only try to do what's right. But if someone from a country that removing the DRM is illegal and does it, it's not our fault.
__________________
Jon


So does the policies exists in written form or not so I can check them? And if the above is correct then it is rational not to tell people were you live.

But since I have seen many people answering questions with "ConvertLit" even if the questioner is from UK or Germany I have a hard time to believe this is a policy.

Jaapjan
02-15-2008, 06:30 AM
Personally I think it is nonsense. A simple answer like

"Convertlit will allow you to turn an encrypted LIT file into its decompressed state."

Personally I assume people are smart enough to see if they have the right computer, hardware, book format and rights to use something. In other words, brains.

Failing that, this should finish of any such reactions:

"Convertlit will allow you to turn an encrypted LIT file into its decompressed state. Only allowed in some countries."

Or if you want to be a total sadist :D ... put this in your signature:

"All my forum posts are dependent on location and subject to law... bla bla."

HarryT
02-15-2008, 06:50 AM
We moderators run this board according to certain common-sense guidelines, such as "don't suggest that people do something which is illegal". These policies are NOT written down, because no written policy can ever cover all the eventualities. When something arises which a moderator is unclear about, we have a chat about it in our private moderators' forum and reach a consensus about what the best thing to do is.

It really doesn't help anyone to have "barrack room lawyers" analysing our every word, or trying to "catch us out". We sometimes get the impression (hopefully a mistaken one) that there are a few people out there who take great delight in trying to do that.

We try to make this board a friendly place, but there are occasions when we do have to "lay down the law", such as when someone advises another board member to commit a crime. Please accept that, folks - it's one of the conditions of being a member here. If you think that a moderator has done something outrageously unfair, you can send a PM to the board owner, Alexander Turcic.

Thanks!

Jaapjan
02-15-2008, 07:03 AM
That is all wonderful of course. But people have common sense too, at least you can expect that. One can also be realistic. The forum has a search feature and internet has too.

The responsibility for people's actions in regards to using software and or methods should be their own in the end.

ProfJulie
02-15-2008, 10:11 AM
That is all wonderful of course. But people have common sense too, at least you can expect that. One can also be realistic. The forum has a search feature and internet has too.

The responsibility for people's actions in regards to using software and or methods should be their own in the end.

True, but some people, especially those who are new to the whole eBook world, may be unaware that there are laws that deal with circumventing DRM on copywritten material and that these laws are different country by country. In this regard, I see nothing wrong with someone suggesting or warning users to check the laws in their own country before removing the DRM on their files. Whether one agrees with the laws or not is really irrelevant as it relates to someone else's decision to break those laws. In my opinion, it would be irresponsible to encourage users to circumvent DRM from their eBooks without also making a statement that doing so may not be legal in their country.

NatCh
02-15-2008, 01:13 PM
Part of what's going on here is that we're trying to work out some sort of cohesive policy on this, and several other matters, which can then be posted in a publicly accessible place. It's taking some time because there's a lot going on with the site, and it's a complicated situation. :shrug:

As for the specific detail of not answering a question based on where someone lives ... speaking as an individual now, not a Moderator, seems to me that someone from the Netherlands can easily read an answer given to someone in, say China, where very little is prohibited in the way of copyright infringement.

Seems to me that given the givens, about all we can really do there is the "check your local laws" type of approach.

wallcraft
02-15-2008, 02:11 PM
It would help if there was a wiki page on format shifting. I used to add something like "may not be legal where you live" to my posts on ConvertLIT (say). This was not a comment based on the location of the original post but a generic comment that legality varies from place to place. I stopped doing so because of the extra typing involved, but I would be happy to add "see format shifting in the wiki" where appropriate. Note that I am not suggesting that the wiki point to tools for format shifting (although the conversion page already does), but rather that it discuss the legality of the practice.

The legal situation isn't always black and white, In the US, format shifting for personal use is legal (a fair use) except when it involves stripping DRM. If it does involve DRM, then my understanding is that some federal district courts have held that DMCA trumps fair use and others have not said one way or the other. So its legality may depend on where in the US you live. See Question: What is the effect of the anti-circumvention provisions on the traditional defenses to copyright law? (http://chillingeffects.org/anticircumvention/faq.cgi#QID117).

DMcCunney
02-15-2008, 02:20 PM
Part of what's going on here is that we're trying to work out some sort of cohesive policy on this, and several other matters, which can then be posted in a publicly accessible place. It's taking some time because there's a lot going on with the site, and it's a complicated situation. :shrug:That needs to be done sooner rather than later.

