Comments is Money

Stop Earning Money from my Comments on your Blog

Very interesting conversation are going on the internet these days about legal issues surrounding commenting on other blogs and if the blog owners have the right to show in-context link advertisements on the comments section of their blogs, there is nothing wrong with running in-context ads on your blog, but I know that almost all of you will agree that in-context advertisements are very annoying to blog visitors and it’s not a healthy thing specially when the advertisements shows non related links to the post topic. Join us on this conversation because I do have some interesting points to discuss.

I first read about this at Holly’s blog on her brilliant In-context Links? No Comment! Post, she has a very interesting way of looking at things, Holly is asking bloggers to stop using her comments by showing the ad links on them, and she said that “No one has the right to use her comments that way”. I am still wondering about the legal issue here, and how we can control that in a way that won’t lead to a trouble for any part!

Blogosphere Laws are undefined and uncertain!

Sir has responded to this in-context links issue by a very nice post to teach you How To Stop Infolinks From Appearing In Your Comments and stop annoying your blog visitors, this is a very nice tip that I recommend to you to stop losing your blog reader and commentators if you still want to use in-context ads on your blog.

Copyrights does not include the right of existence!

I have always believed that the comment are part of the blog content, when I add a comment to any blog I don’t really care or think about my comments copyrights, because the blog owners can delete it (not to publish it), and the most interesting thing is that blog owners also can edit comments on their blogs!!! You may disagree with me but tell me why do I have to care?!

Do I see some conflict in here?!

I really don’t understand what copyrights means here and how it will protect me when I post a comment on some blogs! If the commenter owns his comment then should not edit the comment without the commentator’s permission, and the feature of editing comments has to be removed from all commenting systems! In another words Disqus and WordPress and all other websites and blogging platforms is doing a big mistake by letting this feature in the hand of blogs owners! But no, actually the whole thing is not making any sense to me!

We all have Killed some comments before!

Don’t panic, this is absolutely your right not to publish comments on your blog, I personally have killed some comments before, when I think it’s a little spammy things, or when it has offended words or meanings, or even if It has a link that I don’t want to show it on my blog. I am sure that you did the same thing at least once in your blogging life! Some people will think that this is not your right to delete the already published comments, then maybe you can tell them to pay you to host this comments on your blog!

The situation will get more complicated if someone asked you to remove his comment from your blog, lots of blogs is using threaded comments which acts like a simple discussion tool, it’s a nice way to get replies to specific comment, so imagine if you have a good comment discussion running and someone asked you to remove his comment which is on the top of the tree!

To me.. It’s only a matter of respect!

I have an opinion about this and I would like to shout it out for our readers to hear what they think about this issue, my personal opinion is commenter don’t fully own his comment and has no control on it, if the commenter has ‘agreed’ to distribute it since pushed the “add comment” button he/she gives the right to the owner of the blog to use it the way he like, and he can show advertisements using this comment text as a part of the blog content, so let’s say that both of them the commenter and the blog owner is sharing this ownership together some how!

Issues on the Blogosphere are undefined and uncertain, so we have to agree on a solution for this until we can get a legal right, I also never heard that someone sued a blogger for advertising on his comment! (tell me if you know any case)

Hey.. This money is not yours!

Comments = Cash

Comments = Cash

Let’s look into this from a different angle now, let’s imagine that one day someone will knock your in-box with a surprising email asking you to pay him or share your earnings from those in-context ad links because you have used his/her comments text, what you will do?! How you will respond to this?

Does Your Blog Need a Comments Policy?

Comments are essential to any blog and it has a heavy weight in the determination of quality of blogs. After fetching some interesting articles and getting advice from bloggers friends I recommend that every blog should have a policy page.

A Question!

Considering the comments importance to any blog should I declare that I use in-context link ads in comments on my blog policy page not to have such problems when a commenter contact me and he say: Hey! Why you are using my comment for advertising?!

Yes! I think this has to be a part of your policy and every blog needs a comment policy page where you can explain the ownership of comments on your blog to guarantee the maximum protection, here is a page that has an example of comment policy page, this will help you write it.

