Intellectual Property Policy

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Bastlynn
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Intellectual Property Policy

So this one is kind of pedantic but it's low hanging fruit compared to most everything else we have on the list over in setting, so I wanted to go ahead and let this one out there. It's not a rush at all, so this thread can mosey along compared to any of the others. And if you really couldn't care less about licensing for IP and all that, just wanna RP - this one is safe to ignore. This is only coming up cause I know we have a number of writers and the like on the site.

Our IP policy! We already updated art policy to make use of US Code - Fair Use laws.

I would like to take a look at our text policies next, as it seems to be a reasonable thing to double check to make sure we're up to date. So here's what we have right now:

http://vaxia.org/wiki/terms-and-conditions

This thing includes a "Vaxia as co-author" thing, that I'll be honest as far as I know, has never stood a day in any sort of court anywhere. A website is not a human and cannot own authorship rights, and we are not a formal organization or employer to do so either. Any court that did uphold this I would look on with no small amount of annoyance - co-authorship is, from a writer's point of view, actually a LOT more rights being given up than you might otherwise think especially in regards to reuse of the IP in a printed product. Unfortunately the way it's worded would absolutely put the hackles up on a publishing company at the risk that it would get used... It's actually a pretty crappy deal from the contributors point of view.

If I recall there's some history here on why this policy was put in, because one of our contributors in the way distant past basically packed up his toys and went home?

Based on that as the actual need this policy aims to address, I would like to update this policy to one that's a much more modern version of this that has minimal impact on the rights and publishing rights of the original creator of content. Which is to say - I'd like to update us to Creative Commons.

Please take a look around here at the CC site if you're interested in this sort of thing http://creativecommons.org/

The specific license I would suggest putting Vaxia content under is this one: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

That preserves the rights of Vaxia to make use of the materials, but also firmly preserves the rights of the original writer to use the material in a published work if that by luck and happy circumstance becomes an option for them. The authorship remains clear under this license as well. I think it's a lot closer to what the original aim was for the policy it would be replacing - it just does so in such a way that is legally viable.

I know this is kind of a nitpicky sort of thing, it's not terribly important in the process of refreshing setting information and all - but I think it's something we should as a site at least take a look at eventually and it's definitely something I think the site as a whole should weigh in on.

No rush at all on this one, we've got all the time we need for it.

Boblet
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Yes, via Mirudan, subject matter was the original Vaxian Gods.

On a stand in comment, looks good.

Sinsational
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Vaxia already...

Vaxia already keeps and makes use of other peoples writings which was proven back when I was a member before and wrote about one of my characters and their deity Schutzren which was pulled into Vaxia's pantheon without my permission or knowledge.

So in my view I dont see how making it an 'official policy' view would change much since Vaxia has been taking other peoples writings to use their own way anyway for years :)

Boblet
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Just cuz X was done in the past does not mean it's okay in the future. If that is how it is, I'm going to court and suing Vaxia for using all my elf information without my permission. There's nothing Marco, Heron, or anyone else from back then can do about it. (despite the aggressive tone, this is not an attack...well not a direct attack against you, Sin, per se).

Point is, you in theory could sue for those rights being used against your permission.

This new set up is to cover the future/current Vaxian butts so such a possibility cannot arise. So yes, does it help you from years ago? No. Does it help in future dealings, hell and jalapenos yeah. If you don't want Schutzren used anymore, no problem. We get rid of him, not like anyone else uses him, heh.

Not everything is about what already exists.

Bastlynn
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The point in this case is

The point in this case is that the existing policy takes more rights than it should away from the author. Moving to CC restores clear authorship rights and provides the intended protection for the writers and site involved.

Boblet
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Thanks Bast for clarifying that and with a whole lot less sarcasm than me.

Bastlynn
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NP ;) It's not like I don't

NP ;) It's not like I don't end up regularly answering this question for eclipsephase too - IP is one of those weird areas where things are wibbly. I've a friend who honestly regrets slipping one of his favorite NPCs into his first dragon article.... it means he can't use her in anything else because she now belongs to WotC (and he writes mostly for Paizo) since articles for Dragon at the time were work-for-hire. She literally isn't his anymore... we've currently got professional writers on site - this stuff matters! It's just boring is all. ;)

To further clarify where I'm going with here - so Sin writes up Schutzren and is the author for it. Under the old rights policy, by posting it on Vaxia - Vaxia became a co-author. Co-author is an actual legal state though there's still some debate on wither or not a site can hold it... which means that Sin would NOT be able to reuse the concept in say a book he was writing without opening himself to at least legal questions from his publisher's lawyer. And of course if it went that far, then the site might have to extract the concept from the setting, make characters change history and generally causing headaches and bad feelings all around...

Under the new policy, Sin would label Schutzren as a CC - share-non-profit-attribute creation. So the site may continue to use the concept but may NOT profit off it. And then because the authorship is clear, he would still retain to himself the commercial rights in order to use Schutzren in a for-profit context such as his book.

Sinsational
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thank you...

For explaining further bast and bob. The clarification was quite an eye opener and helped a great deal.

As far as schutzren - no I wasnt saying I want it removed or that I would sue - I was simply saying I thought the old policy already allowed vaxia rights to anything written or posted here. It was a thought - an opinion - but it has been answered and clarified.

Personally, I kinda feel honored because i love vaxia and what it stands for and I feel like the usage is one brick I put in to build vaxia...a historical fingerprint if you will.

Bastlynn
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It did - it just got all

It did - it just got all rights-grabby up in areas that I personally feel it ought not for our authors. ;) But if the explanation makes more sense now - then awesome - I'm gonna leave this up for awhile, since it's not a rush and I want to make sure the site has loads of opportunity to provide feedback.

Boblet
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laughs Never said you would. It was a "what if" sarcastic reply.

Thank you Marco for deleting all my stuff. Now I can go make the game world Waxia with all my elf info and books about Twilight/Larth. LOL

ChordOrgan
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That CC license looks pretty

That CC license looks pretty perfect to me! :)

Bastlynn
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This has sat a bit - if we're

This has sat a bit - if we're good on this one, I can get a proposal up for moving to use CC on the site for IP stuff? Anyone want more time or have questions?

Madius
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No objections here

.

Tanya
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Second

Bastlynn
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Okies - cool - proposal is up
Bastlynn
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Ok, votes are in and that's a

Ok, votes are in and that's a pretty authoritative vote too! 100% in favor. We'll do CC then - I'll get the last of that written up here and popped into the wiki then. :)

admin
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The terms and conditions

The terms and conditions information has been added to our pages - we are set now. Thanks all!