[Air-L] IRB Exemption and Terms of Service - Reddit.com
Dan L. Burk
dburk at uci.edu
Thu Oct 25 16:11:06 PDT 2012
Er -- since we don't know what jurisdiction Charles is in, we can't say
whether fair use applies to him or not (or, for that matter, how
enforceable the Reddit ToS is against him).
It sounds like he might be located in the U.S. but that's a guess.
I also don't think we know enough about his research to say very much
about copyright/fair use. There are a lot of moving parts there. Just as
an example, it's not clear to me from his post what kind of data he is
gathering -- but the copyright in the "influential posts" he wants to
analyze may very well lie with the authors, not with Reddit.
(In which case, if his IRB wants informed consent from the participants,
he might end up with their authorization to copy the material as well.)
> You've got two separate issues here: copyright and IRB.
> According to my understanding you should be able to use the data you're
> collecting under the Fair Use clause. The TOS you copied below
> specifically mentions commercial or unauthorized uses under copyright. The
> Fair Use clause states: "...the fair use of a copyrighted work, including
> such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means
> specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news
> reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
> scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." You need
> to understand though that fair use is not a right, it's a "defensible
> position", meaning that it is an acceptable defense in any legal action;
> however, you would have to prove that your use of the material falls under
> the fair use clause in a courtroom if the company decides to challenge
> your use of their data--it doesn't automatically negate the possibility of
> legal action.
> There are a couple of things I'd suggest. First, you need to find out what
> your advisor will approve. They are directing your thesis and you need to
> make sure any data you use meets with their approval. Second, most
> university legal departments have some statement about what constitutes
> fair use on their campus, so I'd check with them (but I'd say only if your
> advisor requires it--many universities actually have much stricter
> policies on paper than are required under the Fair Use clause). Third, I'd
> look at the Ethics Guide from AOIR
> (http://aoir.org/documents/ethics-guide/) and make sure you're working
> within those guidelines. They've been developed by scholars who regularly
> work with the type of data you're using, so you should make sure your
> study works within those guidelines.
> Regarding IRB, I agree with Charles. You should contact your university
> IRB and find out what requirements they may have for exempt or non-exempt
> status. Often departments or colleges within universities will have an IRB
> specialist that you can work with and who will help you fill out the
> appropriate applications.
> Good luck,
> On Oct 25, 2012, at 3:22 PM, Charles Tong wrote:
>> Hello AoIR,
>> My name is Charles Tong and I currently working on my undergraduate
>> thesis in Sociology. Specifically, I am trying to construct a social
>> network based on reddit.com by data-mining posts and comments from day
>> to day. I am specifically looking to identify how consistent influence
>> and power is created on the website. I hope to do this by constructing
>> multiple networks from day to day of specific sub-forums and
>> differentiating between those who are one-time stars and consistent
>> stars. Then I will perform a content analysis of certain influential
>> posts to determine what makes someone consistently powerful or not and
>> in what ways they are influential.
>> Unfortunately, I am unsure of how this will pass under IRB exemption.
>> I am hoping that anyone on the AoIR mailing list may have some insight
>> that may help. I have attempted to e-mail and get in contact with the
>> website numerous times, but each time, they have not responded. I
>> understand that I will have to send reddit.coms user agreement.
>> The user agreement states the following:
>> You may not in any way make commercial or other unauthorized use, by
>> publication, re-transmission, distribution, performance, caching, or
>> otherwise, of material obtained through the Website, including without
>> limitation the Assets or Website Content, except as permitted by the
>> Copyright Act or other law or as expressly permitted in writing by
>> this Agreement, Service Provider or the Website.
>> I was wondering if anyone knows how to approach this specific issue. I
>> understand that Fair Use might permit this research under the
>> Copyright Act, but I am not sure of its nature.
>> Thank you very much in advance for your help. Let me know if any
>> additional information should be provided.
>> Best Regards,
>> Charles Tong
>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
>> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
>> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at:
>> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at:
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
School of Law
University of California, Irvine
4500 Berkeley Place
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
Voice: (949) 824-9325
bits: dburk at uci.edu
More information about the Air-L