Conclusion: Is blog comments part of my blog content?

It’s not easy to answer this question, it’s kind of complicated problem, but it has a very simple solution, I recommend  to add a notice above or under the comment entry area if you are using in-context links allover your blog: ”When you post a comment on this blog, you grant us the right to modify, delete and use in-context links in your comment”

Do you still think you fully own and can control the use of comments you put on others blogs?

I create websites with WordPress, and I develop Thesis Skins. I am a social network lover. I am also the night creature who works hard to keep this project up. Owner and founder of the Famous Blog.


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{ 66 comments… add one }

  • novz December 31, 2009, 2:51 am

    my first time to leave a comment here, hesham! I agree on your take on the issue. As of now, I don’t have in-text ads in any of my blogs. My friends disagreement will not deter me from doing something which is not illegal, (though it may be in the borderline of what’s ethical or not). But for that friend’s sake, i will not modify his/her comment or guest post without his/her consent. I guess it is part of respect.
    .-= novz´s last blog ..Happy New Year 2010 and other Text Messages =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith December 30, 2009, 1:30 am

    I have read this thread with interest. In addition, I read the BlogHerald post. I am not a lawyer, but have sincere questions about what was written there and would be interested in the legal precedent involved.

    For example, one statement says, “[commenters] have the right to request that their comments be removed.”

    First, he clearly only says you have the right to make the request, but I assume he intends to say that commenters have a right for the request to be granted.

    Can you imagine the ramifications of such a position? Let’s say, for example, that someone had a beef with your blog (or a big political blog or whatever). They get together a bunch of disgruntled folks to post on the blog in question. Then, collectively, they demand that all their comments be removed? You could literally take a blog down.

    If this is legal, then why would it only apply to WEB print material. Why not, say, magazines. Why can’t you give approval for publication and then retract approval and then demand that publisher recall the printed material? (Of course, that’s impossible, but it’s also really impossible long-term to “unprint” the web, too.)

    He also says, “…when it comes to protecting content within your comments, you have roughly the same amount of rights as you would with content posted on other blogs.”

    So, do authors (apparently only on web media) really have the right to give permission to publish and retract that permission at will?

    I’d be interested to hear how this all pans out.

    To be clear, I don’t use InfoLinks, nor do I do any comment linking on any of my blogs. I do find them annoying. But I don’t have any qualms about other bloggers making the choice to use them, since I can choose to read elsewhere.
    .-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..6 Steps to Startup with WordPress: The Guide for the Wannabe Blogger =-.

  • Willa December 29, 2009, 6:33 pm

    I just simply hate in-text ads so you can’t see one in any of my blogs.

  • Sunil Jain December 28, 2009, 6:55 pm

    Hmmm very well said Hesham :)
    Now let me also remove intext ads from by comment section to retain my commentators and turn them into loyal visitors 😉
    .-= Sunil Jain´s last blog ..Suggest Topic and Win 1 year WpWebHost Hosting Account via WebDesignFan =-.

    • Hesham December 28, 2009, 8:14 pm

      Good decision, rest your mind 😉

    • Holly Jahangiri December 28, 2009, 8:21 pm

      Visited! :)
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Monday News & Views =-.

  • Tycoon Blogger December 27, 2009, 7:11 pm

    Here is my 2 cents. A blogger owns all content on their blog including comments. If you were to make money from this comment or any other comment I make on your blog, more power to you!
    .-= Tycoon Blogger ´s last blog ..Top Guest Posts of 2009 (on Tycoon Blogger) =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 27, 2009, 7:28 pm

      You know what? Next time a police officer pulls me over for speeding, I’m going to try that approach. “Officer, here’s my two cents. My tax dollars paid for this road. I own my car. I can drive 110 mph on it if I want to!”
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..It’s the Dopamine, You Dope! =-.

  • Dennis Edell December 27, 2009, 2:29 pm

    First let me state, I am in total agreement with those that are against links associated with text that is not their own. That said…..

