will I get into trouble for using my database(from forumotion) on the other site?

Discussion in 'Free Hosted Forums' started by ooo, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. ooo

    ooo Neophyte

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    I am planning to move my forum database from forumotion to a new site but I am worried after reading this:
    http://help.forumotion.com/t6668-forumotion-s-forum-databases

    I am serious about my new site, as I am planning to actually pay money for the forumware(they are not cheap) and hosting, so I don't want to get into a situation where I might need to shut down my site in the future. so will I get into trouble, or get sued if I convert my database from forumotion to somewhere else? I surely do not want to lose all of the posts and members( as I ve put a lot of time and work into building that forum) but at the same time, I am worried that in a long run, it might be more worthy to start over again if they could sue me and I might end up losing my site in the future...
     
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    If I recall correctly Forumotion has no facility to download databases so your first hurdle would be to find away around that and I'm not sure if it's possible.
     
  3. whocky

    whocky Adherent

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    Don't count me on it as i have never used free forum hosting websites before but i do believe there is a way around it, I am sure someone will come a long and help maybe.
     
  4. ooo

    ooo Neophyte

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  5. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

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    Tough titties:
     
  6. MannyRUA

    MannyRUA Fan

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    That isn't even written in proper English and doesn't bind anyone to anything. The fine amount is made up to scare you.

    That said, it will likely be their copyright, but unless you have a huge site with lots of content they particularly want, I doubt they will make any fuss if you quietly migrate. They probably wont even know.
     
  7. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    Reading though previous legal rulings made under article L. 341-1 I don't think you'll get a definitive answer on that, even from a lawyer.

    In reality if you were found to be in breach of Forumotion's t&c's I suspect you would more likely receive a DMCA take down notice in the first instance but that's a guess on my part.

    This might help shed a little more light on things: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...cQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=article L. 341-1&f=false
     
  8. Jack_Rouse

    Jack_Rouse Use The Force

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    The Law they are referring to is an a EU law concerning data protection.

    However the law is not written in the way they say it is:
    These quote from the law have been badly translated, or very poorly spun.

    What they actually state that "The databases which your forums use are the single property of forumotion.com according to the article" is not what the law refers to.

    The part they are quoting from actually reads :

    Whether or not the fine is plausible or not would depend on the justice if the case were to go to court, which I doubt.


    In truth they are right, Forumotion hold the copyright to all the forums they host according to EU law, they are responsible for the integrity of the databases, this I am afraid is one of the pitfalls of free forum hosting.
     
  9. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

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    You shouldn't. Indeed, if it's anything like Proboards, just ask your members first (if they say they allow their posts/user data to be moved to a non forumotion site, then any data protection stuff should be null and void).

    At least, that's what I gathered when I asked someone from another free forum service about it here, like when I called them out over the terms of service.

    So I'd assume if you ask everyone, you take what people on your site 'allow' you to use and don't end up annoying anyone, you likely won't get in any trouble whatsoever. After all, the original posters/contributors gave you permission to use the stuff...
     
  10. ooo

    ooo Neophyte

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    I doubt they will even notice, but I wonder what if lets say there is someone (eg. ex members who got banned)who holds a grudge against me/my site, then, he/she could report my site to forumotion, so when that happens, will I get into trouble? or forumotion will probably not bother to do anything about it.

    but forumotion is not a US company, do they even send out DMCA notices at all? If it is just DMCAs, then it is not a big problem, as I could just remove some of the posts when they ask for it, right? or they will ask me to remove the whole database, but then, the database will contain posts from the new members too...so what will the copyrighted materials that they are referring to be then?

    so it is more like a copyrighted infringement issue then(& it sounds really ridiculous that they own the copyright to someone elses creative work( posts)!)? if this is the case, I wonder if they will send me a warning notice and ask me to take down the "copyrighted materials"(members posts) first? and if I take down the posts from my old forum( but still keep the new ones), then will I be fine? do you know?

    I shouldn't as I shouldn't make a copy of my forum database or I shouldn't worry about it?
    but forumotion is different from proboards, because proboards claim that the members own the database, but forumotion claim that they own the database. so will asking the members for permission really solve this problem in forumotions case.
    and how am I going to ask the members, you mean, I should send them emails one by one, individually and wait for their replies or I should make an announcement and send batch emails to all of the members all at once?( but not many members check their email that often, so, I might never get replies from some of them, when that happens, what to do?)
     
