This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The essay and article content can be freely copied and redistributed for educational, non-commercial use less the restrictions outlined in the attribution noncommercial sharealike license. All photographs are copyrighted and may not be used in any way, other than with the distribution of the article and essay content for non-commercial purposes.
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- Attribution. You must give the original author credit.
- Noncommercial. You may NOT use this work for commercial purposes.
- No Derivative Works. You may NOT alter, transform, or build upon this work.
- For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
- Waiver/Permission. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get written permission from the author.
- Editorial Content. Images and content are not to be used for websites hosting political, religious, terrorist, or controversial material – determined by the author and subject to change.
- Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.
Copyright and Legal Disclaimer
All website design, text, graphics, and the selection and arrangement thereof are protected by copyright and through the statement:
Permission is granted to electronically copy and to print in hard copy portions of this website for the sole purpose of using this website as an information resource for personal or educational use only and not for commercial use or profit of any kind. Permission is requested for all usages of said content and images, though. This permission pertains only to content, not images. Permission is required for all usages of images.
Any other use of materials on this website — including reproduction for purposes other than noted above, modification, distribution, or reproduction — without the prior written permission of Brent and Lorelle VanFossen is strictly prohibited.
Hotlinking, the process of linking directly to an image on an external website, is strictly forbidden on this website without explicit permission. Such action will be considered a theft of intellectual property and violation of the Copyright Act, and theft of bandwidth and violation of this website and host server. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Brent and Lorelle VanFossen make no claim or representation and accept no responsibility regarding the quality, nature, or reliability of this website, sites accessible by hyperlinks from this website, or sites linking to this website. Viewers and users will hold the VanFossens harmless from any and all issues regarding this site.
To help you understand our rights and copyright law in general, we have provided the following information and resources:
- Our Copyrights and Copyright Policy
- Copyright and Legal Disclaimer
- Our Legal Policies
- Understanding Copyright
- Facts About Copyright
- The Copyright Commandments
Acclaimed cartoonist, Gary Larson, on Creators.com – Creators Syndicate, regarding the posting of his cartoons on people’s private websites. Having lunch with another cartoonist, Richard Guindon, the two were discussing the use of their images being “…collected, digitized, and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control”. Trying to find the words to express his emotions, Richard summed up their aversion to this by saying:
It’s like having someone else write in your diary.”
I hope this rang a bell in your soul as it did in mine. I would go even further to say that finding your artistic efforts on someone else’s web page, or in print or posted on a billboard for that matter, all done without your permission, is like finding out that the person who wrote in your diary was your mother!
Artists word hard developing their artistic results. While we are honored that someone enjoys our work enough to “spread it around”, Larson goes on to explain in his letter that he takes the illegal use of his images personally:
These cartoons are my ‘children,’ of sorts, and like a parent, I’m concerned about where they go at night without telling me. And, seeing them at someone’s website is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, ‘Uh, Dad, you’re not going to like this much, but guess where I am.’
Thank you to Gary Larson and the thousands of others who help us stand up for our rights to protect our work. It’s hard work, but if we all help each other, the word will spread. To make the use of our work legal, ask.
It is important to us that you understand what your rights are, and what our rights are, regarding this website and the images and information on it. This is for your protection and ours.
- Have you stopped to consider what it takes to make one photograph which we show you for your enjoyment on this web page?
- Do you realize the time, money, and energy involved in getting to a specific location at the “right” time, waiting for the “moment” and recording it on film? Do you understand how much our equipment costs? We have spent thousands of dollars in camera equipment, in film, processing, all to work for that one “moment” that we capture and then share with you here. For example, it took us four tries, traveling back and forth across Alaska over several weeks, to capture the fleeting sunset over Portage Lake with the sunset reflecting in the water among the ice bergs on the west shore of the lake. Brent got two shots off, one of which turned out perfect, and ran out of film. By the time he changed to another roll of film, the moment was gone and all of our subsequent trips have never brought all the right conditions together to recreate that incredible photograph. We keep trying, though. So please keep trying to understand how valuable each image is.
- All it takes it a few seconds for someone to snag an image from our site and use it.
- People do it all the time. Usually without thinking. We want you to stop in your tracks and THINK ABOUT IT NOW. Think about the time, money, and energy it takes to create all of this and by taking from our site and using it for something other than your own pleasure in the privacy of your own home, you are stealing. Think about that.
- Understanding the Copyright Laws
- To better understand the laws of copyright, we’ve provided the following links:
- Library of Congress Copyright Information
- Copyright Act of 1976/Appended 1994
- Web Page Dos and Don’ts
- What is copyright?
- Copyright Clearance Center
- Ten Myths about Copyright
- Find Law – Intellectual Property and Copyright Protection
- What is Copyright?
- Writer’s Digest
- The Plagiarism Resource Site
- Center for the Public Domain
- Center for the Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Digital Environment
- Copyright and Fair Use from Stanford University Libraries
- Copyright Resources Online
- Cornell Library – Analyzing Information Sources
The Facts About Copyright
Artwork, including photographs, drawings, paintings and illustrations are “intellectual property”. Therefore, they are protected by the U.S. Federal Copyright laws and the Berne Convention. The copyright laws are intended to give to the artistic creators the value of their creations, which are called intellectual properties, and preventing other people from stealing those creations. The unauthorized use of intellectual property is called infringement. Therefore before any use is made of any intellectual property, the potential user MUST obtain the permission of the creator of the artwork and/or his/her agent. Failure to obtain consent constitutes an infringement under the United States Copyright Law and the Berne Convention.
To help you understand copyright law, “The Copyright Commandments” were published by PACA, The Picture Agency Council of America, and are listed here for your convenience. Not knowing the law does not excuse you from the law.
The Copyright Commandments
- When it’s created, it’s copyrighted.
- Use the copyright notice.
- The photographer or his/her agent has the exclusive right to exploit the copyright for each image. That right is for the life of the photographer plus 75 years.
- Permission to use a copyrighted photograph for any purpose whatsoever must be obtained in advance in writing to avoid possible violation of the federal law on copyright.
- Any unauthorized use constitutes an infringement – theft.
- Penalties for infringement are monetary and can be severe.
- Combining, altering or scanning photographs or any part thereof, including electronically, is an exclusive right held by the photographer and permission to combine or alter should be obtained in writing prior to any such changes or uses.
- Exceeding the terms of a license has been held to be an infringement. A new license is required prior to additional use.
- An artist’s rendering of a photograph in another medium is a derivative use of an image and requires the written permission of the copyright owner prior to use.
- Re-creating a copyrighted photograph is a derivative use and therefore requires the permission of the copyright holder of the original image.
- Reference use of a photograph or any part thereof requires the permission of the copyright holder.