Copyright Clarification Of Sorts

A few posts back I reviewed the second Gibb Owen article from The Education Technology Guide and ended my review with the following query:

My final question for Gibb which I will e-mail on to him if he wants to reply is this - When I leave a comment on a blog, who retains the copyright to that? The commenter or the blogger? I’ll post any insights here with permission.

I did e-mail him. Here's what I wrote:

G'day Gibb,
I just wanted to say thanks for your great articles on Copyright and Intellectual Property in The Education Technology Guide. I am a primary school teacher here in Adelaide with a role in ICT and so much of what you wrote has a big impact in the education sector. I am also a blogger with my blog Teaching Generation Z, where I have reviewed your two articles because I think that copyright is really misunderstood by the majority of educators. The two posts were My Copyright Ignorance and Reviewing Another Informative Copyright Article . I have learnt quite lot from your informative writing, but as always, good writing raises as many questions as it provides solutions or answers. The question I have for you (if you wish to provide a non-legally binding, opinion only answer, of course) is this - When I leave a comment on a blog, who retains the copyright to that? The commenter or the blogger? If it is the blogger, then does the commenter have to ask permission to use their own comment (housed on the other person's blog) back on their site? If you do answer and you are under no obligation to do so - this is a request imposing on your goodwill - could I quote your answer on my blog? It would be very informative for the blogging community to have a clear understanding of where their rights lie,
Thanks again for your articles,
Graham Wegner,
I received a reply back on Wednesday, with permission to reproduce. To satisfy Gibb's request for appropriate citation, here is his reply in full.
Dear Graham,


Thank you for your approval of my work.  Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

The question you have raised is naturally complex in its answer.

Where a Blog is published on the internet the assumption should be that all original material constituted by more than a few words that require the application of intelligence is protected where it is down loaded in a country which is a party to the Berne Convention such as Australia.

Leaving aside this assumption there can be implications arising from the express words that place the whole or part of the material in the public domain and thereby free for all parties to use and copy same (commercially?).

The presentation of a site by its express terms may operate as an abandonment of copyright by any and all contributors or its terms or nature may say nothing about abandonment or licensing.

Licensing can allow copying for non-commercial purposes or may place other limitations on such a licence.

The nature and contents of the material and the environment into which it is published will be highly persuasive as to whether it is protected or not.

Each author can and should make an express reservation of copyright or an express abandonment of rights or expressly prohibited commercial copying. Please have a look at the issue of Creative Commons on the Internet.

You can see that without being given a detailed example I cannot make a categoric statement for you.  You may publish this advice on your Blog provided it is attributed to Clinch Neville Long and you quote my e-mail address.

Yours faithfully


Gibson Owen

Senior Associate


I would interested in any edublogger feedback on his reply which I am a bit hesitant to try and remix in layman's terms. I'm loathe to misinterpret this reply but someone with more background than me could have a go. Or in the absence of a full understanding, we all continue to comment on each others' blogs in good faith that our words will add value to our learning.

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2 thoughts on “Copyright Clarification Of Sorts

  1. Pingback:

    Alexander Hayes » Copyright

  2. Alexander Hayes

    Ok. You asked for edublogger feedback.

    I’d like to chat with you sometime about your excellent take on this Graham ( give me a day or two ) however meanwhile, lets………….ah….. frame the conversation a little differently 🙂

    Ten years of copyright hasnt seen me any happier. what I have done is invested some time in better understanding it’s richer cousin.

    Cheers and regards for now.

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