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Declaration of intelectual property on the member contents
Posted December 11th, 2012 - 1:04 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
I have read a couple of days ago a declaration that FB users are publishing around on their walls against the violation of intelectual property of the FB Terms of Use.

Here could be an adaption for CS (I put it under "Opinion on the CS project"):

In response to the new Couchsurfing's Terms of Use regarding members contents, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos, texts and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).
For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Couchsurfing's profile. This will place
them under protection of copyright laws.)
By the present declaration I notify Couchsurfing that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Couchsurfing's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Couchsurfing is now a for profit organization and its Terms of Use regarding member contents are abusive and probably illegal. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this or just copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly consenting the Terms of Use.

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 1:45 pm by from Basel, Switzerland (Permalink)
just to say it here as well: this message is completely useless. you agree to their terms by using the site, and can't just come up with your own conditions.

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 1:58 pm by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
I bring it here as well.

I agree with the part that it is useless.

But I am not so sure about this "if you use their site, you agree to their conditions". I am not specialist in these issues, of course, but when a contract is declared in a part of as a whole as abusive or invalid, the part declared invalid does not obligue the "abused" party.

There are laws and regulations enough in the USA, the UE and for sure in many other places regulating intelectual property and image rights, and the CS's ToU are not compliant. To state explicitly that you know that that term is abusive and for that reason also invalid is not useless.

Anyway what CS wants is to track our web activity, not to resell our "I am openminded and easygoing" profile texts...

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 2:35 pm by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
Thank you again, Lisa. I still agree that the statement is useless, but silent is even more. I modified my statement as to declare my materials underlying the Creative Commons license. The only ways we can defend us is like this:
a) Protest, even it is practicaly useless.
b) Defend us from web tracking with navigator extensions, like in Firefox.
c) Move to other places, like Bewelcome.

My statement looks now so like:

In response to the new Couchsurfing's Terms of Use regarding members contents, I hereby declare that I upload all materials onto my profile under the Creative Commons license.
No commercial use of the above is consented.

All use that Couchsurfing, its staff or related persons should do of materials uploaded by me onto my profile underlie the terms of the Creative Commons license. Any use which deviates from the terms of the Creative Commons license is forbidden.

The merely use of a service does not obligue a user to agree with abusive terms.

I don't like that CS tracks the users web use and resell it. There are a number of extensions, for example in Firefox, which block the web trackers.

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 3:10 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"you agree to their terms by using the site, and can't just come up with your own conditions."


Please come to my site, where by accessing the site you agree to pay me half your income and to kill your grandmother.

You are of course legally obliged to respect these terms. You came on the site, didn't you? Nothing you do or say nor no law can possibly change this, right?

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 3:34 pm by from Basel, Switzerland (Permalink)
I think you know by yourself the difference between visiting a page and using it with logging into it again and again and load up all different information as your own wish.

you can post anything where ever you want. if people all take it as helpful, but it isn't, it doesn't make anything more than to be another annoying chain letter

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 4:38 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"I think you know by yourself the difference between visiting a page and using it with logging into it again and again and load up all different information as your own wish."

NO contract is valid if it is illegal. The CS terms are illegal in many jurisdictions, for many different reasons, which vary depending on the place. The CS "terms" claim to give rights to CS that CANNOT be transferred to CS legally.

Additionally, "consent" under ALL legal systems must be positive. There are many legal reasons that "logging in to a web site" is inadequate consent, even under California and US law.

CS claims that in can unilaterally change the "contract" without any prior notice. This is illegal EVERYPLACE.

CS knows very well that its terms are not legal, but doesn't care because it knows they are dissuasive.

Furthermore, CS has repeatedly made written claims which contradict its terms of use, making it almost impossible for it to enforce those ToU.

The real problem is that CS keeps secret what it does with our intellectual property, and does not disclose the use it makes. CS has repeatedly lied in its written statements about data use. Uses that it dishonestly claims it does not make, but which the ToU supposedly give it the right to do.

What I find troubling is "members" who want to argue that CS should be allowed to exploit us, saying that human beings should have no rights against a profit-only corporation. It is sad.

Posted December 11th, 2012 - 7:39 pm by from Basel, Switzerland (Permalink)
we were not discussing whether the terms of FB or CS are illegal.

I know it's likely that they are.

But also if they are, there is no point in posting useless information. Even more, it is dangerous, because people think they are safe after posting it and that their shared data won't be used anymore.


Posted December 11th, 2012 - 7:52 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
Lisa, privacy and intellectual property are very different issues. No where in the hoax article does it talk about ownership. In fact, people do own their intellectual property, as well as other rights to their image. Distribution of copyrighted material does not put an end to copyright. If it did, copyright would be a meaningless concept. You own it until someone sees it?