9 thoughts on “Who owns your comments?

  1. A comment on a blog post is part of a discussion started by the blogger, and in almost all cases the blogger has the ability to delete, if note edit, comments, and therefore I would say that they belong to the blogger.

    Blogs are not discussion forums, they are a site owned and run by a blogger (or bloggers) and if you choose to join the discussion you are lending your views to THEIR discussion. If you wish to retain ownership of the comment/IP, you can still post your response and ideas on your own blog, then add a trackback.

  2. The blogger edits all comments one way or another. That will make him responsible, therefore ownership.

  3. A comment is owned by the person who made that comment, however, it does not give the person who made the comment the right or ownership to a blog.

    Once a person posts a comment, it is implied that he gave the blog owner the right to publish his comment as he sees fit. Any edits done would change the ownership to the blog owner.

    One example is when the comment made is considered as illegal (threat to life, solicitation of minor, pedophilia, etc) and the courts wants to act on it, the blog owner will not be held liable since he does not own the comment. The person who made the comment still retains ownership so he will be the one who will be prosecuted.

    But one the other hand, if the blog owner allows illegal comments, he can be charged as an accessory.

  4. I think a comment is effectively a quotation, not an piece of work in its own right; therefore, the issue of ownership is misleading.

    If I comment on your blog then that is me using your blog to publicly broadcast my opinion. The blog owner, and indeed anyone else, is free to reproduce it, or paraphrase it, but if they change the substance of it then it ceases to be an accurate representation of my opinion and becomes an attribution that may or may not have legal consequences.

    In the same way as making a statement in the pub, on t.v. or radio, I can later change my opinion or wish I hadn’t said it, but I cannot destroy, or demand that the owner destroys, the records of the fact that I said it.

    In summary, a comment is a record of a public statement. The comment is not a work over which ownership can be asserted and using someone else’s blog to make the statement does not give you ownership, control or any rights, of any kind, over any part of their blog.

  5. I think an even more fascinating question is what would happen if, say, the blog’s owner modified the comment, and then the user who posted it got in trouble. Would the blog’s owner or the commenter receive lawsuits for libel? It would be a judicial nightmare.

    It is almost impossible to answer. The only way I could see a commenter as expecting ownership of their own comment is if it could not be modified by others, but since they can, it is impossible to the commenter sole ownership.

    Personally, I think all comments should be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution + NonDerivs license.

  6. I mean, if you were to comment on someones blog, who would own that comment? The blog author or you?

    Also, if anyone operates a blog, I’d like to know what their take is on owning comments. Do you claim ownership of the comments left on your site, or do you let the commenter’s retain ownership?

  7. Do you mean comments on our own blog or on other blogs? Do you mean comments that I write or others?

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