The cop on the beat can't just say "You can't do that, because I'm a cop and I say so!" He is charged with enforcing a written law, and that law must exist in writing and be able to be cited if a question about the legitimacy of the enforcement arises. So it is with MR moderators. You really need a stated policy you can point at. It doesn't need to be a set of hard and fast rules, because as HarryT commented, you can't cover all contingencies. There does need to be something that presents guidelines, and explains why some things are disallowed like "Talking bout X and providing pointers to it could result in the board being taken down!"

On a practical level, the issue is what is the purpose of the policy? The only valid purpose I see is protecting MR itself, by trying to prevent stuff that might result in something like a DMCA complaint. But laws and standards differ considerably around the world, so I don't think you can simply ban any discussion of the issues, and I don't think you should adopt a "least common denominator" approach that attempts to stop anything anyone might find offensive. Try to do that and you might as well shut down the site.

The question is exactly where you draw the line. I'd draw it at banning any direct pointers to tools to break DRM, but I'd hesitate to ban discussion of such tools. The question I ask is what threats the site sees? What is MR trying to prevent, and why? There isn't a publishing equivalent of the RIAA or MPIA, so I'm not as concerned about people taking action against the site as I would be about the fate of, say, noted torrent haven The Pirate Bay.
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Dennis

NatCh
02-15-2008, 03:25 PM
That needs to be done sooner rather than later.I couldn't agree more. We haven't just started working on this, it's been developing for some time. As I said, part of it is the complexity, and deciding exactly where to draw that line, but part of it is also the Volunteer Workers thing. :whistle:

The cop on the beat can't just say "You can't do that, because I'm a cop and I say so!" He is charged with enforcing a written law, and that law must exist in writing and be able to be cited if a question about the legitimacy of the enforcement arises. So it is with MR moderators. You really need a stated policy you can point at. It doesn't need to be a set of hard and fast rules, because as HarryT commented, you can't cover all contingencies. There does need to be something that presents guidelines, and explains why some things are disallowed like "Talking bout X and providing pointers to it could result in the board being taken down!"Again, you'll get no argument on that point, in fact the taking down concern is a motivating factor.

On a practical level, the issue is what is the purpose of the policy? The only valid purpose I see is protecting MR itself, by trying to prevent stuff that might result in something like a DMCA complaint. But laws and standards differ considerably around the world, so I don't think you can simply ban any discussion of the issues, and I don't think you should adopt a "least common denominator" approach that attempts to stop anything anyone might find offensive. Try to do that and you might as well shut down the site.Nope, we're not interested in trying to be so inoffensive as to make the place bland and lifeless. We are interested in keeping the community a respectful one, but that's not really the topic under discussion here.

As you point out, the fundamental question is where to draw the line.

I'd draw it at banning any direct pointers to tools to break DRM, but I'd hesitate to ban discussion of such tools.That's the rule of thumb we've been operating under, thus far, but it's recently become clear that we need to create a stated set of guidelines/policies for some things. Trouble is, as clear as the need for a line is, it's hard to draw any sort of precise line that means anything.

The question I ask is what threats the site sees? What is MR trying to prevent, and why?Well, we clearly want to avoid anything that will draw the ill-will of lawyer types, but we also are interested in complying with the law for it's own sake for a number of varied ethical and practical reasons. That's a difficult and complicated thing to do when the law is on copyrights, toss in the DMCA, and it gets beyond crazy real quick. The recent move to a Canadian server was aimed at simplifying some of these questions.

There isn't a publishing equivalent of the RIAA or MPIA, so I'm not as concerned about people taking action against the site as I would be about the fate of, say, noted torrent haven The Pirate Bay.We are indeed less notorious, however, we've also developed a fairly high profile in a more "respectable" way. We have been given reasons to believe that we're ... observed by various companies. Some of those reasons have ... clarified the need for a clear set of guidelines.

The difficulty is in coming up with something that sufficiently covers the bases, but which can also be lived with, and which we can grow with as situations change, and doing it all on an "as we have a few minutes" basis.

DMcCunney
02-15-2008, 03:51 PM
I couldn't agree more. We haven't just started working on this, it's been developing for some time. As I said, part of it is the complexity, and deciding exactly where to draw that line, but part of it is also the Volunteer Workers thing. :whistle:I've been a moderator elsewhere. I quite understand.

