Is HTLAL down again?

Discuss the HTLAL forum's past and its future
Bluepaint
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby Bluepaint » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:54 pm

Can't we create a petition and send it as a way of persuading FX to make a decision and to preserve the HTLAL (i.e. his) legacy? Fruitless no doubt but sometimes petitions work :-/
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Ser
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby Ser » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:31 am

Bluepaint wrote:Can't we create a petition and send it as a way of persuading FX to make a decision and to preserve the HTLAL (i.e. his) legacy? Fruitless no doubt but sometimes petitions work :-/

My understanding is that one or two people in this forum have backups of the entire HTLAL forum data. Couldn't we just host it ourselves? If I could personally be given a backup I could, with ease:
  1. Write a script to generate HTML pages off the data (or database SQL if we want to save space on the server, so that it co$t$ less for emk/rdearman to host it, plus a few PHP pages to display the pages and search it)
  2. Write a script to correct the internal links in the forum archive, so that internal links work
  3. Write a script to correct all links in our wikia so that they point to our own hosted archive

This is user-generated content, I don't think there's any enforceable legal consequences for me doing it and us hosting it.

EDIT: Heck, I could even:
4. Write a script to correct all links to HTLAL in our forum so that they point to our own hosted archive instead. (A moderator would need to use this though, not me, in order to edit all such posts with links to HTLAL.)
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lavengro
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby lavengro » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:35 pm

Ser wrote:This is user-generated content, I don't think there's any enforceable legal consequences for me doing it and us hosting it.

This really is not my area, but I would suggest exercising caution before hosting a copy of someone else's website material. The non-exclusive right to publish that the HTLAL site acquired in relation to each individual post pursuant to its terms and conditions does not restrict individual posters from publishing their own posts elsewhere, but I believe it would be a dangerous overreach to do what is being suggested.
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby Ser » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:25 pm

lavengro wrote:
Ser wrote:This is user-generated content, I don't think there's any enforceable legal consequences for me doing it and us hosting it.

This really is not my area, but I would suggest exercising caution before hosting a copy of someone else's website material. The non-exclusive right to publish that the HTLAL site acquired in relation to each individual post pursuant to its terms and conditions does not restrict individual posters from publishing their own posts elsewhere, but I believe it would be a dangerous overreach to do what is being suggested.

Do you think it would be an overreach because it's impossible to get all users who ever posted in HTLAL to agree to have their content reposted elsewhere? Is it because FX in some way has certain restrictive rights to the posts?

I do understand you're not providing me legal advice, in fact it's not even an area you're knowledgeable about as you say, but I'd still like to hear your thoughts or speculation.

EDIT: for future reference, here is the relevant bit from HTLAL's contract agreement, which can/could be seen when registering a new account and also in a sticky thread inside the forum.

    APPLICABLE LAW
    By visiting how-to-learn-any-language.com, you agree that the laws of Lausanne, Switzerland, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern these Conditions of Use and any dispute of any sort that might arise between you and how-to-learn-any-language.com.

    COPYRIGHTS
    If you do post content or submit material you grant how-to-learn-any-language.com and its affiliates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media. You grant how-to-learn-any-language.com the right to use the name that you submit in connection with such content. You represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content that you post; that the content is accurate; that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity; and that you will indemnify how-to-learn-any-language.com or its affiliates for all claims resulting from content you supply. how-to-learn-any-language.com has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content. How-to-learn-any-language.com takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content posted by you or any third party.
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lavengro
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby lavengro » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:39 am

Ser wrote: ... Do you think it would be an overreach because it's impossible to get all users who ever posted in HTLAL to agree to have their content reposted elsewhere? Is it because FX in some way has certain restrictive rights to the posts?

I do understand you're not providing me legal advice, in fact it's not even an area you're knowledgeable about as you say, but I'd still like to hear your thoughts or speculation. ....

Thanks Ser. Normally I am quite content to attempt to bluff my way through any number of things I know nothing about, but the area of intellectual property is not one of them, as it is a fairly technical area. So, I am reluctant to say much of anything, as whatever I do say is as likely to be right as it is to be wrong.

But for what it may be worth, I don't believe the issue would be that FX acquired any restrictive rights to the individual posts themselves. What specifically he acquired is only a non-exclusive right to publish those comments, etc. His right is not any greater than the right of the individual posters who provided the posts; they retain the right to publish their posts elsewhere (that is, it is entirely a different scenario from that of a writer who sells her manuscript to a publisher - like would have been the case with me at several points if only the publishing world had the good sense to recognize my extreme genius).

Where FX would have a legitimate complaint would be if his site were to be copied and hosted without permission elsewhere - what is being improperly taken (with every good intention, only in the interests of preserving information, etc) would be his proprietary interest in the format of the website, his spiffy logo (the spinning thing), his organization, years of developing and growing the website, its reputation (now tarnished, sadly), goodwill and possible attraction to advertisers.

