TOS for Disqus and Facebook Comments, Briefly ComparedBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // March 3, 2011 in Facebook, User Generated Content
This merits further inquiry, but looking briefly at TOS for each of Disqus and Facebook, it looks like Disqus more clearly acknowledges web publisher (trade press, aggregator, blogger, whatever) control over comment threads.
Disqus's TOS even suggests that you can assert a copyright in the compilation that is, presumably, a given comment thread on your blog, if not over individual pieces of a comment thread. And somewhat bizzarely, Disqus's TOS even gets into disclaiming responsibility for the effectiveness of your chosen license terms:
"For your content, you can label your compilations with one of several possible licenses. It is important to note that you can only copyright the compilation itself, not the individual links that make up the compilation. . . . Disqus does not provide legal services, and therefore, providing you with the ability to attach a license agreement to your compilation of links does not create an attorney-client relationship. The license agreements and all related information are provided on an "as is" basis. Disqus makes no warranties whatsoever regarding the license agreements and the information provided, and disclaims all liability for damages, including without limitation, any general, special, incidental or consequential damages, resulting from their use. Disqus will include this license label in making your content accessible to others, but any enforcement of your chosen license terms remains your sole responsibility."
I can't find the tool that would let me choose and implement a license. Maybe that is a feature of a paid, premium version of the service.
But that's all license geekiness. Because online, same as in real estate, possession is 9/10ths of the law, the fact that Disqus lets you export comments trumps inscrutable TOS. Last night I exported the Disqus comments for this blog, just to test and be sure it can be done!
Can you similarly take your threads out of the Facebook commenting system and go home with them? I don't know for sure, but the Facebook Platform Policies seem to be all about restricting what you can do with data posted to Facebook and seem to suggest that, should you leave the platform, you can't take data with you.
Image below: detail of comment thread for this blog, exported from Disqus.