Again, you'll get no argument on that point, in fact the taking down concern is a motivating factor.I'd call it the main factor, frankly.

Nope, we're not interested in trying to be so inoffensive as to make the place bland and lifeless. We are interested in keeping the community a respectful one, but that's not really the topic under discussion here.That wasn't quite what I meant. I was basically saying I'd shy away from content rules intended to placate the most restrictive jurisdictions, because laws (and the attitudes that spawn them) differ elsewhere in the world.

As you point out, the fundamental question is where to draw the line.

That's the rule of thumb we've been operating under, thus far, but it's recently become clear that we need to create a stated set of guidelines/policies for some things. Trouble is, as clear as the need for a line is, it's hard to draw any sort of precise line that means anything.You don't need to draw a precise line. You need to provide a clear set of principles you use in drawing the line in any particular case.

I was a moderator of a bunch of electronic forums back in the early 90's. In a discussion in the moderator's area about rules, I stated I didn't want detailed rules for all contingencies. I wanted a legal framework I could use when I had to make judgments.

And when I did have to put on my moderator hat, I found it most effective to not only talk about the rule in question, but also why the rule existed and the purpose it served. My experience was that the vast majority of my participants wanted to be good on-line citizens, and when they understood the purpose of a rule were happy to comply. It was for the good of the net and the continued successful functioning of the forums, and I wasn't simply being arbitrary. (I must have done something right: there was a formal channel where users could complain the network management about moderators. I never got one. I did get nice comments holding me up as an example of how to do it...)

Well, we clearly want to avoid anything that will draw the ill-will of lawyer types, but we also are interested in complying with the law for it's own sake for a number of varied ethical and practical reasons. That's a difficult and complicated thing to do when the law is on copyrights, toss in the DMCA, and it gets beyond crazy real quick. The recent move to a Canadian server was aimed at simplifying some of these questions.Complying with what law? That's the problem I mean.

Moving to a Canadian server is one good move. The site owner actually living in Switzerland also helps. If someone wants to take legal action against MR, it's not a simple matter.

We are indeed less notorious, however, we've also developed a fairly high profile in a more "respectable" way. We have been given reasons to believe that we're ... observed by various companies. Some of those reasons have ... clarified the need for a clear set of guidelines.Precisely. MR is probably the largest and best known site devoted to such things. As such, it has achieved higher visibility, and stuff posted here will be more likely to be noticed. When people who are executives in some part of the industry or other pop up here unbidden to talk about what they are up to or explain what might be going on, you have to assume they feel this is a good place to reach a lot of interested parties.

The difficulty is in coming up with something that sufficiently covers the bases, but which can also be lived with, and which we can grow with as situations change, and doing it all on an "as we have a few minutes" basis.Like I said, don't try to craft rules. Espouse principles that can be used as the basis of rules, but leave the actual rules to case-by-case basis enforcement.
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Dennis

NatCh
02-15-2008, 04:16 PM
Dennis, you'd have a very hard time being any more on the same page as we are this matter. Rest assured that what you're suggesting is pretty darned close to what we're trying to do. :nice:

DaleDe
02-19-2008, 11:26 AM
Dennis, you'd have a very hard time being any more on the same page as we are this matter. Rest assured that what you're suggesting is pretty darned close to what we're trying to do. :nice:

Here is the policy as we see it:

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/MobileRead

Dale

tompe
02-19-2008, 08:19 PM
Here is the policy as we see it:

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/MobileRead

Dale

What does the following mean?

MobileRead does not condone or support the use of this web site to break the law. This means that, to the extent possible, we will not allow posting of instructions showing someone how to break the law or requests for such instructions.

In particular items that break copyright law or DRM cannot be supported. eBooks posted to this site must be legally posted using applicable law and permissions.


What is an item that breaks "copyright law of DRM"?

And is it the law in Canada you are talking about here? How is the first paragraph compatible with the later observation that the law is different in each country?

And the principle used to get to these policies are not visible.

tompe
02-19-2008, 08:23 PM
In my opinion, it would be irresponsible to encourage users to circumvent DRM from their eBooks without also making a statement that doing so may not be legal in their country.

That is perfectly OK. What I reacted extemely negative to was the position that you withheld information depending on who asked the question. On one level that is assuming that people are stupid and have to be protected from themselves. And it also restricts information to all other people living in other countries reading the thread and having the same question.

DaleDe
02-19-2008, 11:22 PM
What does the following mean?


What is an item that breaks "copyright law of DRM"?

