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  • Delete all images posted, prior to a specific date?

    We may need to delete all images on our 4.2 version forum, prior to the date we established our DMCA account.

    Is there a way to delete just the images, instead of having to delete all the posts as well?

  • #2
    There is but, quite frankly, unless someone has filed a takedown notice on every image it's going to be far more hassle than it's worth. Because images are stored in more than one format you're going to have to run separate SQL queries for each image type (Attachment, BBCode, Photo, URL, etc.)

    Who advised you that you had to delete all of the images? No competent copyright attorney would make that suggestion. In my nearly twenty years with vBulletin I've only seen a legal reason for the deletion of every image on a forum once, and that was specifically because that forum was entirely copyrighted artwork by one artist.

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    • #3
      It is indeed because of a legal threat. Although we have DMCA "protections", a few copyrighted photos were posted several years ago, before we had our DMCA in place. And we did take the images down when we were made aware of them, but this "copyright mill" legal outfit is pursuing us with legal action.

      Our (limited) understanding is images posted prior to our DMCA start date could result in actions against us. And as we have over 4 million posts, we are concerned that there may be a few other images considered copyrighted. We're not using the images in a commercial sense, but they were on our forum.

      -Scot

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Scot Bell View Post
        It is indeed because of a legal threat. Although we have DMCA "protections", a few copyrighted photos were posted several years ago, before we had our DMCA in place. And we did take the images down when we were made aware of them, but this "copyright mill" legal outfit is pursuing us with legal action.

        Our (limited) understanding is images posted prior to our DMCA start date could result in actions against us. And as we have over 4 million posts, we are concerned that there may be a few other images considered copyrighted. We're not using the images in a commercial sense, but they were on our forum.

        -Scot
        Are you located in the United States? If so I may have some valuable legal information for you.

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        • #5
          Yes... in the US. I'm all ears.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Scot Bell View Post
            Yes... in the US. I'm all ears.
            The first thing I would do is to make the DMCA filer prove they have legal standing to represent the copyright holder. Are they claiming to be the holder of the copyright? If not they need to have power of attorney. Even assuming they have a legal copyright claim Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act indemnifies and holds harmless from any legal claims service providers such as forums. The individual users are responsible for the content they post, not the service provider. Any good attorney would suggest you make a "good faith effort" to comply with any valid claims of copyright infringement. What would not be suggested is that you substantively or fundamentally alter your forums on the basis of a specious copyright claim.

            In short, just because they claim they hold exclusive copyright under Title 17 Section 106 of the United States Code does not mean they hold exclusive copyright. They may not hold copyright at all. Even if they do hold copyright most material is subject to fair use exceptions to exclusive copyright for the purposes of commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, and scholarship. Even if they hold a valid copyright claim and the material is not excepted you are excepted as a service provider under the CDA. Therefore, unless they hold a legal copyright and file a claim on every individual image on which they can prove they hold a copyright your only legal obligation is to remove images which do not pass the four prong infringement test.

            You may wish to read more on the CDA here: https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

            You should be able to consult a local copyright attorney free of charge.

            Of course you can opt to delete all of your images as you originally requested but there's no legal reason why that should be your first option. The DMCA has been in force and effect since 1998 with or without your own individual policy. The CDA has been in force and effect since 1996.



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            • #7
              Most helpful. Thank you.

              -Scot

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              • #8
                We're hearing that the CDA is geared toward speech... so had someone posted something defamatory, that would be covering us.

                The copyright issue we're being hit with is that 3 photographs, including their copy right mark, were posted on our forum, so it's not a speech type of thing. And they were posted prior to our DMCA date.

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                • #9
                  Deleting this content would be kind of messy. However, everything should be in the attachment and filedata tables.

                  I see it taking several queries but I don't have a populated vB4 database to test this on.

                  Code:
                  UPDATE post SET attach=0 WHERE postid in (SELECT contentid FROM attachment WHERE dateline < UNIX_TIMESTAMP('2000-01-01'));
                  DELETE FROM filedata WHERE filedataid in (SELECT filedataid FROM attachment WHERE dateline < UNIX_TIMESTAMP('2000-01-01'));
                  DELETE FROM attachment WHERE dateline < UNIX_TIMESTAMP ('2000-01-01');
                  To limit to only images, you would have to join in the filedata table on selection subqueries as well as manually generating a list of attachmentids via query and modifying the last query with that specific list. The relevant field in the filedata table is the `extension` field. Check for the extensions that you want to delete.

                  If you store your attachments in the file system, this won't delete the actual files. You'll have to do a select in order to get the filedata id and userid from the database so you can manually delete them. This will need to happen before you delete the rows out of the database.

                  As always, you need to make sure you have proper backups.

                  Translations provided by Google.

                  Wayne Luke
                  The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scot Bell View Post
                    We're hearing that the CDA is geared toward speech... so had someone posted something defamatory, that would be covering us.

                    The copyright issue we're being hit with is that 3 photographs, including their copy right mark, were posted on our forum, so it's not a speech type of thing. And they were posted prior to our DMCA date.
                    If you want to be reasonable require URL links to those three photographs and delete three photographs only.

                    You did not have to have a DMCA policy in place a priori (before the fact) because the DMCA is law so, therefore, it is policy whether your have one or not.

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                    • #11
                      We did indeed delete the postings with the three images, as soon as we were notified about the infringement.

                      We are hearing from the folks (a copyright mill type lawfirm, who are threatening us with pay or be sued action), that the fact that the images were on our site before WE had established our DMCA acct means we are responsible.

                      I'd love to see some case where what you say about simple fact that it's law, is good enough. Seems if it was, we'd not have to bother with the whole DMCA registration, wouldn't you think?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scot Bell View Post
                        We did indeed delete the postings with the three images, as soon as we were notified about the infringement.

                        We are hearing from the folks (a copyright mill type lawfirm, who are threatening us with pay or be sued action), that the fact that the images were on our site before WE had established our DMCA acct means we are responsible.

                        I'd love to see some case where what you say about simple fact that it's law, is good enough. Seems if it was, we'd not have to bother with the whole DMCA registration, wouldn't you think?
                        Whoever is telling you that is full of beans. You don't have your own DMCA. You are using the same one everyone else is using. Unless they can prove they attempted to contact you regarding the alleged infringement and were unable to do so they have no case. I'd imagine you have a Contact Us link and an email address and social media and any number of other ways of being contacted. How many cases would you like?

                        You should read this: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...wn-notice.html

                        And you should also be aware of this:

                        ‘(b) SYSTEMCACHING‘‘(1) LIMITATION ON LIABILITY.—A service provider shallnot be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided insubsection ( j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, forinfringement of copyright by reason of the intermediate andtemporary storage of material on a system or network controlledor operated by or for the service provider in a case in which—‘‘(A) the material is made available online by a personother than the service provider;‘‘(B) the material is transmitted from the persondescribed in subparagraph (A) through the system or net-work to a person other than the person described insubparagraph (A) at the direction of that other person;and‘‘(C) the storage is carried out through an automatictechnical process for the purpose of making the materialavailable to users of the system or network who, afterthe material is transmitted as described in subparagraph(B), request access to the material from the persondescribed in subparagraph (A),if the conditions set forth in paragraph (2) are met.
                        https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...105publ304.pdf

                        In other words, again, as a service provider your only obligation is to remove the offending material once you are aware of any valid claim of infringement.

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