What's the skinny on using forum posts in sales copy?

by tun80
5 replies
Just wondering how far you can take this.

Because it's in the public domain, do you have to give full details on where the post comes from? (besides credibility reasons.)

#copy #forum #posts #sales #skinny
  • Profile picture of the author FiverrGuru
    just cite it at the very end of your page, other than that I wouldn't worry.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by tun80 View Post

    Just wondering how far you can take this.

    Because it's in the public domain, do you have to give full details on where the post comes from? (besides credibility reasons.)

    If a discussion board has a copyright notice at the bottom of its pages, its content is not in the public domain. It's protected.

    There's something called the "Fair Use Provision" in the copyright law that allows others to use limited amounts of copyrighted material without permission. Certain restrictions apply.

    It's a complicated area of law, and your best bet is to consult with an attorney.

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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Your question isn't specific enough, dude.

    Do you want to quote a thread on a forum?

    Take a snapshot of a post or thread?

    Swipe the whole damn thing?

    What do you want to do?

    In most circumstances, you are within
    your rights under "Fair Use" to quote,
    use a screengrab or otherwise comment
    on a forum post - assuming you give credit.

    So what do you mean when you say,

    "how far you can take this"
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  • Profile picture of the author tun80
    Guys, thanks for the input!

    OK, Alex. I've checked 2 of the forums, the front page, about us, and a couple of other pages... they both have disclaimers, but no mention of copyright.

    Brian. The project is a "Cure Yourself Before It's Too Late" Video/Audio deal. Basically before you need surgery.

    But it's a little easier to sell than an outright prevention program.

    The production is low rent, but the content is good, and the girl on there's got personality. A bit quirky, but nice.

    As for the forum posts, I don't want to use them verbatim, some are a bit too long-winded.

    a lot of them have crap grammar...
    the format is as you'd expect on a forum...
    they have their forum names displayed on most of the posts (you can be a visitor and post on them too)...
    some have signed off using their real names...
    and a lot of them talk about leaving their problem until they needed surgery which didn't help them out in the end anyway (some of them came away feeling worse because they had to go through the ordeal of surgery without a result).

    Ultimately they have everything that adds credibility to REAL experiences with this problem. So I'd probably like to use a snapshot of certain threads.

    Others could do with having a lot of the fluff cut out.

    "how far you can take this"... I just wanted to know what sort of leeway there was with using posts in a letter.

    If it came to the crunch, I could just turn them into third party stories. Not as convincing, but not a total loss.

    I'm not one to start telling tall stories to get hype, especially as there's no need ('Jackanory' was a bit above my level).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Brian, the US copyright office explains that "fair use" has to do with the purpose and use of the material. If you use the material to make money for yourself, it's less likely to be fair use.
    U.S. Copyright Office - Fair Use
    Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission. ... The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.
    I imagine British laws might be similar.
    Ry, I understand what you're trying to do. You might be treading on thin ice. I'd check with an attorney, or try to get signed permission from people you'd like to quote in your ads.

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