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Who owns your comments?

Monday, June 09, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named silo.gifLast week, in the rush of news and new features in NewsJunk.com, I got an email from Daniel Ha, the guy who develops Disqus, the commenting software we use at Scripting News.  Permalink to this paragraph

I say "we" because it very literally is a we thing. When you place a comment on my blog, you're adding something to the record here, but you're also adding to the library of your written work.  Permalink to this paragraph

So the question is: "Who owns the comment?" Permalink to this paragraph

I gave it some thought, before reading Daniel's essay -- and I decided that it's a mutual thing. I own the collection of comments on my blog, and you own the comments you've placed on my blog and all others. I should be able to back up a complete set of comments on my blog, and also back up a copy of all comments I've placed on all blogs. Permalink to this paragraph

Technically it's not easy or even possible in most contexts, but with Disqus it certainly is. Permalink to this paragraph

Then I read Daniel's piece and found that he more or less came to the same conclusion. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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