Conservapedia:Copyright

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An analysis of Conservapedia:Copyright.

1. Conservapedia grants a non-exclusive license to you to use any of the content (other than images) on this site with or without attribution. When material is copied from this site, a link to the page copied is appropriate. This license is revocable only in very rare instances of self-defense, such as protecting continued use by Conservapedia editors or other licensees or stopping unauthorized copying or mirroring of entire parts of this site.[1]
"non-exclusive" Non-exclusive rights are those that you receive, but that can be given to others as well (as opposed to exclusive rights, which are only given to one person)
"When material is copied from this site, a link to the page copied is appropriate." While it may be a good recommendation, stating it is just "appropriate" would indicate it's not strictly required for compliance.
"This license is revocable only in very rare instances of self-defense" This has been criticized as being overly vague, but Andy said he's trying to stay away from going on at length about redistribution rights like the GFDL does. However, this particular wording does not specifically tell what the user is allowed to do, and just reminds that the license can be revoked arbitrarily based on some criteria that are not specified in the license text - only vague examples of such cases are given. "Rare" means nothing; you could say murders are kind of "rare" too, but still, there's clearly defined laws covering them, and they're just as enforceable no matter how often murders occur. "Instances of self-defense" must be defined in the license; "self-defense" is meaningless under copyright law, as copyright by default protects the copyright holder, and all use not expressly permitted is prohibited! (Free content licenses usually say "You can do anything as long as you follow conditions we explicitly list in this license"; this license says "You can do anything except when we, after the fact, tell you are using the material inappropriately".)
"protecting continued use by Conservapedia editors or other licensees" The meaning of this is not clearly defined. What exactly does "protecting continued use" mean, here?
"stopping unauthorized copying or mirroring of entire parts of this site" How does one do "unauthorized copying or mirroring", when the license grants rights to use the material, presumably for any purpose? How does one get such authorization? (Yes, yes, discussing that would veer from copyright license to site usage policy...)
[1] For historical reasons a few entries are compelled to impose greater restrictions on reuse as noted. Images may remain protected by the copyrights of their creators and are used here for educational purposes.
"a few entries" The entries in question are not defined here, which is curious if this policy doesn't apply to any new material.
"greater restrictions" Not defined.
"used here for educational purposes" A blanket fair-use claim, which may prove problematic, considering all of the image use in Conservapedia that cannot be defended under fair use - good idea, bad practical execution. Random images grabbed from the web aren't automatically defensible if used in an educational context.
2. By contributing information to Conservapedia, you irrevocably consent to the display, copying, reuse or editing of your information, edits and entries, with or without attribution.
"you irrevocably consent to" Is this transferring copyright from the original author to Conservapedia? Here Andy suggests the rights are granted non-exclusively, so probably not.
"you irrevocably consent to the ... editing ... of your information" What license can derivative works be distributed under? The Wikipedia copyright page seems to suggest that they can be distributed under a different license, however, that would allow the "this license is revocable..." clause to be removed.
3. Content is copyrighted under the laws of the United States of America, as such you agree to be bound by applicable US laws and to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States District Court sitting in the City of Newark, State of New Jersey.
"Content is copyrighted" Is this suggesting that Conservapedia owns the copyright, or is it the original author who still owns it?
"under the laws of the United States of America" If the original author still owns the copyright, and they reside outside the U.S., is this accurate?
4. You agree to waive and indemnify this and all affiliated sponsors, editors, users, or sites from claims for liability resulting from use, by you, of the content contained herein.
Almost all copyleft and even BSD licenses disclaim liability.
5. This is a binding legal document. By using this site you agree to be bound by it. Conservapedia may clarify and amend its copyright from time to time by updating this document here.
Copyleft licenses, such as GFDL and CC BY-SA used by Wikipedia, do not describe themselves as "binding legal documents", because licenses aren't legally binding. You're always free to ignore them and use the material as allowed by the copyright law; the catch is that usually this means that you can do less with the works, because the licenses usually grant you additional rights, which, lacking the license, need to be negotiated separately. In open source world, this concept is usually in place so that copyright holders can, if necessary, negotiate closed-source deals with other parties.
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