And is it the law in Canada you are talking about here? How is the first paragraph compatible with the later observation that the law is different in each country?

And the principle used to get to these policies are not visible.

An item that breaks copyright law or (notice it is not of) DRM includes but is not limited to software, hardware, explicit instructions on how to do it. By the way, telling someone that it can be done is not the same as supplying explicit instructions on how to do it.

The law in different parts of the world has differences but generally these are only in time or details. In general these details may be pointed out if known but breaking DRM of any kind in any part of the world will not be posted here if we are aware of it, even if someone happens to live where it is not illegal to break DRM, since we have no idea who might be reading it and providing these instructions is against our policy. Does that make it clearer?

Now for eBooks that are posted on the web site we will obey Canadian law but the user should be aware that they may or may not be breaking the law to download the file we post. Even someone might be breaking the law to post a file depending on where they live. We will not be enforcing those kinds of differences since we cannot in any event and there is no legal obligation for the place you say you live is true so we won't be using that except as guidance to help someone.

At least that is what I meant when I wrote it and what I presume Alex and other meant when they approved it. If I have misinterpreted this and other discussions we have had privately among the moderators I am sure someone else will jump in.

Dale

NatCh
02-19-2008, 11:35 PM
What is an item that breaks "copyright law of DRM"?That's a slight mis-quote, the original reads "copyright law or DRM." This means that, to the extent possible, we will not allow posting of infringing material, nor instructions showing someone how to break DRM or other unlawful acts (whatever those may be) or requests for instructions on how do do such things.

And is it the law in Canada you are talking about here? How is the first paragraph compatible with the later observation that the law is different in each country?Well, obviously, we have to comply with Canadian law as far as the contents of the forum go. The "other countries may vary" thing is mostly aimed at works that might be in the Public Domain in Canada, but not in others, which would be legal to host in Canada, but not download in say, the U.S.

We do recognize that there some countries don't have restrictions on removal of DRM (or copyright infringement, or any number of other things for that matter), and while we're not going to pretend that it ain't so, we're also not going to host detailed discussions of how to remove it, tools to remove it, or direct links to any of the above (or anything that falls in that general category). :unafraid:

We're being a bit over cautious on that particular point because lawyers (and the people who employ them) are particularly nasty and tenacious on the subject. :shrug:

This does not, however, extend to the discussion, in non-specific terms of DRM removal or even copyright infringement, nor to how things are or ought to be. Nor does it preclude discussion of or even instructions for the use of tools in that can be used for activities that aren't illegal. For instance, ConvertLIT was mentioned specifically: it can be used to remove DRM, but that's not it's sole use, so discussion of its use, even specific instructions isn't off limits, so long as the instructions aren't on how to remove DRM. If those instructions happen to provide sufficient information that someone could figure out on their own the specifics of using the tool to break DRM, well that's not something we really can police, nor do we intend to even try.

There's enough to worry about that is specifically illegal, or which will get us into trouble to fuss about such indirect things.

And the principle used to get to these policies are not visible.They're not explicitly spelled out within the policy, no, and perhaps they could be more clearly stated, but they're basically implied in the first paragraph:MobileRead does not condone or support the use of this web site to break the law. This means that, to the extent possible, we will not allow posting of instructions showing someone how to break the law or requests for such instructions.
But, to put them in more explicit terms: we're trying to comply with the law in as much as we're able, and also trying to avoid anything that might get us shut down, or even just on the pointy end of any Cease and Desist notices.



EDIT: Plus what DaleDe said. :pleased:

tompe
02-20-2008, 07:55 PM
An item that breaks copyright law or (notice it is not of) DRM includes but is not limited to software, hardware, explicit instructions on how to do it. By the way, telling someone that it can be done is not the same as supplying explicit instructions on how to do it.

The law in different parts of the world has differences but generally these are only in time or details. In general these details may be pointed out if known but breaking DRM of any kind in any part of the world will not be posted here if we are aware of it, even if someone happens to live where it is not illegal to break DRM, since we have no idea who might be reading it and providing these instructions is against our policy. Does that make it clearer?

Now for eBooks that are posted on the web site we will obey Canadian law but the user should be aware that they may or may not be breaking the law to download the file we post. Even someone might be breaking the law to post a file depending on where they live. We will not be enforcing those kinds of differences since we cannot in any event and there is no legal obligation for the place you say you live is true so we won't be using that except as guidance to help someone.