    Law/Schmaw, at the end of the day it comes down to respect; both ways. Period.

    Blogger/Visitor – If one asks the other to do something and it’s within his/her grasp to do so. if not, explain your position and it’s the right of the other to stay or go.

    Please, with 150 million blogs all writing the same content (you know it’s true), what kinda fool (I may just bite it for that one) is going to sue because one person linked the word music to an iPod ad on another persons comment.

    Move on to the next blog, that’s what I’d do.

    Btw, if YOU’RE commenting on MY blog, and for whatever reason I feel the need to add/delete or transform it in some fashion…..bite me. 😉

    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Again – Pick My New Domain Names With A chance To Win $10! =-.

  • chandan December 27, 2009, 5:40 am

    Yes I have seen some blogger use our comment on putting their incontext link. But here I want to say that when people comment on blogs why most people just copy a big amount of content from some sites and paste on comment section.

    I did not noticed it before, but for some day I am seeing my comment section. Some people are so smart that their comments are not like spam, but when I search that commented lines on google, I already get those words on the google search results. I think google will slam me for such comment spam.
    .-= chandan´s last blog ..Sponsored tweets- great work at home opportunity =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 27, 2009, 9:52 am

      Oh, chandan, you got suckered in by the flattery spam, did you? Yes, spammers are getting more clever. They’re finally learning that the, “Interesting what you write, but you are wrong” approach really isn’t working for them. Now they’re going for the, “You write so well. I have bookmarked. I will read every day” approach. I love the one over on BlogCatalog, too: “I have clicked your links. hope u will do same. follow me and i will follow back.” NOOOOO!!! Sorry. “I would follow you back, but I’m not running Google ads on my blog, and nothing you could click there will earn me one penny. So either you have written to me by mistake, or you are a filthy LIAR. I hate liars. u go way now.”

      If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Oh, of course, I started to say “If it’s only one or two lines long, look carefully and critically.” But I get whole essays in my spam bucket. Some might actually be a form of abstract poetry. A few are half a page of erotica and make me blush. I like to call those “spam with whipped cream on top.” They usually end with the words “cialis” or “viagra”. The day they offer a double-your-money-back guarantee, I’m going to buy, buy, buy and collect on that! (That, or I’ll be sprouting weird body parts I don’t need or want – on me. Pray for me.)

      I try not to leave any links in my comments until I know the blogger and have commented once or twice before. (I don’t count CommentLuv. It does it’s thing, and we all had to register with Andy, who could cut us off at any time if we abuse his baby.)
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Crazy Candymaking! =-.

  • 113Tidbits December 26, 2009, 9:46 pm

    I would prefer to keep the person’s context of the article relevant to the commentary. Especially since many of my site’s visitors are those looking to only score points ion the latest blog commenting contest.
    .-= 113Tidbits´s last blog ..The Mashable’s Get All The Toys =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 3:20 am

      I see that you are using AdBrite on your blog, Anyways! I think it’s a good idea to count only useful and valuable comment for your contest like we do her on Famous Bloggers blog!

      • Holly Jahangiri December 27, 2009, 9:53 am

        AdBrite! I knew I was forgetting someone!
        .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Crazy Candymaking! =-.

  • Isaac December 26, 2009, 8:43 pm

    In my honest personal opinion, in-context ads are cluttering and make me not comfortable of reading anything and staying long, let alone coming back. Clicking them is the last thing I would do on earth. Another thing is that such ads makes a page loads slower, because of their sophisticated scripts loaded from other websites.

    Keep ads on ad sections, keep content clear and comfortable for humans to enjoy and become loyal visitors.
    .-= Isaac | GoBlogger´s last blog ..Dofollow, Nofollow, and Genuineness =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 3:10 am

      Very nice tip Isaac, I like your way of thinking about the page load time, I would definitely like my blog to load faster!

      I agree with you to keep the content clear, we don’t want people to suffer reading our blogs.

      Thanks buddy for your valuable comment.

