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Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 03/05/13 10:38 AM Views: 1231 Replies: 6
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Any "copyright" lawyers among all the admins on CC? This morning I did a websearch for my shcool & class year. Thanks to all the work I've put in on my site, one website which shall remain nameless for now has COPIED all the names of the classmates, the logo and picture of the school I have been using ... to have their own site. Interestingly, they have a "COPYRIGHT 2009-2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" at the bottom of the site and even go as far as to state "DO NOT COPY WITHOUT PERMISSION". So my question is... can we not put copyright on our pages such as the Classmate profiles, homepage, etc?

If you request to have your name removed from their site you see a document that contains the following: (Because our automated processes are continuously adding names from thousands of online resources, we need to keep your record in the system to minimize the chance of it being re-added by those processes. Although our automated processes are very intelligent, we cannot 100% guarantee that your name will not reappear, especially if it has a different spelling). Additionally, the flagged record helps prevent volunteer coordinators from listing your full name when they add classmates.)

It is for this reason alone, I wish we could have the classmate profiles on a private page. At least for those that have JOINED. So guess I could leave the Missing the only available list. True? What about putting a copyright on that page too?

Thanks for feedback!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM - Response #1

I will be interested in responses to this. I had a classmate practically threaten to sue us, because we had not asked permission to add her to the site. I deleted her post haste!

The funny thing about her in particular, is that I write a blog (make my day, check it out) and one of the entries does mention a discussion of how unique our class was in that we had SOOOO many parents in the education process, secretaries, teachers, board members, etc.

Her mother was an educator, so her maiden name is mentioned. But on the blog "dashboard" I can tell what "search words" are used to find my blog. Everyone once in awhile I see her name. What that tells me is that she regularly googles her own name.

However, she has never asked me to change the blog. It's history (about our class)and she is a part of it, as is her mother, and that's what it is. Of course I would remove that if she asked, but she never has.

I, as all of us, would want to protect myself legally in this work. The VAST majority of people do not care, they either join or they do not, and leave it at that.

BTW, I had a fellow ask me 17 years ago to remove his name from our lists, so I honored that and continued to as I set up our CC site. Last year, about this time, he wanted to be added. As far as I am concerned I want a telephone conversation, where I recognize the voice and a discussion as to why he wanted removed and why he wanted reinstated. I don't have to share that with a soul, but as admin, I want to know what's going on.

PPl change their minds and that is OK. We are all marching on in life and different things become important to us. I get that.

Working with ppl is complicated isn't it???

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM - Response #2

As a recall, the owners of Class has already addressed this issue in their statement regarding disclosure, the copying of source codes etc. This same statement extends to the content placed on all pages within the jurisdiction of all Web Site Pages on all Web Sites.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM - Response #3

I had the same issue with another site stealing our logo etc. I made them delete it and add a notice saying they aren't associated with our alumni association. We are a nonprofit and have our name and logo registered. I haven't checked their site lately but it was confusing our alumni who had even paid to join the other site. The name of the site is

Had the same issue with an alumni too. All information we gave us public information which they cannot sue us for including their senior photo which is hanging at the school

Edited 03/05/13 11:37 AM
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM - Response #4

As I understand it (keeping in mind that I am not a lawyer, though I have spent a lot of time looking into these things), you cannot copyright a list of names. Otherwise, your site content is subject to automatic copyright, which means it is copyrighted whether you post a notice or not. However, the fact that something is copyrighted does NOT mean you get to competely control how, where or where it is used, no matter what the bloated fools in the music and film industry say about it. There are a lot of exceptions baked into the concept of copyright, and you might have a difficult time if you had to go to court proving that someone else has violated your rights.

That being said, the best course of action when you feel someone has posted content that you own, and has done so without your permission is to contact the person responsible and ask them nicely to remove the content and explain why you are justified in asking. If they refuse, and you feel you are correct in your assertion that they are wrongly using your content, your next step might be to consult with a copyright attorney who will either proceed with a stronger request or inform you that you are mistaken in your belief that your rights are being violated. Many attorneys in this realm seem to be either inadequately informed or merely sufficiently callous enough to take your money and pursue it whether or not your claim is legitimate because you'll have to pay them eventually even if a court invalidates your claim.

As for someone in your class who wants their name removed, you have the right to list them as a member of your class if doing so is a mere statement of fact, but if they don't want to be listed it doesn't really gain you anything, so we recommend removing them as a matter of course if they ask.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM - Response #5

Thanks for clarification. This does come up once in awhile with new classes joining CC.

One of the things I do (check me out, make my day!Very Happy) is that I say on the top page that "Welcome to the Official Site of the FHS Class of 1971." That comes up on google too. I have to hope that that clarifies the other entities and lets classmates know their place.

My name is on the site as webmistress. That gives them a name to associate with. I was NOT the most popular person in the class, but after 40 plus years, I am recognizable by name.

I think this takes care of most issues. We can hope!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM - Response #6

Thank you all for responding! I too, Denise, have "the official site of ..." and it does come up on google searches that way, so hopefully that is enough to steer classmates searching for our web site in the right direction.

Eric, your comments about it being copyrighted whether we put a copyright label on it or not surprised me. That being said, and for the sake of privacy for those that HAVE already joined the site, could it be possible to ask/request for the "JOIN US LINK" in the gray colored log-in box (top right) of the home page to have the option to "LINK" to the list of Missing Classmates instead of the entire list of Classmates Profiles? Then I could turn the Classmate Profiles page OFF to non-logged in members and therefore at least keep companies that want to copy my lists from access to all the members, including all those listed as deceased. Which, by the way, I failed to mention the site that has copied all of the information on my site, also had a list of all the deceased and since I have everything locked down, the only place they could have gotten that information was from the classmates profiles page. As even though you have to be logged in as a member of the site to see an individual members information, you can still extract by the icons listed a lot of information on the classmate profiles page, contrary to the list of Missing Classmates page.

Thank you in advance for your reply to this request! Crossing my fingers for a 'yes', will add the option. Obviously, I would simply put a link myself, but that does not stop visitors from clicking on the JOIN US in the gray log-in box and I don't want that to lead to no-where.

About removing a members name, I have not encountered such a request, but if I did, would definitely do so. I pasted that portion in my original message above to show where the other mimicking site says they gather their information and how.

Thanks again everyone that responded!

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