Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

—Ecclesiastes (Old Testament),
from the Hebrew “אין כל חדש תחת השמש” via the Latin “sub sole nihil novum”; original provenance unknown

On fair use, U.S. copyright law, and images from other sites on

This page must begin with a confession and an apology. When our founding editor began transferring the posts from his StumbleUpon blog that now make up the majority of the pages on this site, he did so under an apparently critical deadline, being under the impression that they would no longer be accessible after 17 October 2011, when SU was to remove blogging capabilities. He therefore hastily copied the code from some 350 of his most recent posts, including image data for the illustrative photographs and other graphic materials; what he did not do, for seeming lack of time, was to track down the sources of all of those images.

Because we do ask that anyone wishing to reproduce content from our site offer it with proper attribution in the interest of getting credit for the work we’ve done to produce it, we feel that we would be guilty of hypocrisy if we made no provision for certain exceptions.

As will be noted, the images we use here are not, with rare exceptions, trademark items or other material clearly original to the source sites; further, those exceptions occur only where we are reviewing the sites in question and the presentation of banners and similar items falls into that context and tends to promote rather than misdirect credit for those sites’ efforts, so that we predict that they will incur no objection.

Photographs, charts, maps and other illustrative materials, however, appear here under the provisions of Title 17 of U.S. copyright law and particularly under Section 107, which lays out the limited exceptions under which use of materials that would otherwise be punishable as copyright infringement is permitted under the doctrine of “fair use.” This is because we do not know, nor can we now easily discover, their original provenance, because they are not inherently associated with the sites from which we copied them, and because we use them here only to illustrate pages otherwise original to our staff in a context in which to produce original illustrations for each such page would be prohibitively burdensome; in short, for all the reasons that typically apply to the use of images in journalism, whether in print or on the internet.

The foregoing notwithstanding, however, we hereby offer the following assurances: (1) All images are hosted on our server, so that we are not hotlinking to them as did StumbleUpon. (2) If any visitor should find an image to which he holds the copyright, he or she need only communicate with us and establish to our satisfaction his or her right to the image, and we will happily add proper attribution in the cutline appearing under the image. (3) Further, should any copyright holder demand the removal of his or her image from our pages, we will comply upon proof of his or her original authorship of the image; one who has acquired the rights to the work of another, however, may first have to convince us that fair use does not apply (this is because we believe in honoring creative work rather than its appropriation by corporate entities).

As mentioned on our copyright page, we recognize the right of visitors to reproduce content from our site under the provisions of fair use. We hereby add that this particularly applies to illustrative images as described above; since we are using them under that doctrine, we will not quibble with others who do the same. Please note, however, that this does not apply to our independently developed logos, banners and other images explicitly created for and identified with this site; such reproduction would not typically constitute fair use because of the potential confusion that could ensue from irresponsible propagation of such proprietary images unless they are used with attribution and/or clearly are intended to refer to If you are in any doubt, communicate with us as above to notify us and secure our consent, or consult an attorney.

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