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Copyright Patrol

Copyright Patrol & Abuse


See examples of permissible uses under Watchdog City's Copyright Patrol policy


Watchdog City's Copyright Patrol Policy

Watchdog CityTM, LLC ("Company") is committed to protecting the rights of Journalists and Bloggers to profit from the original work they post for sale on Watchdog City.

In Watchdog City, Journalists, Bloggers and content creators retain copyright ownership of their secured works and control of the distribution of such works.

Investigative reporting, newsgathering, research, analysis and creative production cost time and money. As an entrepreneur on Watchdog City, you invest this time and money with the hope and expectation of an economic benefit.

For this reason, we ask all participants in Watchdog City to accept standards and best practices that go beyond the traditional protections afforded under U.S. Copyright Law.

Company pledges to enforce these standards through this Copyright Patrol Policy and associated abuse reporting mechanisms, and through the use of technology employed by Company.

Watchdog City users pledge to uphold these standards and also report abuse of these standards to Company via the "Report Abuse" links included in the Seller Info boxes for Journalists and Bloggers. You can also report abuse of Watchdog City's Copyright Patrol Policy, Prohibited Content Policy and violations of Watchdog City's Journalist's Code of Ethics to

Copyright Policy Terms & Conditions

As a Watchdog City user, you agree that you won't:

■ Steal

You agree that you won't steal the work of others.

Stealing means you take what isn't yours to gain money you didn't rightfully earn. Stealing also means that you copy, redistribute, broadcast or share content you've purchased so that others can read, view or hear it without paying the author or producer of the work.

By participating in Watchdog City you agree that after you purchase content, you won't try to break security protections so you can copy, redistribute, broadcast or share content so that others can read, view or hear it without paying. You agree that you won't give others access to your account login information.

You agree that if you don't own the copyright to a piece of work such as a story, photo, video or audio clip, then you won't upload it to Watchdog City unless it is in the public domain. If you do wish to upload a copyrighted work that you don't own, you must obtain explicit written permission from the owner of the work and you must provide this upon request by Company.

If you believe that a Watchdog City user has stolen your work and infringed your copyright, please follow the procedure set forth in the DMCA Section of the User Agreement.

■ Plagiarize

You agree to refrain from plagiarism.

This means you don't take the words or ideas of others and pass them off as your own. You agree to attribute sources of information and give credit due. Lifting and publishing quotes obtained by others without attribution to the source of the reporting is never permissible. Minimally substituting words and using significant portions of another's work may also constitute plagiarism, even if you give attribution credit.

■ Rumormonger

You agree that you won't copy and post rumors, false information and innuendo that you copy from the Internet or viral emails. You should not copy and use information if you don't know its source. You agree that you are solely responsible in all legal respects for the content you post to Watchdog City. By posting this kind of content, you do so at your risk.

■ Take a free ride on the back of "fair use"

You agree that you will avoid excessive quotations of other Watchdog City users' work unless you obtain written permission from them to do so. Commentary and criticism of work is encouraged. However, you agree that you won't excessively quote the work of others so as to undermine their ability to sell their work.

You agree not to excessively rely on the original reporting and research of others and instead do your own research. In other words, you agree that you won't try to get a free ride off the backs of others' work. This is a condition of your participation in Watchdog CityTM.

This is in keeping with long-held journalism canons: Members of the media have traditionally given credit due to the first person to break a story. In addition, newsrooms have traditionally discouraged stories that excessively quote and reference an earlier story. Editors order reporters to "get it on your own." By participating in Watchdog City you agree to use this best practice. Here's why you should: As a Journalist or Blogger you are solely responsible for the content you post to Watchdog City. Company emphatically encourages verification of information, even information provided by credible sources.

As a buyer of stories and content on Watchdog City, you agree to this higher standard and give up certain limited copyright infringement defenses under what's know as the "fair use" doctrine. Company has established these standards in the interest of fair play: We ask that you respect the copyrights of others as you would have them respect yours.

