"United states supreme court building" by Kubina via Wikipedia [public domain]

Copyright Stuff


All I ask is that if you are going to copy something from this site, please link back to the URL from which you copied it and mention the author. If you are copying something someone else wrote (e.g., if I am quoting someone), then I would cite it formally—after all, other people might care more than I do about being cited formally.

Students beware: your papers can be checked for plagiarism in seconds—e.g., I can check over 100 papers for plagiarism in about a minute. Copying material from websites without citing it counts as plagiarism. If you use anything from this website, you would do well to cite it somehow. Many universities will not tolerate plagiarism: it is not uncommon to receive a failing grade (in the entire course) or to be expelled for plagiarism in a single assignment. Long story short, you’ll be much better off writing a bad paper than plagiarizing one.


With the exception of the photos in my public domain photo album [here], none of the images on this site (or on the server which hosts the site) are intended to be downloaded or shared. If you get an image from this website, then I am in no way responsible for any consequences of your obtaining the image.

A Cautionary Tale

I once received a letter from a major stock photo company telling me that one of their protected images was being used on my website and that using it required the use of an expensive license. I was shocked to find that using the image required purchasing a license. After all, if I had realized that the image required a license, then I wouldn’t have used it on my website — I’d have steered clear of it altogether! Obviously, upon learning of the error, I immediately removed the picture from my website, deleted it from my server, and sent an apology to the stock photo company. This does not mean, however, that I have heard the end of it. Quite the contrary! Both the stock photo company and their lawyer regularly send demands and implicit threats of legal action, despite my repeated requests to cease the harassment.

I have found that my experience is not uncommon: lots of people (unknowingly) use protected images without the proper licensing and end up receiving a gratuitous number of anxiety-provoking letters from stock photo companies and their lawyers. So here’s your warning: be careful about using someone else’s photos. Even if you unknowingly use a protected image, it can result in a great deal of harassment and stress. (You might check out LifeHacker’s “The Best Ways to Be Sure You’re Legally Using Online Photos” or the US Copyright Office’s frequently asked questions).


If you find copyright issues on this site, please let me know immediately so I can remedy the situation as soon as possible.