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The term CopyrightTrap has two meanings:

Trap for the copier:
A CopyrightTrap is a deliberate error introduced into a copyrighted material, usually a map, to help identify illegal copies. However, this may be a legally murky area, as copying a fact does not imply breaching copyright.

Trap for the author:
A CopyrightTrap is a website which transfers more or less substantial parts of the author's copyright unnoticed and against the will of the author into external property. In the worst case authors who give their contributions to media (wikis, publishing companies, ...) may find themselves deprived of the right to freely use their own contributions in other contexts.


CopyrightTrap is really a trap for authors to become aware of, to help them not getting ripped off by third parties in an unnoticed way. The organizations don't steal. They write it explicitely in their TOS. So it is not a theft. It is a trap, that can be avoided, if there is enough awareness. -- FridemarPache


Can somebody please check http://skitch.com/ToS, (which looks to be a very attractive service for the community) ?

I was just on the go to subscribe, but found the following surprising text in their Terms of Service:


 E. By submitting ideas, suggestions, documents, and/or proposals (“Contributions”) to plasq through its suggestion, feedback or contact webpages, via email, by other means of communication, you acknowledge and agree that:

    1. your Contributions do not contain confidential or proprietary information;

    2. plasq is not under any obligation of confidentiality, express or implied, with respect to the Contributions;

    3. plasq is entitled to use or disclose (or choose not to use or disclose) such Contributions for any purpose, in any way, in any media worldwide;

    4. plasq may have something similar to the Contributions already under consideration or in development;

    5. your Contributions automatically become the property of plasq without any obligation of plasq to you; and 

Emphasized by the author

Please help me to understand, if this is fair (use) ?

-- FridemarPache

This sounds like GodKingCopyright to me, and a fairly bad one since it could be read to add (1) and (2) to the basic GodKingCopyright pattern. I'd avoid it. -- NathanielThurston

I would also avoid it. It reminds me of the recent Facebook dramas and superficially the website sounds like a stock image harvester. -- AaronPoeze

Note: To find common ground in the above definition, what about redefining CopyrightTrap as a trap, made by different actors with the intent to use work of authors:

It is a kind of polymorphic definition. -- FridemarPache

Type A looks more like a WaterMark?. -- DamianYerrick?

See also CopyrightProblems.

BiLinks: <->

CategoryLaw CategoryCopyright


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