  • Jared P Little December 26, 2009, 5:28 pm

    Wow, very interesting post and serious of comments learned a lot here. I agree ads shouldn’t be used in the comments. Blogger’s shouldn’t alter the comments, only display or hide let as is.

    I think you best bet is to have a clear policy on this and if you do plan to use the comments on your blog for anything make sure to ask the person that left them.
    .-= Jared P Little´s last blog ..My 1st Guest Post on Blog Engage =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 3:06 am

      I belive that the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licenseis with some modifications is going to be a good option!

      Thanks Jared for your kind visit!

  • lawmacs December 26, 2009, 2:53 pm

    Very interesting topic i believe soon and very soon there will be more laws that will cover our blog with using inline text in comments personally i don’t have a problem with it the reason why we all comment on other bloggers blog is of two reasons (1) Backlinks and two support we can look at this another way what if the blog owner removes the text box for the url and no comentluv plugin i say comment on blogs that you are happy with
    .-= lawmacs´s last blog ..Merry Christmas to You All =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 2:59 pm


      But I contend that we don’t need MORE laws, just clarification on and enforcement of the ones already in place. Copyright law covers this quite adequately, if anyone bothers to read it. (Google “CPSIA” and “handmade” or “CPSIA” and “books” if you need a good reason why we don’t need MORE laws when better enforcement of currently existing laws would work just fine.)
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 2:58 am

      You are so right Lawmacs, but this law will take years to be settled because it’s very complicated issue!

      I imagine that if someone went to court with bunch of blog comments and want to sue me, I bet that the Judge will tell him “Take your computer out of here, I don’t know anything about high technology internet” LOL!

      Naahh! just Judge, the Jidge will just read the policy!

  • Jan December 26, 2009, 12:48 pm

    Infolinks in the comment body? I find that ethically questionable. I would never comment on a blog which does that, nor will I ever use that on my blog.

    Fair enough, according to my comments policy that is spelled out on my blog (for those who bother to read before making a comment), the commenters on my blog do give me the right to edit, alter or delete any comment they make, if it violates my comments policy, but infolinks? Not on my blog comments.
    .-= Jan´s last blog ..Happy Holidelays! =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 12:55 pm

      I think it’s fine to reserve the right to make the editorial changes necessary to ensure that a comment is free of profanity and spelling errors, to go further – possibly to change the meaning and context of a comment – becomes really questionable both from a legal and ethical standpoint. I think it’s clear that most bloggers intend for their comments to be published – or not – on the post they are responding to. Period. That’s an implied license to display, but beyond that, any other use needs explicit permission from the author of those comments. Latief has commented (here) that he considers his comments a “gift” to the blogger to do with as they please. I have stated that I don’t. If there is ANY ambiguity, though, the law’s likely to come down on my side – it doesn’t generally “infer” rights where none are explicitly granted.
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..In-context Links? No Comment! =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 2:46 am

      It seem that almost all of us here agree that InfoLinks are annoying, I thank you for your comment and opinion Jan!

  • Kikolani December 26, 2009, 12:37 pm

    This is something I haven’t really considered. I have always assumed that once you place a comment on a blog, it belongs to that blog’s owner to do with as they wish from that point. The only thing I would ask is that blog owners do not edit my comment to the point that it changes the meaning of what I originally say. But if, say, I include a link to another site in my comment and the blog owner doesn’t approve, then he or she has the right to remove it. Kind of like certain blogs will remove the link to your website if they do not like it, but still use your comment anyway.

    (Speaking of leaving links) I found this debate about “Who Owns Your Comments” and it does raise a lot of issues.

    As far as a blog owner making money off of my comments, it seems like that should be something included in a comment, disclosure or privacy policy – that your comment will be picked up by the monetary system and edited to include paid links (oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a site that does this). But let’s face it, some blogs make money off of you somehow, like with the programs that offer a royalty per page impression. Whether you agree to it or not, it happens the second you land on the page.

