> > The policy on this list is that anything you post, while remaining
> > you property, may be reposted elsewhere.
> I doubt that a listowner can give away a subscriber's copyright with a
> notice like the one listed above. Both parties must agree to the
> terms of a contract for the contract to be valid.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but after working with publishers for
the past 15 years, I have had more than a little exposure to intellectual
While it is technically true that both parties must agree to the terms
of a contract, all of us agree to numerous one-sided contracts every day,
they're called 'contracts of adhesion' in law school, I believe. Look at
the back of the ticket at the parking garage, or at the receipt for your
film at the photo shop.
There are two separate issues here. One is a subscriber violating
someone else's copyright. That is something we all need to guard against,
I've heard some dark rumblings that there might be some people trolling the
net looking for copyright abuse patterns, possibly for a future lawsuit,
and personally I would rather not be one of the defendants.
The other issue is the redistribution of 'original' material written for
your list. In this case, the poster is the copyright holder, and assuming
your terms of service discusses the possibility of redistribution (which is
sort of the whole POINT to a mailing list, usenet group, or chat room,
isn't it?) then you should have a perfectly valid offer and acceptance
for posts sent to your list.
Here's what my list guidelines have to say about redistribution. I don't
know that this would hold up in court, but it has to be better than saying
nothing at all about the issue.
By posting to the List, you are granting non-exclusive redistribution
rights to your message to all individuals and organizations who receive or
transmit it. We cannot control nor do we attempt to control any redistribution of posts
to other mailing lists, to any USENET newsgroup, via the web, or any other
type of redistribution, retransmittal, or reproduction.
(Anyone who wants the entire guidelines document can get a copy by sending
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.)