If I spent some portion of years of my life growing a website, successfully monetized it by attracting advertisers, and then learned that someone appropriated it, I would be as angry as Zoldan the Furious, main character in my as yet unpublished yet extremely geniusy novel, "Zoldan Hires a Lawyer and Travels to Lausanne, Switzerland").

APPLICABLE LAW
By visiting how-to-learn-any-language.com, you agree that the laws of Lausanne, Switzerland, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern these Conditions of Use and any dispute of any sort that might arise between you and how-to-learn-any-language.com.


Though practically speaking, sounds like he may not care.

I recall that others had posted variously in the past on this sort of issue, and seemed to know what they were talking about. I believe zenmonkey may have been one of the posters, among others.
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby patrickwilken » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:50 am

lavengro wrote:Where FX would have a legitimate complaint would be if his site were to be copied and hosted without permission elsewhere - what is being improperly taken (with every good intention, only in the interests of preserving information, etc) would be his proprietary interest in the format of the website, his spiffy logo (the spinning thing), his organization, years of developing and growing the website, its reputation (now tarnished, sadly), goodwill and possible attraction to advertisers.


I am not an expert on property law (or law in general), but I did edit an open-access academic journal with a similar set of copyright permissions for many years. Basically authors could republish their papers elsewhere, but we retained the copyrights on the full package (i.e., the journal).

However, as I understand it the law is usually concerned with commercial damages. So in part it would be a question of how much money (via reputation loss, advertising loss etc) that the HTLAL owner suffered by having the site mirrored elsewhere.

The easiest, and best way, would just be to get some sort of permission from him (hopefully in an email or something). It's clear that the HTLAL site is dead. I am not really sure why he would be against rehosting.
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby iguanamon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:35 pm

patrickwilken wrote:...The easiest, and best way, would just be to get some sort of permission from him (hopefully in an email or something). It's clear that the HTLAL site is dead. I am not really sure why he would be against rehosting.

You were around when we made the move over to here. Remember, people had finally gotten fed up with FX's lack of communication and lack of interest in the site. There was no contact from him despite multiple attempts. That's why we're here! Why he even bothers to keep it going now is beyond me. We tried, and tried and tried again to no avail to get him to cooperate. Emk offered to make it a read-only archive. I guess there's no harm in trying once again but I doubt it will turn out differently.

Eventually, entropy will overwhelm the HTLAL site and it will die, either that or the hosting bill won't get paid which will result in the same effect. Ironically, even though technology continues advancing at a rapid pace, many of us as language-learners still use 50-75 year old materials for learning every day. The language-learning process itself remains the same which makes a lot of the old discussion on HTLAL still relevant regardless of technological advances. Much of the content at the old forum will probably remain relevant for another couple of decades if not longer. I said before that I'm grateful to FX for starting and running HTLAL. What a shame that he has an opportunity to leave a good legacy and seems so utterly uninterested in doing so. Though there may be other reasons of which we are just not aware. Nobody knows because there's just no contact.
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby dampingwire » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:56 pm

Ser wrote:My understanding is that one or two people in this forum have backups of the entire HTLAL forum data. Couldn't we just host it ourselves?


No, you'd clearly be violating the copyright. The only way you could legally do that (other than by getting permission from the admin) would be to find a library able to host it (there are apparently special exemptions for libraries).

So if you had an archive of all the individual URLs for the various pages you cared about and you were willing to feed them to an online library then you'd be fine and dandy (although said library might well get asked to remove the posts and might be required to comply ...).
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patrickwilken
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby patrickwilken » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:26 am

iguanamon wrote:
patrickwilken wrote:...The easiest, and best way, would just be to get some sort of permission from him (hopefully in an email or something). It's clear that the HTLAL site is dead. I am not really sure why he would be against rehosting.

You were around when we made the move over to here. Remember, people had finally gotten fed up with FX's lack of communication and lack of interest in the site. There was no contact from him despite multiple attempts. That's why we're here! Why he even bothers to keep it going now is beyond me. We tried, and tried and tried again to no avail to get him to cooperate. Emk offered to make it a read-only archive. I guess there's no harm in trying once again but I doubt it will turn out differently.


Yeah. Sure. I vaguely remember that EMK was able to get in contact with him a few times though.

I was thinking that perhaps things were a bit different now if the site itself is permanently down.

In fact, if site really is permanently down it's hard to imagine what sort of commercial damage could come from rehosting the material on the site. Though I wouldn't argue we should do that.
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Re: Is HTLAL down again?

Postby rdearman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:05 am

So of the moderators used to have contact details. I will ask them to contact him again. But I wouldn't hold your breath.
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