in reply to Who owns your words? A resolution is needed.
First, I don't care whether chatter or nodes are or should be copyrighted. Until someone makes a credible threat of legal action here (a day I hope I never see), that has little practical importance. I feel discussions in that direction actually detract from the issue because they lead to statements like "you can't".
I'm also opposed to most versions of an "official PM policy" on such things. I don't want "The chatterbox is now officially public, and if you don't like it go away." I don't want "No quoting from the chatterbox" as that will just turn the occasional gaffe into a "you broke the rules" rant, missing the real point.
Lets just educate rather than make policy, that way we have some hope of agreeing on a statement:
"Many people contribute material to this site for many reasons. Many hope to educate or entertain. Before reusing material from this site, you should ask permission of the person who provided the material. This is mostly common sense. If you don't get a person's permission before you reuse their words/works, you could easily upset or offend them, even if you don't see why they would feel that way. If you do get their permission after honestly and accurately describing how you plan to reuse their words/works, then you are unlikely to have problems.
"One exception is that, when replying directly to a node, it is generally considered acceptable to use small quotes from the node that you are replying to, without getting permission, in order to indicate what part of the node you are commenting on.
"Archiving material from this site for your own personal purposes is also unlikely to be problematic.
"Most code is posted for educational (and entertainment) purposes and so using it for private, personal purposes is usually expected. However, you should certainly get permission before using it as a non-trivial component of a money-making venture. For cases in between, please try to use good judgement as to whether you should ask permission.
"Before reusing a large amount of material from this site or using material for profit, you should also coordinate with the site owner (insert preferred method of contact here)."
Okay, am I even close? (:- tye (but my friends call me "Tye")