Darren posted a email that he received asking about the rights for use of comments. His post is through this link.
The question boils down to this: Are the comments that are placed on a blog the property of the owner of the blog or of the comment maker? Should the Comment maker be notified if a third party wishes permission to republish the comment?
Based upon the comments already to Darren’s post, I believe it’s safe to say that most of you believe that the comment belongs to the blog’s owner. I agree. I think that we should be cautioned that if we pursue that as a truth, there will be some caveat’s that are present. The biggest one of these would be liability. It then becomes possible to be sued not only for the content of your posts, but also for the content of you comments. If you already moderate your comments, this wouldn’t be a problem, but some people have fairly set rules about commenting and just leave it at that.
In the end, I think a comment is much like a letter to the editor. The paper owns the publishing rights as it appears in the paper. You own the rights to the comments as they appear in your blog.