Some Internet publishers, online aggregators and media outlets republish the content of others without their permission and use the "fair use" doctrine as a defense against copyright infringement allegations. This is not permitted on Watchdog City, and you explicitly agree that you will not do so. Additionally, by agreeing to Watchdog City's User Agreement and this Copyright Patrol Policy, you acknowledge and affirm that Company's standards control the boundaries of acceptable use of others' work.

The following are provided as examples to offer general guidelines:

Not permissible: As a Blogger, you buy a Journalist's (or other reporter's) story, and then quote it excessively on your own Watchdog City commentary that you list for sale, so no one needs or wants to buy the scoop gathered and developed by the reporter who did the hard digging. In doing so, you violate the agreed upon understanding for Watchdog City about what constitutes fair use, and you may be suspended, terminated or banned from future use of Watchdog City.

Not permissible: As a Journalist (or other reporter), you buy a Blogger's commentary and then discuss it extensively on a local radio talk show so the Blogger can no longer sell his or her work. You paraphrase and redistribute the gist of the work on your own blog outside of Watchdog City and your wide dissemination undermines the ability of the Blogger to benefit economically from his or her copyrighted work. In doing so, you violate the agreed upon understanding for Watchdog City about what constitutes fair use, and you may be suspended, terminated or banned from future use of Watchdog CityTM.

Permissible: As a local TV station anchor and Watchdog City user, you report on a major investigative finding of a Journalist (or other reporter) in your town. You give on-air credit and tell viewers where to find the story. You take care not to give out extensive information beyond what is available via the headline, subhead, and providing a brief summary. Later you email the Journalist (or other reporter) and ask her if she wants to discuss her story on air and ask permission to provide more detail to your viewers so long as you give credit and tell them where to buy the story. Later still, you confirm and report the story yourself and dig out additional information.

Permissible: You are a Blogger and you also own a popular blog outside of Watchdog City. You read a Journalist's story that you think is outrageous. You post a comment below the story on Watchdog City. Without plagiarizing or stealing information, you offer some opinions on your private blog outside of Watchdog City. You don't quote or paraphrase excessively but you indicate why you think the story's wrong and post a link back to the Journalist's story description page.

Permissible: As a Blogger and activist for non-profit trade organization, you post your white paper on why new regulations will create hardships for your industry. When you upload your secured file, you voluntarily designate the executive summary and large parts of your report as available for widespread "fair use" distribution in media outside of Watchdog City (See discussion below on Voluntary Access). Watchdog City users who want to support the work of your organization vote with their wallets and can buy your white paper.

Voluntary Access

As a producer of stories or content for sale on Watchdog City, you are encouraged but not required to consider the public interest value of your work and voluntarily designate certain parts of your content as available for reproduction or distribution by content purchasers. For example, as the copyright owner you can voluntarily designate summary paragraphs of your secured content for reproduction purposes, or you may provide a summary at the top of your secured story for use by televisions broadcasters or radio announcers to read on air.

Obviously, granting broad reproduction rights may hurt your ability to sell your work, but Company believes this is a decision best made by you, the owner of the content. As an entrepreneur, you may decide to make use of this strategy to market your work.

Use of content by Company

While not giving up your ownership rights, you grant an unlimited, irrevocable, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual license and agree to make available to Company of the contents of headlines, subheads, story descriptions, keywords, thumbnails, newsstand descriptions and all other free content posted to Watchdog City that is not part of your secured files that you post for sale. You grant to Company rights to worldwide use and distribution of this free area content for use by Company in, on or to promote Watchdog City, and to maintain such content in its legacy database (such database is defined in Watchdog City's User Agreement).

Additional Information about Watchdog CityTM standards:

Journalist's Oath
Feedback Rating Criteria for Journalists & Bloggers
Watchdog City Journalists Code of Ethics