    I guess if you really oppose it, you should check around a blog site, see comments others have made, and if they are mixing paid links into comments, just don’t comment. And maybe even use the comment form on the blog owner’s site to let them know that is why you will never leave a comment on their site. Maybe after enough complaints, they will find a method like Sire addresses in his post to not include paid links in comments in the future.

    I don’t know how these programs work, as I only use ones that place ads where I manually add them, but maybe some are out of the blog owner’s control, and why should they lose out on the chance to make income when it is the commenter’s decision to leave behind their words or not. If it is something you don’t agree with, just don’t support it.
    .-= Kikolani´s last blog ..Twitter Direct Messages – Best (and Worst) Practices =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 12:43 pm

      I feel a need to clarify my position on this. Comments alone help to generate traffic and increase a blogger’s income from it. I have no problem with my comments helping a blogger to generate extra income.

      What I have a problem with is a blogger adding advertising links to my comment or a guest post, for that matter, without my consent. Look, here’s the bottom line:

      Say I work for AT&T, and I leave a comment on a blog about – I don’t know – training dogs. I write something like, “Call your dog with a low, authoritative voice.” Next thing I know, the word “call” in my comment has ad links to Verizon.

      Do you begin to see the problem now?

      It’s not the “making money” part I take issue with. It’s a violation of copyright – pure and simple – and it can lead to a potential conflict of interest. I don’t license my comments for that purpose.
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..In-context Links? No Comment! =-.

      • Anne December 27, 2009, 1:37 pm

        What if the ad for Verizon, triggered by the word “call” appears next to your comment in an Adsense ad?
        .-= Anne @ b6s.net´s last blog ..How Will the Movie Avatar Effect the Internet =-.

        • Holly Jahangiri December 27, 2009, 2:35 pm

          That’s exactly why I stopped using AdSense, actually. Well, not EXACTLY (I don’t work for AT&T); during the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, it started running ads for the Republicans and FOX News. I said “Enough!” and took all AdSense ads off my blog.

          However, with regard to AdSense, the division of who said what and who endorsed what is much clearer. AdSense does not modify my words to turn them into links to ads. It uses my words to determine which ads will be displayed on my blog, if I choose to use it. But there is no doubt that it is Google serving the ads – not me hand-coding them in my links.
          .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..It’s the Dopamine, You Dope! =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 2:07 am

      I will keep this in short, I really like the easy way.. I would do exactly the same! thanks for the link I read it and it’s a nother way of looking into the case!

    • Keith December 27, 2009, 9:16 am

      I would have to agree that once you comment and hit submit, it belongs to the owner of the blog. I also agree that putting ads in the comments is going too far and I won’t be doing that.

      This is a good topic for debate, and I suspect many more article will be written about it in the coming weeks…
      .-= Keith@NeedInformation´s last blog ..Sunday Funny’s 12-27-09 =-.

  • Heather Kephart December 26, 2009, 12:15 pm

    I like pie.
    .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..Zombie Attack Imminent! =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 12:26 pm

      Goofball. I like zombies. Best excuse outside of a flamewar for wearing the asbestos cat suit and walking around with 151 and a Bic lighter.
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

  • Amit Banerjee December 26, 2009, 12:12 pm

    I think we have the right to modify the URL of the commentator but not the body of the comment. That’s because we have total control to whom we link to. User generated links invite spammers ( they always had and always will) and we should take care to remove any bad nuisances from our blog. Thus The links can be modified ( if really needed).

    Good article hesham
    .-= Amit Banerjee´s last blog ..Most Expensive Domain Names of All Times =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 4:01 pm

      I would urge caution here, as well. I think you absolutely have the right NOT to link to a site (and so can remove a commenter’s link); but would you have the right to change the link so that it went somewhere else? Say, to the commenter’s competitor’s web site? I think a good case could be made for “No!” I don’t KNOW that such an issue has ever really BEEN an issue, though – because first and foremost, it’s a matter of respect and courtesy. I tend to delete or delink anything that looks like spam, but not to change links in anyone’s comments.
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

      • Amit Banerjee December 26, 2009, 4:31 pm

        Yes. Delinking is good but modifying the link to your advantage is a bad practice and should be avoided at all costs.
        .-= Amit Banerjee´s last blog ..Most Expensive Domain Names of All Times =-.

