It’s actually a large
It’s actually a large problem, because you can’t retroactively make people agree to your terms, and take ownership of whatever they published.
I think the easiest way is to block people from using the site until they agree to the terms, and then remove any content by anyone who didn’t agree, but that is going to have catastrophic consequences.
On the other hand, running a website like this without any terms and conditions is a huge legal risk for a company. It’s smaller for an individual, becuase you don’t have as much to gain for suing someone. Companies are much more vulnerable.
Term & conditions
I think RobotShop could proactively implement a more family orientated site by letting parents create sub-accounts for their kids. These accounts would not have access to the SB. Perhaps a “Help Me” SB for kids and enlist the help of some regular members as mentors. I suspect there would be no way to block a child who has an email outside the parents control but the primary account setup could be content limited.
It is excactly the removing
It is excactly the removing of content that worries people; including me. Everbody can understand that an author should be able to retract or rectify content they created. Removing everything you ever wrote because you disagree with the way LMR is run, is just spiteful and destructive to LMR; nobody gains there.
I expect the terms and conditions to include LMR retaining the right to keep the content online and also respecting the intellectual property of the authors. So when the author has proper cause to want content altered or removed, LMR will have to allow you do so. Likewise; if LMR has cause to remove an article because it contains profanity or other improper content, they can choose to take it away.
A Kids chatroom?
In my experience under 18 chatrooms need to be monitored by a moderator, to prevent some kind of abuses, that can lead to auto exclusion or bullying.
The mentor idea can work, i’d volunteer for that.
I think “help me” questions should be posted to the forum, if original enough.
Anyway an help shoutbox can be useful as the mod can give link to the answers or tutorial, or just suggest what to search in the google bar above( a big beginner problem is not knowing the words).
I’ve seen even unmoderated chats where kids were free only to utter whole sentences like “i’m really happy” or “thanks and have a good day”, but these kind of chats are out of place here.
Over 12 children usually are grown enough not to be traumatized by curse words or inappropriate themes.
In my opinion under 12 children shouldn’t surf alone, as they can be easily deceived by ads or just they don’t know how to search.
A limited child account can be easily deceived. If the registration form prompts for the age i’d be tempted to lie about it, to see grown ups table, or just make two accounts to actually see if there is difference.
Asking school grade instead leads to less lieing. It’s a matter of pride to be just in the xth grade school and being able to make a robot!
i’ve read carefully the terms and conditions
The contract explicitly bans access to LMR by robots. I find that nonsense as the aim of the site is to make robots, some people even used bots to post in the shoutbox, then they would get banned. I propose to modify that rules to allow access to the site to robots, but they must not cause harm to the site by doing more requests than it is reasonable from a human or post more than would reasonably post a human(no spamming bots).
Another grey spot is that the LMR logo is fully copyrighted now. We used the logo of LMR in videos, to spread awareness to others that the bot in the video was posted on LMR and other members of LMR helped in the development. Now that would be illegal and these previous videos should be removed. I suggest changing this condition to allow the use of LMR logo with a CC-NC-SA license, that is how it used to be in practice.LMR logo was never meant to be used as trademark.
In reference to your second
In reference to your second paragraph, the terms and conditions section 1.7 about the logo and designs and all that is basically just a re-iteration of federal law. It doesn’t state that you can’t use the logo in the video, it just means you can’t use the logo in the video (or on some product you are attempting to sell) and pretend that you are LMR. With or without this in the terms and conditions it would still be the same, as it’s just standard intellectual property laws, in the USA at least. Honestly them including it as a term and condition is more damaging to THEM then anything, because they worded it in a way that gives out more control of their intellectual property without realizing it. Federal law would of protected them better then what they wrote.
The LMR logo has always been copyrighted, anything created is copyrighted automatically. Even if it was trademarked, which I don’t think it is, but it doesn’t make any difference. Put it in a video, as long as you’ve used it in accordance to Fair Use copyright laws, there’s nothing RobotShop could do, and I really don’t think RobotShop is wanting to do anything about that, god i’d hope not. Unless RobotShop chimes in and says “please don’t put the LMR logo on your videos”, I wouldn’t worry about it from a legal perspective, i’d never use the site again if I heard they were saying that (again I don’t think they are), but even if they do, they could never sue you for it, actually if they sent a DCMA request to take it down off youtube, you could sue them, there’s actually a couple hundred court cases going on right now about stuff like this, most of them don’t surface on the internet, but there’s a few dozen you can read about, i’m not going to link them though…
For me, seeing the LMR logo at the beginning of a video for the first time made me wonder what it was, I went to this site, I then understood that it simply meant you were posting your robot project details on LMR, and that’s why you put the logo on your video. That falls under Fair Use copyright laws, so you have no worries.
Where is it stated that they
Where is it stated that they are retroactively taking ownership of anything? I see the Terms and Conditions were updated today, Sept 24th, 2015, so unless they changed something they don’t have anything that says that. Even if they did, you can’t make a terms and condition magically transform into a copyright transfer agreement document, it’s been tried, and failed on so many forums.
Ohh, I see what you’re talking about, the User Content section 1.2 does kind of attempt to state that, but not of any real concern as it wouldn’t hold up in court anyway.
Dissecting section 1.2, the first statement: “You retain the rights to your copyrighted content or information that you submit through the Services (the “User Content”), except as described below:” Well of course you retain copyright, there’s nothing they could write there that would allow a copyright transfer, except of course a full fledged copyright transfer agreement where both parties signs a written agreement, with actual lawyers, not something that can be put into a terms and conditions. Yes there are websites that say that, but they ALL have lost in court at getting your copyright, it’s not theirs, it’s yours, regardless, RobotShop doesn’t say they are taking your copyright, so no big deal, your stuff is your stuff.
