Copyright Information

Updated August 29, 2007.

Going forward, the content on this website is now provided under the terms of U.S. Copyright law. All text and photographics are property of the author, and you may not copy the text as a whole without expressly gaining the permission of the author. Visual graphics that are screen captures of web pages or graphs are not claimed under the ownership of this site (you may use them without asking).

I had originally provided it under the terms of the Creative Commons Public License I chose the Creative Commons for no other reason than I respected their efforts, and figured it was better to err on the side of being open. I simply don't want people copying whole parts of this website or articles without permission. 

Certainly your "fair use" rights are not diminished by the above. You are free to copy sections of the works, with the intent of analysis or satire, as long as you give attribution. 

I suppose that part of the reason people copy the whole of texts is out of a fear that the original texts will be withdrawn from general use, as is common with most commerical periodicals. As publisher of this site, my intent is to always make the content available for reading. (Google and other search engines have cached the pages of this site. I have implicitly allowed them to that by not preventing it in my robots.txt file)

Another reason is that people wish to use an article as a foundation for further discussion. Publishing an excerpt and a link should be sufficient for this. Furthermore, the entire Civilities site is built for public comments, and users are encouraged to do so under the posting guidelines. So please, if you find anything you like, do your readers a favor of sending them a link to an article rather than the whole text of the article.

My change in this manner is informed by a couple of things– firstly, reading Malcolm Gladwell's recent essay in the November 22nd The New Yorker, "Something Borrowed: Should A Case of Plagiarism Ruin Your Life?", in which the author relates the story of how a magazine article of his was used as a primary source for a play Bryony Lavery wrote. Gladwell was initially troubled, but used the exercise of tracking her down to consider whether her use was merely derivative or genuinely constructive of a new piece of art. He is, like I am, enormously informed by the stellar work of the legal expert Lawrence Lessig on these matters. Secondly I found myself in a similar situation of finding a discussion forum where an article of mine had been posted without explicit attribution.

The "Civ" modules (code and graphic icons) will be provided through open source licensing.

Update June 9, 2005 — See this discussion between Shelley Powers and Seth Finkelstein, among others, about the utility of the Creative Commons. In his May 2005 issue of Cites & Insights, Walt Crawford called out the lack of a CC license here, but that's all. Also, I added the word "of" to the first sentence, which made for a rather ungrammatical declaration, and the word "an" from the last sentence. I just haven't yet added the software modules which I've promised.