        • Hesham December 27, 2009, 1:24 am

          Thanks Amit, I just realized now that I can Delink the comments with out having to Delete them completely! this is a good choice that could work for me just fine.

  • Latief December 26, 2009, 11:11 am

    For me, comment is a gift, you can do what you want with my comment, edit, publish or delete my comment. So I have no rights anymore for my comments, only have rights for the back links to my blog LOL!
    I don’t want to be complicated here, where there’s a chance to make money from comments, why not? If you still feel you are the owner of you comments, that complicated :)
    If you don’t want some one make money from your comments, so please don’t leave comments 😉
    Make it simple please…….
    .-= Latief@AnotherBlogger´s last blog ..Amazon Associates and Google Blogger Now Integrated =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 11:22 am

      It’s not just what I “feel” Latief. It’s the law. Now, it’s generous of you to declare your comments a “gift.” You can do that, as copyright owner of your comments. 😉 But that’s the point – YOU choose to do that. The blog owner doesn’t get to declare YOUR comments a gift to HIM.

      The right to display my comments on your blog – or not – is my “gift.” Not to modify them to include commercial links. As owner of them, I can request that they be deleted (as I have, on discovering they were used and modified in ways I didn’t intend when leaving them).

      The point here is, it doesn’t matter what you or I “think” – that’s part of the beauty of certain laws, they clarify things. It has been suggested that bloggers make a comment policy – I’d urge them to make it very clear and prominent and perhaps require some affirmative agreement in the form of a check box – that says, “Any comments you leave on this blog may be [modified, linked to ads, ridiculed, deleted, posted on all my OTHER blogs, etc.]” or “Any comments you leave here are posted under a Creative Commons copyright that allows them to be [modified, used for commercial purposes, etc.]”

      I still won’t comment on those blogs, but at least I won’t feel my comments have been hijacked for purposes I never intended when I made them.
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

      • Latief December 26, 2009, 11:47 am

        Sure sister, I agree about the right. I agree if we don’t want some one edit or modify them.But let me make it simple. Don’t tell blogger to write such a long announce words below their comment box. Just don’t leave comment if you are worry about your comments, LOL!
        For me, if some one can make money from my comments, that is really make happy.
        Thanks for this interesting discussion Holly.
        .-= Latief@AnotherBlogger´s last blog ..Amazon Associates and Google Blogger Now Integrated =-.

        • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 12:27 pm

          Okay, Latief – I won’t leave comments on your blog. :) But I’d still appreciate the notice, because some bloggers prefer comments to Infolinks. It gets confusing for us commenters, too!
          .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

        • Latief December 26, 2009, 12:40 pm

          I don’t like inline ads sister, its annoying. Its really not a pleasure when I read an article and the ads shown up, hate it. I think there’s so many ways to make money from blog, but not inline text ads 😉
          .-= Latief@AnotherBlogger´s last blog ..Amazon Associates and Google Blogger Now Integrated =-.

        • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 12:45 pm

          Okay, so we’re in agreement here, Bro? (Why are you calling me “sister”??)
          .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..In-context Links? No Comment! =-.

        • Hesham December 27, 2009, 1:06 am

          LOL! Latief you make me laugh lots man, this is funniest comment we got here 😉

          “Don’t leave comment if you are worry about your comments”!

        • Latief December 27, 2009, 8:05 pm

          @Holly: Yes, I agree with you. I’m calling you sister because we are family on the blogoshpere, bloggers 😉
          @Hesham: I just try make everything simple bro. Nice knowing you have a lots laugh 😉 its good for health.
          .-= Latief@AnotherBlogger´s last blog ..Amazon Associates and Google Blogger Now Integrated =-.

