No. of Recommendations: 7

You wrote, I don't think there is another board that can guarantee content ownership since it is on the Internet.

Actually that's not true. Just because you publish something on the 'net doesn't mean you are conveying ownership (copyright) to the reader. Copying content from the internet and either representing that it is your own creation or using it for commercial purposes can be considered theft of intellectual property (excluding fair use cases).

Often when people post a comment, they don't really expect to retain ownership of what they write. But that's not really the way it works. Unless you explicitly give consent (it's best to include a clear statement of copyright with an article to avoid misunderstanding), the work is still your property (assuming it's not posted anonymously), the same as if you published an article in a book, magazine or newspaper.

TMF wants ownership is so they can use material you post in derivative commercial works (not considered fair use because it's a commercial work). I don't know if they're actively using content that way at the moment, but I have found TMF articles on other sites where they quoted from my old postings on the credit card board.

The ownership issue and TMF's use of any content you post is also a reason TMF's terms of service also forbids you from copy and pasting other copyrighted material. (Other than very short excerpts.) They want to be able to use what you wrote and they don't want to be sued for distributing unlicensed copyrighted material.

So as long as Charlie has complete control and ownership of the content of the board / blog he posts to, he should be able to retain legal ownership of that content as well. Of course if he's hoping to use a free blogging or message board hosting service, then he's probably going to have to live with the hosting company posting advertisements along with his content.

Actually Google's Blogger lets YOU make money off of this advertising as well. Google does not retain ownership of your content; but you are required to grant them an open-ended distribution license to the content. This means you could take what you write and use it as the basis of a book. But then in theory, so could Google under the terms of their redistribution license. (Though they'd be more likely to use the content to drive more ad revenue to some site of theirs.)

BTW, Any 3rd party blog or message board service will require a redistribution license for the content you post. They can't get around that requirement because you own the content and they need your explicit permission to post it. The only way to avoid that issue is to create your own website and host it yourself.

- Joel
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