However, the next statement is the only one that really is concerning:
- i. By submitting User Content, including User Content submitted prior to having accepted these Terms and Conditions, you grant RobotShop a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, transferable worldwide license to reproduce, modify (to the extent permitted under Section 1.9 below), perform, and publicly display your User Content on LMR’s website or other site owned or controlled by RobotShop;
The fact they mention User content prior to their takeover is really irrelevant, the conditions listed won’t hold up in court anyway, at least the ones that are of concern. The fact that they have a “license” to show your post, well, that’s covered under Fair Use laws too, and doesn’t even need to be in the terms and conditions… The terms “unrestricted, transferable, worldwide license to reproduce, modify…” would be unbelievable if they could actually use them in court, but they couldn’t as that would violate federal copyright law. So RobotShop could do those things if they wanted, but if they did it in a certain way, you could still sue them. It’s hard to get specific, and I really doubt RobotShop is doing this to be harsh, but if I made a post, and RobotShop decided they liked it so much they were going to put it in a magazine they own, as long as they put your name on it, they could, Fair Use, most likely. The modify part though, if they modified it, without your permission, published it, said it was by them, despite their lawyers (if they in fact even hired lawyers for this) you agreeing to this wouldnt’ really allow them to do that, and you could sue their ass off if they did something like that.
I dunno If I should even post much about this, I haven’t really actively used this site in years, and I went on it today looking for some fun robotic stuff, but then see all this crap. I deal with Intellectual property lawyers a lot, and transfer copyrighted material of my own, it’s part of my business, by no means does this make me an expert, but 80% of what’s in the Terms and Conditions appears to basically be a re-iteration of federal law, 15% is specific to them, but really it’s just misc meaninless garbage, and 5% is null and void as it is violation of Federal Law. Well, it’s not in violation of federal law, it’s just contradicting it, you can’t write a little terms and conditions online and think that you can trump Federal Law, it doesn’t work that way. If they added a clause “you are now allowed to legally go on a murder spree” or “you are now legally allowed to drive your car at any speed you want, without persection of speeding tickets”. Do you think the courts and judge are going to listen to your argument that you agreed to a legal contract online that allows you to do that… Uhh, right. Their user content license conditions are to vague, and some use very specific legal words that trigger specific legal documents, which are no where in the terms and conditions, you can’t just throw a word like that into a sentence and think they would get it all without following through with all the other legal documents required. So that’s why most of that is void. Of course they added that even if one section is void the rest isn’t, and that’s normal, and fine, and true pretty much regardless of them putting that in there. If I were RobotShop though, i’d review 1.2, as my lawyer could nullify it in court, which gives RobotShop even less rights on your posts then they would have if they didn’t write that stuff at all.
It does sound like a lot of users asked for their stuff to be remove though, RobotShop can ignore you forever, and they are 100% legally allowed, and they should be allowed to, you posted it on some website, the websites ownership was transfered, happens a thousand times a day. You posted it, as long as they aren’t modifing, it, claiming it as their own, or stuff like that, you can ask them to take it down, but they are legally allowed to ignore you. If they have been taking down stuff people requested, then really that’s a sign that RobotShop wants this community to work, but if people have asked for their stuff removed and they said no, well they are allowed to say no, deal with it. I have no idea what scenario’s are really playing out.
Anyway, I think RobotShop could tone down the Terms and Conditions a bit, if they had lawyers, or intelligent lawyers, they would realize they are doing more harm then good, and their statements are giving them no more right over your posts/pictures/ideas/robots then if they had wrote nothing at all. That’s why we have laws in the first place, to protect our own property and rights.
thanks for your explanation
I’m from Italy, were fair use is next to useless, so i didn’t know about the federal laws were so permissive.
New terms & conditions
I find the new terms & conditions to be entirely off the mark and offensive. As written, they do nothing but incite the anger of members who have existing projects hosted on LMR. We freely contributed articles, pictures, and critiques to LMR with the expectation that they would be shared by members around the world without anyone trying to claim ownership. We realized that maintaining the infrastructure costs time and money and expected the owner to make a profit by attracting viewers to their site and use LMR for promotional purposes. It was a two way street. Each party benefited from the other.
It was built on trust and friendship. You cannot dictate trust, you earn it.
In my opinion, there are three components of LMR that have value:
- Repository of existing projects.
- Online assistance to fellow builders.
- Future projects.
RobotShop is in possession of #1. Without #3 it will quickly diminish in value. Items #2 and #3 will require proactive actions by RobotShop to attract and retain member to enhance their value. Face it RobotShop, two thirds if the site’s value is dependent on the current and future LMR members. The exodus of long time members that provided online assistance exposes a serious flaw in the current relationship.
My expectations are:
- I/We freely upload images and descriptions of projects for viewing and download by robot builders across the globe.
- RobotShop retains the right to refuse to host any material that they feel is inappropriate.
- RobotShop is under no obligation to remove any material that was legally uploaded to its service.
- RobotShop will apply due diligence in crediting original authors when using material for promotional purposes.
- Member replies to open forum discussions, such as this post, are entirely public.
Till I am comfortable that these expectations are being met, I will either not contribute or better yet will first post on an alternated site that does respect my contributions.
Thank you, ggallant
I’ve been looking for a way to convey my current feelings on the new terms, and their impact on the content we contirbuted without governance. The words had kept escaping me, or not truly reflecting my feelings.
You’ve nailed it.
Reactions to Terms and Conditions
We thank you for your feedback concerning the Terms and Conditions. Please note that we are listening and analysing all your comments.
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