  • Dragon Blogger December 26, 2009, 10:15 am

    Of course this was a highly discussed topic in the Power 50 group. People should follow the link above and prevent infolinks from turning comments into paid links, it is a matter of courtesy.
    .-= Dragon Blogger´s last blog ..Dragon Blogger Review of The Answer Man =-.

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 12:46 am

      I agree with you Justin, there nothing better than respect. Thanks for adding your opinion here!

  • Antti Kokkonen December 26, 2009, 10:12 am

    Hmm, everything in one’s blog, including blog comments are for owner(s) of that blog to do whatever they please, especially if they do so state in the policy/terms of service. If someone says that blogger can’t edit/remove/advertise on the blog comments, they should turn off all spam filters on their blogs, because they are not allowed to delete anything in there.

    For example, most forums online couldn’t run themselves if they couldn’t show advertising on the forum because the members “own what they write”. Taking a lesson from this, every blog should have a comment policy, whether or not they use in-context advertising or not.
    .-= Antti Kokkonen´s last blog ..Top 27 Most Popular Free WordPress Themes =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 10:37 am

      Antti, that is only partly correct.

      You can delete (refuse to publish, basically) anything you want to from your own blog. I submit a letter to the editor (say, of a newspaper); the editor decides whether to publish it or not. I do not have a right or reasonable expectation that the editor will publish everything that crosses his desk. But by implication, I grant the RIGHT to do so – because in order for my views to be heard, that’s what has to happen, and that must be my intent in submitting my comments in that arena.

      A commenter grants an implied right to display their comment by posting it; that right does NOT include the right to materially change the context of the comment. As a matter of custom, few bloggers will get into trouble making minor, editorial changes to a comment (removing a link, removing profanity, fixing a typo) but they would be SAFER to either publish or not publish the comment as-is. (I’m sure a few of my commenters are heartbroken to see their comments posted as-is, typos and all, when they know that I’m a professional writer and could easily have “fixed” what they wrote. But nine times out of ten, I won’t do it – this is the reason, not a spiteful glee in showing off a visitor’s typos to the world. 😉

      A comment policy COULD be written to address this, but would probably cause more headaches than it’s worth, really. And I would argue that a comment policy with a little tiny link in the footer is NOT enough – it needs to be prominent and preferably should include a checkbox that requires the commenter to click to affirmatively state “I agree to all this nonsense.” In reality, most of us won’t bother – and eventually, your comments section will wither and die. Most bloggers have a hard time getting commenters and try to make it EASIER to comment. Are you really suggesting that these links are lucrative enough to make commenters jump through hoops to YOUR sole advantage? Not likely to happen. We can run our own blogs, and have our own discussions there, for free.
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Exhausted & Overexposed: Hand-Crafted Hypertext Disappearing from the Web? =-.

      • Hesham December 26, 2009, 10:18 pm

        I actually fixed some typos on my comments here and there before, I was putting myself in the commentor’s shoe, and thinking Oh! I missed with this one, but I publish it already! I wish I could edit typos on my personal comments after publishing them!

    • Hesham December 27, 2009, 12:35 am

      Good point Antti, we are thinking kind of the same about this matter, and you are telling exactly what is happening in forums on the internet these days, almost all Discussion Forums are using in-context ads, it’s just that no body talk about it or complain from that!

      As Holly said, comment policy issu could turn to something complicated, but I would go for it the simple way!

  • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 9:42 am

    Hesham, please read this post by Jonathan Bailey and let me know if anything is still unclear to you:

    Jonathan Bailey is not a lawyer, but he is an expert on copyright and plagiarism, especially as it pertains to the Internet. His site, http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/ is a fantastic resource for bloggers.

    To summarize the key points:

    Commenters own copyright in comments they write. Period.

    By posting their comments on someone else’s blog, they grant an implied license to display the comment electronically on that blog. (I would reluctantly add that the implied license covers syndication via RSS feed. However, this could cause headaches, since they also have the right to request the deletion of those comments.)

