Charles Smith has something to say that we all need to hear. We don’t own the copyright of blog comments, and it could bite us in the butt several ways. One, if someone asks that their comment be removed — regardless of how pertinent it is to the discussion — we have to remove it. Two, if we sell advertising, we could have to pay a share to commenters. Three, we might be vulnerable if we copy and do anything with the comments.
Update: Charles adds in the comments: “Basic site agreements (Terms of Service and Privacy Policies) are ubiquitous on professional ‘websites’ — but are rare among blogs. This needs to change — especially for those who blog professionally or for a company. There are many complex issues to consider — and you should consult your legal counsel to address your specific needs.”