Why is there a difference in principle here. For posting books you refer to Canadian laws. Why is not the same principle used for other things?

I also really do not see the difference with saying "It is possible, ConvertLit, google" and telling how to do it.

Have i understood it correctly that the country of the question asker does not matter if the answer I give is just referring to that it is possible to break the DRM and give the unique name that you can google? i do not have to point out that it can be illegal then or?

tompe
02-20-2008, 08:03 PM
They're not explicitly spelled out within the policy, no, and perhaps they could be more clearly stated, but they're basically implied in the first paragraph

But, to put them in more explicit terms: we're trying to comply with the law in as much as we're able, and also trying to avoid anything that might get us shut down, or even just on the pointy end of any Cease and Desist notices.


The first paragraph I read like a moral statement that assumed one moral view. Your clarification is another statement and one that I agree with. It is your clarification that should be used to motivate things I think. Personally I do not agree with the moral view that you should hinder distribution of information just to not in any remote way encourage people to break the law and it would be bad if this forum held this moral view.

Patricia
02-20-2008, 08:16 PM
The first paragraph I read like a moral statement that assumed one moral view. Your clarification is another statement and one that I agree with.

The two statements are not inconsistent. It is entirely possible to hold a moral view and simultaneously to have a desire not to be sued were that moral view transgressed.

NatCh
02-20-2008, 11:54 PM
Personally, I have strong moral objections to getting sued! :wink:

Joking aside, morals and ethics determine how a person responds to legal matters, and laws are fundamentally expressions of the morality of the societies that make them in the first place (witness the fact that murder is pretty universally illegal, but when you get right down to the heart of it, the "wrongness" of murder can only be a moral call).

But we have a legion of other threads that discuss the morality vs. legality of this and several other issues. In this case, if we feel some moral pressure to comply with the law, then so what? And if we consider it to be a silly law and go no further than bare compliance, again, so what?

In any case, you're certainly entitled to take whatever view of the policy and how it's worded which seems best to you. We've got what we came up with because we feel it best serves and shields the needs of the community as a whole. As it is, it's hardly over restrictive, so hopefully everyone can live with it, even if they don't necessarily care to drink the kool-aid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drink_the_kool-aid#.22Drinking_the_Kool-Aid.22) as far as the specific wording or motivating principles go. :shrug:


In answer to your original and direct question: no it is not the policy of MobileRead to try to only give answers that are legal in the country of the asker. Not so far as I've ever understood it, anyway. :nice:

The answers will, ideally, comply with the various relevant laws in as much as it is possible for them to do so, and very well may carry some sort of disclaimer legalities vary from place to place, but we're not dense enough to think that people in the U.S. (for instance) will only read answers to questions that were asked by other people in the U.S., so that sort of silliness would be a waste of effort.

Keep in mind too, that the vast majority of answers around here come from the Community, not the "staff," and we certainly don't try to mind control forum members! :unafraid:

We're still working out some of the details on this ourselves, as the move to Canada is pretty recent and we're all still wrapping our brains around the mess that is copyright law.

In very simple terms: to the best of our ability we won't allow posting of infringing material (as defined by Canadian Laws), nor direct links to same, nor specific instructions for finding same. Nor do we allow posting of or direct linking to tools that can only be used to break DRM, nor specific instructions for finding or using such tools for breaking DRM -- that bit comes more under the "not getting sued" category than the legality category.


If other stuff comes up that needs to be specifically addressed, or if we get a Cease And Desist notice for something new and exciting, then we'll naturally deal as seems best with those eventualities as they arise, including adjusting the policy's language as needed.

The language was deliberately kept "not too specific" for the purpose of giving us room to deal with such things without having to change the language every five minutes. If we posted a laundry list of "don'ts" then we'd be open to someone saying "well it's not on the list, so why can't I do it?" Besides, who wants to be that pedantic?


I also want to add that, personally, I very much appreciate your concern on this, it's the Community that makes MobileRead what it is, and your interest in this stuff is an excellent example of why that's so. :pleased:

Ralph Sir Edward
02-21-2008, 10:26 AM
I do have one baldly practical question. There are many PD e-book uploads on the site, available for download (all hail to the contributors!), But....under what law is your definition of PD? This is important so that people can compare to their individual countries laws when downloading. RSE :bookworm:

NatCh
02-21-2008, 10:41 AM
The books are PD as defined by the laws of Canada, where our server resides, but that only affects which titles can be uploaded.

The point that has to be considered by the person downloading is whether the books are PD where the downloader is.

