Colin, you wrote a comment in this blog to which I want to reply to at the posting level. Clearly, you think the subject is important. It is, I agree. But I do have some issues with what you say:
I repeat: I shall be attaching a copyright statement to all my future postings.
You mean, of course, in your own blogs. That’s fine. It is a fine idea. It is my understanding that what you post on your blog from the U.K. or in your travels abroad, and what I post in mine, is automatically copyrighted, anyway, under current law. Therefore, the only purposes for posting a notice is 1) to remind others, 2) to warn others that you intend to challenge violations or 3) to try and establish sufficient grounds to mount an argument against innocent infringement. None of that applies here, as we will see.
It is important to understand how I do things on this blog. First of all I carefully adhere to Fair Use provisions (sometimes called fair dealing in the U.K.) which allows a reasonable amount of quoting for criticism, review, or news reporting. Quoting some paragraphs or a few sentences in order to discuss what someone writes falls under these provisions. I do not quote full articles without permission except when they are press releases or notices that are intended to be copied completely, or unless I have permission to do so. From time to time, I post YouTube videos when embed sharing scripts are provided by the publisher and I always do so with appropriate credit. I never plagiarize by copying or quoting anything with the intent of claiming it is my work.
Occasionally, as has become the custom in the blogosphere, I post photographs and cartoons from various picture repositories and libraries. Only once has anyone specifically asked me to remove a picture and I did so immediately. It should be noted that the U. S. District Court for Southern New York has held that “exact photographic copies of public domain images could not be protected by copyright in the United States because the copies lack originality. Even if accurate reproductions require a great deal of skill, experience and effort, the key element for copyrightability under U.S. law is that copyrighted material must show sufficient originality.”
In other words, photographs of the shroud are probably not protected by copyright. Is this fair? Probably not. But the courts have said, in one form or another, that the more accurate the photograph the less copyrightable it is. What about contrast enhancements, ImageJ manipulations, etc. The courts are clear here, as well; “sweat of the brow” is not a “creative spark” which deserves copyright.
When you write in your blog that I have pirated your work, what do you mean? I understand it to mean misappropriation or theft of your content. (see Copyright infringement in Wikipedia). What have I stolen. Copyright law, at least here in the U.S. (see U. S. Copyright Office description of Fair Use), and I suspect similarly in the U.K. makes it clear that, “Copyright protects the particular way authors have expressed themselves. It does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in a work.” So what do you mean when you accuse me of piracy?
That [=the notice mentioned in the preceding sentence] will continue for as long as material critical to my ideas appears on this site, notably by third parties in pdf form, where there is no facility for defending one’s work.
From that last sentence, your intent is clear. It is called chilling effects censorship. In other words, if I am critical of your ideas you will attempt to use or impose copyright restrictions to stop me from criticizing you or your work product. As a result, were it not for Fair Use provisions of the law, I would find myself with two choices: 1) summarize or sufficiently rephrase what you are saying risking inaccuracy or 2) ignore what you publish in your blog thus meaning you have successfully stopped me from offering legitimate criticism with chilling effects tactics. (See various Scholarly articles for chilling effect censorship, collected by Google).
You say, it seems as a way of justifying your tactic, that “there is no facility for defending one’s work.” When I posted the PDF file that seems to particularly upsets you, “The Scorch Hypothesis: New Experiments“ by Thibault Heimburger. I also announced it in a blog posting, The Turin Shroud Image is not a Scorch. That posting, dated April 17, 2014, received thirty comments, but not a single comment from you. You may still do so, however. Comments are not closed on this posting.
|Note: That gives me a good idea. I will be providing a link for comments on at least those PDF files and videos that I keep in sticky places on blog pages. Thanks, Colin.
One cannot have one’s research findings, the product of days or maybe weeks of work, lifted verbatim from one’s own site, . . .
Nothing but a few short quotations were used. Your research findings were not lifted verbatim. That is simply inaccurate. Most people are proud to have their work quoted. Moreover I have never met a good scientist who did not welcome frank discussion of his or her observations, hypotheses, discoveries and proposals. Can you show me specific instances of verbatim copying that go beyond Fair Use in fact or spirit of the law? I will happily address such instances.
The Stanford University Library makes this point and is often quoted: “Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.”
You continue the sentence abovem writing:
. . . and then attacked here by third parties who are protected from criticism.
No one is protected from criticism on this site, particularly criticism by you. Of the last 1000 comments on this blog, 14.6% were by you. No one had a higher percentage during that period. Overall you have posted 1408 comments in this blog as of this writing. Do we need to read them to see that they are mostly criticisms by you of this or that or someone?
There are plenty of other opportunities for you to comment. For instance, you have your own two blogs, one at BlogSpot and one at Word Press, where you have offered plenty of criticism. I have frequently directed others to your blogs thus giving what you have to say plenty of exposure. And, as you certainly must know, you are welcome to submit guest postings for consideration. You have never sought to do so. You know very well how many others have done so and faced significant criticism from you when they do.
It’s a clear and flagrant abuse of the internet to have one’s copy used against one in this manipulative fashion.
I don’t do that. What I did, that seems to have upset you recently, is quote a single 47 word sentence that demonstrated how unfair you can be in your criticism of others. It was clearly Fair Use and there was no other way to make the point. I wrote the following, which includes a quote from you about various image formation hypotheses:
One need only look at the most recent post in your own blog to see this. You wrote: “Meanwhile, shroudology’s dwindling number of surviving non-contact models, some with total loss of brain stem activity, remain on life-support, being drip fed in a desperate attempt to keep them alive, or at any rate in a permanent zombie state, one that hovers somewhere between life and death.”
Yes, I too am critical of some of these non-contact models. Others are as well. But we try, not always successfully, to avoid ridicule in lieu of analysis.
Word Press, the publishing host service for this blog, provides the following guidelines for Fair Use. They may be helpful for all of us in understanding what is permissible and fair.
What is fair use?
There aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to defining fair use. However, the Copyright Act sets out four factors for courts to consider:
1. The purpose and character of the use: Why and how is the material used? Using content for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is usually fair. Additionally, using material in a transformative manner, that is to say, in a manner that adds new expression, meaning, or insight, is also more likely to be considered fair use over an exact reproduction of a work. What’s more, nonprofit use is favored over commercial use.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work: Is the original factual or fiction, published or unpublished? Factual and published works are less protected, so its use is more likely to be considered fair.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: How much of the material is used? If the “heart” (the most memorable or significant portion) or the majority of a work wasn’t used, it’s more likely to be considered fair.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work: Does the use target a different market/audience? If so, it’s more like to be fair use. It’s important to note that although criticism or parody may reduce a market, it still may be fair because of its transformative nature. In other words, if the criticism of a product influences people to stop buying the product, that doesn’t count as having an “effect on the market for the work” under copyright law.
It is significant to note that the U. S. Copyright Office description of Fair Use make this point:
Copyright protects the particular way authors have expressed themselves. It does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in a work.
The Stanford University Library makes this point:
Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. For example, if you wish to criticize a novelist, you should have the freedom to quote a portion of the novelist’s work without asking permission. . . .
You may have the last word. And of course, you are free to comment. You closed out your comment thus:
Dan: it’s time you desisted from this control freakery. You should cease acting like some kind of Godfather of Shroudology.
I hope WordPress gets to read this soon, and will see the justice of my position,