Archive for August, 2014

A Response to a Comment by Colin Berry

August 28, 2014 11 comments

imageColin, 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:

You wrote:

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 I do not quote full articles without permission except when they are press releases or notices that are intended to be copied completely, or unless I have permission to do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?

You continue:

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.

You continued:

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.

You continue:

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,

Categories: Uncategorized

Banding? Is it Real?

August 27, 2014 53 comments

Can anyone explain how the image* on Colin Berry’s blog can begin to convince us that banding is not really all that real. Maybe you can understand what Colin is saying. Something about “bilateral symmetry.” If anything, it helps to convince me that there really is banding there. You really need to see it in its full size in Colin’s blog space so CLICK HERE.

Barrie Schwortz did some of the earliest technical work to show one optical illusion effect of the banding. (Use Google translation after obtaining the linked-to page in order to see it in English). It is well worth reading.

The left image shows vertical banding on the outside portion of each cheek that extends upward and downward well above and below the face, particularly so on the right side. The middle image shows the area Barrie chose to add +20 points (Photoshop calibration) of RGB luminance. The effect is immediately obvious in the right picture.


The banding is particularly obvious when shown with transmitted light. 


One day I received an email from Robert Doumax, an imaging expert in Bordeaux, France. He had created a Fourier transform filter to isolate both vertical and horizontal banding in the fabric of the shroud. His filter produced the bottom image of three below.

Subtracting one image from the other image produces a tentative, partial banding map:

* About the colorful ImageJ image.  It has not been copied, stored or reproduced in anyway. The thumbnail preview is like a window into Colin’s site. It is an inline link to Colin’s blog space. By clicking on the image you can see it in its full size on Colin’s site. Even so, the use of a thumb nail image is considered fair use. Wikipedia is a good place to being reading about this.

[A] pointer causes a user’s browser to jump to the proprietor’s server and fetch the image file to the user’s computer. US courts have considered this a decisive fact in copyright analysis. Thus, in Perfect 10, Inc. v., Inc.,[6] the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explained why inline linking did not violate US copyright law . . .

The thumb nail is too small to be a copyright concern. It is merely a graphical link.

John and Rebecca Jackson to Speak at Conference in Hanover, Pennsylvania

August 27, 2014 1 comment

We learn from the website and blog of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, that John and Rebecca Jackson will be speaking at a special Shroud of Turin conference in mid-October

Attend a fascinating study on the science, history, and controversy of the most important relic in the history of Christianity. The conference will be held on 17 October from 3:00 – 9:00 PM and on 18 October from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the historic Sacred Heart Basilica, located at 30 Basilica Drive, Hanover, PA 17331. Guest speakers include: Dr. John Jackson, founder of the Turin Shroud Center (Colorado) and the Lead Scientist in the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP); and his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Jackson, co-founder of the Center and convert to Catholicism from Orthodox Judaism, who specializes in the 1st century Jewish background of the Shroud. Forregistration and tickets contact Luz Socrates at 873-3650 or

So if you will be anywhere in the area, about 20 miles south of the turnpike, I-76, about half way between Philadelphia and Pittsburg or to put it another way, about an hour north of Baltimore, you should try to catch this.

In Memoriam: Dorothy Crispino – January 1916 to August 2014

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Barrie Schwortz has posted a very special tribute to Dorothy Crispino, “the founder and editor of the world renowned journal, Shroud Spectrum International, the first and only peer reviewed journal dedicated solely to the study of the Shroud of Turin.”

The tribute includes a 1997 perspective by Dorothy on her work and messages from Mons. Giuseppe Ghiberti, Richard Orareo, Joseph Marino, Diana Fulbright, William Meacham, Russ Breault, John and Rebecca Jackson, Rex Morgan, Dan Scavone, Ian Wilson, Mary Hines, Kevin Moran, Mark Guscin, Emanuela Marinelli, Paul C. Maloney, Ray Schneider, Marcel Alonso, David M. Onysko, Phil Dayvault, Alessandro Piana, Piero Iacazio and Traudl Wally.