DMcCunney
02-21-2008, 10:44 AM
I do have one baldly practical question. There are many PD e-book uploads on the site, available for download (all hail to the contributors!), But....under what law is your definition of PD? This is important so that people can compare to their individual countries laws when downloading. RSE :bookworm:AFAIK, MobileRead's server is in Canada, and the stuff hosted at MobileReader is PD under Canadian law. This means that some of it is technically not legal under US law. However, there is no clear indication of what content is legal under what jurisdiction, and I don't think there can be.

The site is covered by being hosted in Canada, and making the disclaimer. It can't be held responsible if a user grabs content that is legal for the site to host, but not from them to download.

If it's a concern to you, don't download if you aren't sure.

Personally, I don't worry about it. If it's hosted on MobileRead, and it's something I want, I download it. The legality only becomes an issue if someone is aware that I've done so and considers it worth the trouble to take action against me. I don't see either of those circumstances occurring in real life.
______
Dennis

DMcCunney
02-21-2008, 11:06 AM
In answer to your original and direct question: no it is not the policy of MobileRead to try to only give answers that are legal in the country of the asker. Not so far as I've ever understood it, anyway.There is no way MobileRead could do so, even if it wanted to. You would need to know where the asker was from, and what the laws were in the asker's jurisdiction. (If you have admin powers on the site, you probably have an option to see the poster's IP address, but that's not an infallible guide: they might be behind a proxy server. And you still have the challenge of knowing what their laws are.)

The one suggestion I would make is a sticky in the forums pointing to the wiki material. I went looking for forum policies regarding this stuff before and didn't find them. It's possible I didn't look hard enough, but it shouldn't require a serious search to determine what those particular policies are.
______
Dennis

Ralph Sir Edward
02-21-2008, 12:15 PM
Thanks to one and all for the information. Acording to my lookup of Canadian copyright law, it is author's life + 50. (unless there has been a recent change.) :thanks:


:offtopic: Is there an easy to use coversion program to convert your PD mobipocket editions (or LRF) to HTML? I prefer keeping my PD items in HTML for long-term portability.

DMcCunney
02-21-2008, 12:22 PM
:offtopic: Is there an easy to use coversion program to convert your PD mobipocket editions (or LRF) to HTML? I prefer keeping my PD items in HTML for long-term portability.MR forum member Tompe has a set of programs that will let you do that for Mobipocket. They are perl scripts, but he periodically compiles windows EXEs which include a perl runtime interpreter so you don't need to install perl to use them. They are command line tools, intended to be run in a CMD.EXE window. I don't know whether that matches your definition of "easy to use".

Go here: http://www.ida.liu.se/~tompe/mobiperl/
______
Dennis

tompe
02-21-2008, 05:38 PM
I do have one baldly practical question. There are many PD e-book uploads on the site, available for download (all hail to the contributors!), But....under what law is your definition of PD? This is important so that people can compare to their individual countries laws when downloading. RSE :bookworm:

The specific copy uploaded here is not public domain if not explicitly stated. You cannot take the copy here and put it on another site or sell it as I understand it and that you can do if it is public domain.

tompe
02-21-2008, 05:43 PM
The two statements are not inconsistent. It is entirely possible to hold a moral view and simultaneously to have a desire not to be sued were that moral view transgressed.

Of course they might not be inconsistent. But you need to now which one is the primary one when they are in conflict in details. And the statement in the policy cover things that are not illegal and things that does not cause any risk to be sued.

Somebody need to add to the policy that jokingly sexual explicit posts are not allowed either. Maybe they are illegal in Canada so this principle exists.

HarryT
02-22-2008, 02:31 AM
Somebody need to add to the policy that jokingly sexual explicit posts are not allowed either. Maybe they are illegal in Canada so this principle exists.

It is a matter of good taste, not law. We welcome readers of all ages here, and "adult" content is inappropriate; we don't want to restrict the site to "over 18s only". We aren't "prudes", but these particular posts were well beyond the limits of what is acceptable.

ProfJulie
02-22-2008, 12:22 PM
Here is the policy as we see it:

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/MobileRead

Dale

I think this is a good policy that is well written and not too restrictive or vague.

I enjoy participating on well moderated forums such as this one, and I am a moderator myself on a different forum that is comprised of people from all over the world. It is challenging creating policies like this one for an international community. I think you've done a great job and I appreciate the time and effort of all the moderators here.

Thanks

Julie