  11. Jack_Rouse

    Jack_Rouse Use The Force

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    This is probably a case of ticking the T's & C's box without actually reading them, buried within those is probably a clause that states Forumotion retains the copyright intellectual or otherwise of all databases on it's servers.

    There was a report recently that 99.9999999999999% of people never read T's & C's, one company on it's site buried a £1000 reward for the first person to claim it, it took over 5 yrs for someone to claim the prize !
     
  12. techzechz

    techzechz Aspirant

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    How many members do you have in your forumotion forum? If it is less than 500 you might want to just add links to your new site in your forumotion forum. I think the most probable reason why forumotion does not allow database transfers is they don't want admins to "upgrade" (when the admins are experienced enough). If they do allow database transfers, they may lose half their income. This means, if you start a forum with them, you are stuck with them forever. Next time, you should stay away from free forum hosting services if you want to create a serious community.
     
  13. ooo

    ooo Neophyte

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    Thats why I think they are trap, they probably know most people don't read the TOSs so they just put whatever they want into it.

    I know all of these things already, so you don't have to remind me of them again . As I said,(to me) free forums = traps, so of course I will not fall into the same trap twice and use a free forum again.







    and if it something to do with the EU laws, then I am not living in the EU, so can they really force me(and other people) to follow laws from other countries!?

    I would like to add, I understand that I need to follow a companys TOS when I am using their service, but to think that, I still need to follow their TOS when I am not using their service..!? WT?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  14. Jack_Rouse

    Jack_Rouse Use The Force

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    Firstly as you had to agree to the TOS, the law would assume you read them, if you didn't then you cannot use ignorance as a defence, no lawyer would uphold that, however there have been cases in the EU, where the TOS on some services have been challenged and found to unlawful in themselves.

    Now we come to the second point, whether you live in the EU or not has no bearing on whether or not you have to abide by the law, yet again by agreeing to the TOS, you said you understood you were liable if you compromised the law.

    Now here is what I would do, assuming you have a PM system on your forum.

    Firstly I would contact all the members who are reliable posters, and ask them how they would feel about moving, explain the situation to them, and the benefits to them of moving, also explain that you wouldn't be able to take the old data with you, meaning all the old posts etc would be lost.

    In order for the new forum to survive, you will need around 50 members to come across with you.

    If you get that number of members then go ahead and construct your new forum, but involve the membership all the way.
     
  15. ooo

    ooo Neophyte

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    So you are suggesting me to start from scratch, that means, I will lose 4000+ posts and 1000+ members... and all the time I ve spent on running the site( a few years)...

    so in your opinions, it is better to not use the database( well, it is not really the database from forumotion, it is more like a copy of posts from the members) from forumotion?

    and what do you mean by " involve the membership all the way"?

    Thanks :gogo:
     
  16. Jack_Rouse

    Jack_Rouse Use The Force

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    A lot depends on risk, what you have to do is weigh up the risk of using the database and forumotion not finding out, against the consequences of them finding out.

    So lets suppose you use the database and they don't find out for a few months, well thats dandy, because all the posts from the new forum are yours anyway, they are not going to take you straight to court, the first thing is they will threaten you if you don't take the posts down, so you are in danger of losing your WHOLE database, unless you can prove that you have separated the new form the old. So realistically you lose.

    In the same situation this is what I would do, I would transfer the database, but not close the forumotion account straight away, it would look suspicious.
    After a few months on the new forum I would start to archive the old posts,making sure that the post count on the new forum increases so that the members don't realise what you are doing.
    That way you can slowly back up the old database bit by bit, so that if forumotion do come calling you can plead ignorance and delete it for them.
     
  17. ooo

    ooo Neophyte

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    I am a bit confused here, so you are saying, instead of using a script to create a database with a copy of the old posts and members, and use that database for the new forum, I should open up a new forum, and copy the posts from the old site one by one slowly to the new site?? then how about the members then? I am confused...
     
  18. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

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    I say this; screw the 'law', do what you think is right and stand up for what you believe in. Think you should be able to use your database? Use it and tell them to get stuffed if they complain.

    We need more people willing to tell corporations to go get lost and stop trying to bully them with pathetic 'contracts' like this.
     
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