Cutting & Pasting Articles: Accepted Protocol

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stu neville

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I have investigated the copyright situation. It's not clear-cut (of course), but the general gist is that if certain publishers were so-minded they could probably rip us a new one, given the sheer amount of their material that's been lifted wholesale, albeit usually accredited. And, to be frank, we could potentially be left extremely vulnerable if they were to dig a bit - and as we're already in a parlous position to start with I really don't want to risk that.

That aside, there's also the aesthetic argument. It has been pointed out that a wall of text (in the, erm, Wall of Text thread) can be very off-putting - particularly when the entire thread consists of lengthy quoted articles, and most especially when there's little or no input, discussion or original comment from posters. To me, actual interest in a thread is best indicated by the quality of poster debate and interaction rather than hits (and the former is titularly what this place should be all about.)

I have decided that it's in no-one's interest to go back and start editing or deleting threads, so I am going to draw the line today. From now on, only quote entire articles if they fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • It is the opening post of a Fortean News Story thread

    The article cited is in serious risk of becoming unavailable (ie on a transitory site)

    The entire quote contains previously undisclosed information on an existing thread

    The entire quote is essential to properly advance an argument

If the quote doesn't fulfill any of the above, then just quote an abstract with the salient point, the link as it stands on that day, and a comment explaining why you have posted it. If necessary, we will edit down long quoted articles ourselves, but that will come with words of advice to the poster and repeated occurences may incur warnings, as will repeated posting of articles without comment, or single links.

Discussion of this matter will be confined to the previously mentioned Wall of Text thread.
 

rynner2

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stuneville said:
Discussion of this matter will be confined to the previously mentioned Wall of Text thread.
But you haven't closed this one yet! ;)

(The above comment is all my own work.)
 

stu neville

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Well, initially I didn't think I'd need to. Thanks for demonstrating where I went wrong.
 

stu neville

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I've posted an announcement to this effect, but will repeat here. FT Towers has received a request from the Telegraph. It says that if anything more than abstracts and links to its articles are posted on the site we're going to need a licence - and the good Doctor suspects that the DT may be the first of many to start demanding money.

As this would be prohibitively expensive (with emphasis on the "prohibitively expensive"), then obviously we have to properly insist that ONLY abstracts and links are posted from now on. I'm going to have to work my way back and start editing fully-quoted Telegraph articles in past posts - so , no more full quotes. A paragraph or less, please from any mainstream media. We will edit to reflect that if necessary, but I'd rather we didn't have to.
 

stu neville

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Time for a reminder.. the above all still applies. The number of entire (or nearly entire) c&ps seems to creeping up again. Please refrain.
 

Yithian

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Time for a reminder.. the above all still applies. The number of entire (or nearly entire) c&ps seems to creeping up again. Please refrain.
As above.

Specifically:

a) Don't quote entire articles.

b) Don't post articles without comment or only vague and unenlightening comments: "This is interesting"; "Wow"; "Important news"; "Update" etc.

c) Point 'b' applies equally to 'Tweets'.
 

Yithian

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I've begun removing off-topic news dumps from Fortean threads--especially those with no comment or personal contribution (see above).

In the interest of transparency, I will record the edits made here:

Removed:

30/7/17: Three mundane news articles from 'Medical Mysteries'
30/7/17: An article about financial troubles from an IHTM thread about a literal doppleganger.
30/7/17: A news article about a local school closing owing to lack of students removed from a thread about Population Growth in New Science (!).

1/8/17: An article with no comment from an archaeology thread. Link since posted on the Metal Detectoring Thread.
1/8/17: An article with no comment from Dumb Criminals. Link reposted in acceptable form.
1/8/17: A (very interesting) article with no comment from the A.I. Thread - Link included in the following post.

I'd be grateful if any discussion could take place by PM so as not to further derail the affected threads.

Thank you.
 
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Yithian

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A *BUMP*

To implore members to take not of the above, particularly that expounded again here:

Please do not post articles or article extracts without useful comment. If the article is from a major and stable source, a link and a one-line summary might suffice. More importantly, please do tell us what you think about the matter and why the news/information is interesting or important. We're far more eager to read the views of our members than those of journalists.

Articles that merely log events are likely to be removed entirely if Stu, MercuryCrest and I lack the time to turn them into meaningful posts.
 

Yithian

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3/8/17: Whole article text with no comment removed from St Piran thread.
 

Yithian

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Please Note:

We all like the ability to directly post YouTube videos to the board--I use the feature a lot myself--but we are seeing an increasing number of videos added to threads without comment: this is the visual equivalent of cut-and-paste articles, and as I've said on a few threads they are not acceptable. The exception to restriction is on CHAT threads whose sole purpose is to share said Media: the Music Thread, for instance.

The protocol--as with an article--is to introduce it in your own words, saying why you've posted in and/or what you think about it. We really don't have time to enter into lengthy correspondence every time this occurs, so Stu, MercuryCrest and I will simply remove them in future.

This is a discussion board; in our long experience here, cut-and-paste stymies rather than stimulates discussion.
 

MercuryCrest

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Agreed, Yith. That sort of C&P can be the equivalent of sharing Facebook memes...useful if someone does their own research and has something meaningful to add, pointless if it's shared without commentary and context.
 

Yithian

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A *BUMP*

To implore members to take not of the above, particularly that expounded again here:

Please do not post articles or article extracts without useful comment. If the article is from a major and stable source, a link and a one-line summary might suffice. More importantly, please do tell us what you think about the matter and why the news/information is interesting or important. We're far more eager to read the views of our members than those of journalists.

Articles that merely log events are likely to be removed entirely if Stu, MercuryCrest and I lack the time to turn them into meaningful posts.
Please would new members take note of the guidance above.
 
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