Process Post W8 – WSB Market Research and Copyright

I have been following /r/wallstreetbets/ since the rise of GameStop. The subreddit and its users were able to drive the stop hundreds of percent. GameStop is up 864.70% year to date at the writing of this post. Because of this rise, the subreddit increased in popularity reaching news outlets and mainstream social media. It has become apparent that wallstreetbets cannot be ignored as an entity of news or chatter in relation to the stock market.

Wallstreetbets currently has 9.6 million followers and growing. With increasing users, I have also seen an increase in due diligence posts (DD posts). Due diligence posts are posts where independent users from the community post their own stock research for others to see and read. Each post has a comment section where users can discuss and criticize the research. Wallstreetbets has become a great platform where users and individual investors to consume and post. There is no better public space that is decently sized that is not part of the mainstream stock news outlets that feature retail investors’ research.

A question comes to mind. Is the independent research of users in Wallstreetbets copyright protected? To better understand, we can take a look at Reddit’s user agreement.

By submitting Your Content to the Services, you represent and warrant that you have all rights, power, and authority necessary to grant the rights to Your Content contained within these Terms. Because you alone are responsible for Your Content, you may expose yourself to liability if you post or share Content without all necessary rights.

You retain any ownership rights you have in Your Content, but you grant Reddit the following license to use that Content:

When Your Content is created with or submitted to the Services, you grant us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable, and sublicensable license to use, copy, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works of, distribute, store, perform, and display Your Content and any name, username, voice, or likeness provided in connection with Your Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed anywhere in the world. This license includes the right for us to make Your Content available for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication by other companies, organizations, or individuals who partner with Reddit. You also agree that we may remove metadata associated with Your Content, and you irrevocably waive any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to Your Content.

https://www.redditinc.com/policies/user-agreement-october-15-2020

“By submitting Your Content to the Services, you represent and warrant that you have all rights, power, and authority necessary to grant the rights to Your Content” – Says users submitted content is their own and is under copyright.

However, “When Your Content is created with or submitted to the Services, you grant us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable, and sublicensable license to use, copy, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works of, distribute, store, perform, and display Your Content and any name, username, voice, or likeness provided in connection with Your Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed anywhere in the world”, says that Reddit themselves keeps exclusive rights to do whatever it wants with your content.

So basically, user content posts are copyright protected except from the Reddit platform themselves. Users own their content but by posting on Reddit, users automatically sign their content away to Reddit.

Wallstreetbets has become a platform where any user can post their market research and display their conviction behind a stock they stand behind. These posts are copyright protected with the exception of Reddit. This allows retail investors to tap into a potential news source that never existed before and gives a more competitive advantage.

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