Stephen Jones has also written a special posting on his blog. Stephen has been scanning all of the past issues of Shroud Spectrum International and his very familiar with her work.

I never knew Dorothy but knew of her by reputation, by many of the wonderful comments I heard about her from some of the people mentioned above. I encourage you to take the time to read the two tribute pages.

( Also see, Rest in Peace Dorothy Crispino )

Barrie indicates that he may add additional messages from others as he receives them.

The photograph, inline at, was taken by Barrie Schwortz at Dorothy’s home in Cavour when he and Mary Hines visited her and her husband Luigi in May of 2010.

Categories: News & Views Tags:

Shroud Encounter in Minnesota on August 28

August 26, 2014 1 comment

imageRuss Breault lets us know through the Shroud Encounter Facebook page:

Anyone in Minnesota? Shroud Encounter comes to Immaculate Heart Catholic Church at 35208 County Road 37 in Crosslake, MN on Thursday August 28th at 6:30 PM. A lifesize replica will also be on display. If you know someone in the area, let them know about it!

Rest in Peace Dorothy Crispino

August 25, 2014 2 comments

The translation of the obituary for Dorothy Crispino into English is difficult, but you should figure it out:

We are sad to communicate the death in Cavour of our sister Dorothy Crispino, born Zimmer, of 98 years. Born in the USA, had also spent time in Italy and France. The encounter with the Holy Shroud, which occurred in the USA in the environment led by Fr Rinaldi, literally transformed her life. Dorothy was a reference point for lovers of the Shroud (scholars and devotees) not only in the United States for years, and published a popular magazine on Shroud [SHROUD SPECTRUM]. For the love of the Holy Shroud she decided to spend the last years of his life in Italy, namely close of the Shroud. The nearest place she found was Babano, a fraction of Cavour. In these last few years she was received in a nursing home in Cavour, where her husband visited her with touching regularity. His memory is a blessing and is a model of generous dedication to the cause of the Shroud.

The burial is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, at 11:00 am.

Gian Marco Rinaldi offers some help:

On might think that the news has been given by any of her brothers or sisters. But the Italian word is “consorella”, not just “sorella” (sister). The obituary is in the website of the Confraternita (Brotherhood) del Santissimo Sudario (related to the church of Turin and the CIS). The members of the Confraternita are called “confratello” and “consorella” and that means just a member of the Brotherhood.

Indeed Mrs Crispino had not any brothers or sisters left . . .

Categories: Obituary Tags:

Royal Oak Exhibit of the Shroud of Turin Extended

August 25, 2014 Comments off

clip_image001We covered this in Seventy Cities in Twenty Years Starting in Royal Oak, Michigan. Now we learn from the Gannnett newspaper, the Observer & Eccentric:

As the new academic year begins, many schools are planning field trips to see the Shroud for its historical and scientific significance. After Royal Oak, the Shroud will head to San Antonio.

The Shroud of Turin has been believed for nearly two millennia to be the cloth used to wrap the body of Jesus of Nazareth. The Shroud itself has been a source of comfort to Christians and a source of controversy for scientists as to its authenticity.

People of all religions have come to their own conclusions by visiting the exhibit at 3506 Rochester Road, just north of 13 Mile.

This self-guided, audio-visual, one-hour tour has 12 chambers with more than 50 artifacts from throughout history dating back to 14 AD. Artifacts include a relic containing an actual piece of the Shroud from Pope Clement XII dated 1730, a Solidus coin from 685 AD — the first to feature the face of Christ — the Tiberius Tribute coin, manuscripts, a 1st century Roman spear from the first century, and a painting of Christ on cotton that was shown in Lisbon for over 200 years,. The exhibit is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Albanian and Arabic.

The exhibit will visit 70 U.S. cities over the next 20 years. It was created in Spain by a man named Alvaro Blanco. He researched the Shroud for many years, and almost went bankrupt locating unique historic pieces and setting up the exhibit.

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