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Ernie, having gone through the same process not three months ago, I empathize with your plight. However, I also can offer assurance that you will relish the stress-free days to come (and may there be many of them :-!). The love and sense of responsibility for one's creation can also be the greatest of burdens. I wish you health and happiness with all that comes next. You deserve it.

I also really appreciate the community you forged here at WUS, where I have spent many pleasant hours. And, fortunately, I do not believe I have squandered all of my retirement funds in my almost five years here. ;-)

To Helena and Philip and the VerticalScope crew, welcome! You have very big shoes to fill. Good luck!
 

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I'd actually appreciate a reply from the new management on this - in particular the use of personal information. If the terms have changed from when members signed on under the previous ownership, then they should be given notice and consent to any changes in how our personal information will be used or shared.
I agree. I retain the copyright for most photos I post on WUS, with the copyright notice clearly indicated on each photo. I also use those photos in other personal publishing endeavors, and would not consent to an assignment of my copyright just by virtue of its publication on WUS. Nor would I agree to any extensive use of my copyrighted photos outside of WUS.

EDIT: The VS administrators have confirmed that the TOS only reserves a continuing license to publish the photos on WUS. The copyright remains with the authors and/or photographers. There is no sinister plot here. Relax.
 

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You can't call something a community if its leadership isn't accountable to it. Even senior management have KPI's in my workplace. If we were regularly losing good workers to other places it would soon be addressed. This might be looked at under VS. Losing the people who post good content regularly isn't a sustainable message board business model. Without these posters there won't be a business. I don't know about ideas like elected moderators, but some review is clearly required. Perhaps this is the dawning of a new era Lex!
On the WUS fora where I regularly hang out, the moderators were almost always well-liked and respected members ... before they were asked to be mods. But, while every member is obligated to obey the forum rules, the mods must ensure that rules are followed. That might mean making unpopular rulings from time to time, but for the good of the entire community (which is why the forum has rules in the first place). You could have a Nobel laureate posting exceptional content, but if that person violated the rules of the community, the community would not be "sustainable" if that person was not required to conform. Regardless of the ownership of WUS, the mods do a pretty darn good job of maintaining an even keel (and Lex knows I have had my differences with some mods in the past). Of course, I am not talking about sponsored fora, where content - especially unflattering about the sponsoring brand - might not be well tolerated. I'm referring to the public fora where most traffic exists. Frankly, it's the main thing I hope doesn't change with the new ownership.
 
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What I would like to see is an appeal process for some in the past who have been wronged by some of those in power, this simple change would go a long way.
Now, I would agree with that. The rules state emphatically that the decisions of moderators are final (in fact, this simple discussion of moderation violates the rules). Having a moderator tell you that he's dealing with you harshly because he's had a terrible day and you just were the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back does not do much to engender respect for the fairness of the system. However, I have learned over the last several years that this is very much the exception, not the rule ... most of the mods are as much fun to know and interact with as anyone else I've met here. But for those rare occasions when a moderator decision does more harm than good to the community, some sort of appeals process would make sense. It might not be practical, given the size of the WUS community, but it makes sense.
 

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"the limited rights to use", to be more precise. And in the case cited below, the sentence should stop at "is protected by copyrights.". Copyrights for the most material published here are NOT owned or controled by watchuseek.com.
While the VS TOS could be worded more clearly, both Helena and Philip have confirmed that WUS only claims a license to maintain the publication of original photos and content posted by members. As they have pointed out - and as my IP attorney has confirmed - assignment of an original copyright is a bit more involved than simply making a passive concession to a site's terms of service. Rights to original content remain with originators of that content. Some websites - Facebook comes to mind - assert a much broader license to posted content, including their ability to use that content in advertising or other promotional activities of Facebook. WUS is being very conservative by comparison: They are protecting themselves as a publisher of original copyrighted material, and they are warning those who might expropriate that material to other sites of a de facto copyright infringement. In other words, WUS is looking out for themselves and for their members.

Perhaps it is time to give this issue a rest. Continuing to attach dark motives to a misreading of the VS TOS is starting to look like this:

Stock photography Photography Recreation Drawing Tortoise
 
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