    The blogger holds what’s known as a “compilation copyright” – that gives them a right of action should someone copy their whole blog, including comments, somewhere else. While the individual comments are still owned by those who wrote them, you do have a copyright claim over the sum of your blog’s parts. (Think of a phone book or dictionary – you can’t copyright a fact, such as name/address/phone number, but you can copyright a compendium of facts and its particular arrangement.)

    Your really do not have a right to edit comments, absent a clear and prominent comment policy allowing you to do so. And I do mean PROMINENT. Safest (but most annoying) way to implement this would be to require a blogger to click a button saying “Yes, I’ve read your annoying little comment policy – go ahead and let me post).

    Most commenters will not object if you edit their comment to remove profanity or fix a typo (however, those of us who are writers would prefer you NOT to fix our typos unless your editing skills are top notch). However, ANY edits you make to a comment, including translation of it or the addition of in-context text link ads, would be considered a “derivative work,” and there is no implied right to create derivative works.

    You have the right to delete comments, but not to move them, repost them elsewhere, put them out of context (I’d argue that you cannot leave comments on a post, then edit your own post to make the comments look stupid or irrelevant – though that would be an interesting case and one I’ve never seen happen).
    .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

    • Hesham December 26, 2009, 10:13 pm

      Thanks Holly, you know I spend all day yesterday Googling for this information, I actulayy read this article with interests yesterday,

      You are 100% right that the little tiny link in the footer is tricky, I just suggest this for general protection as someone will have problems at any day, but you know what? probably this will work for a 100.000 daily visitors blog with a stuff of layers to tell them how to play games, and where no one will care to lose a few comments if they are getting 100s on each post!

      Some other articles that I read is taking care of other points, I got some ideas about deleting coments as well! A guy fired up some nice points related to discussion forums comments and replies, for example what is the disteny of “comments on comments”?! and you know that deleting any of the comments will kill the tree, and distroy the discussion! so it would make sence if the commentor don’t have the right to ask for comment deletion!

      Oh! it’s a great discussion we have here and there, and I think the talk will never fisnish, I have searched about my topic before posting to pick the right title, I have to be honest that I found only one article is mentioning it between the words, so i thought this is it! it’s almost uniqe 😉

  • Sire December 26, 2009, 8:59 am

    Personally I reckon it’s more a question of ethics rather than legality. Still I reckon you have raised some interesting points and I will be watching this post with some interest.

    Thanks for the link luv, if it wasn’t for that II may well have missed this post.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..The Journey To Bloggersville =-.

    • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 9:46 am

      Sire, I would say that it is definitely and clearly a legal issue; however, common sense and respect will usually keep you on the right side of the law. I do feel that violating my copyright shows not only an ignorance of the law, but also a lack of respect. Using my copyrighted words to earn a few pennies (without even offering to share them with me! Hmmph!) shows even less respect. (Or a lack of knowledge as to how to restrict these programs to your posts, only – a problem you’ve addressed with your blog post at http://wassupblog.com/how-to-stop-infolinks-from-appearing-in-your-comments/ . That made me feel welcome AND respected. 😉
      .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Wordy Wednesday =-.

      • Sire December 26, 2009, 5:11 pm

        Not a problem Holly, once I knew how you felt about it I had to do something to rectify the problem.
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..The Journey To Bloggersville =-.

        • Holly Jahangiri December 26, 2009, 5:14 pm

          I know, and I was touched to know that you’d rather keep me hanging around and commenting on your blog than to keep those links in your comments! You are such a gentleman. Thank you. 😉
          .-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..Exhausted & Overexposed: Hand-Crafted Hypertext Disappearing from the Web? =-.

        • Sire December 26, 2009, 5:30 pm

          You guys are important to me Holly, and it constantly surprises me how the big boys fail to see the importance of this type of interaction.
          .-= Sire´s last blog ..The Journey To Bloggersville =-.

    • Hesham December 26, 2009, 9:56 pm

      Thanks Sir, I am inspired by your post and Holly’s! and being looking for the right thing to do on your blog. Maybe we succeded to fill out some space on the internet with our useful discussion!

      There is a simple soulution not to miss when we post latter which is subscibing to our feed 😉

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