Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Updated: Copying Articles from the Privacy Blog and Republishing Them Elsewhere

This issue arose again recently. I thought most people had more sense than to blindly copy things from one web site and then post those things on another web site. I was wrong.

Copyright laws DO apply to almost everything published on the World Wide Web. There are strong penalties for violating copyrights.

I believe that the copyright statement of the Privacy Blog is much more liberal than that found on most other web sites. Still, you cannot legally copy lots of articles from this blog and then post them elsewhere without permission. However, you may legally copy and republish an occasional article or two for non-commercial purposes.

You can read the copyright statement of the Privacy Blog at

Thank you.

Categories: Legal Affairs, This Blog

2 replies

  1. Have you thought about licencing them under a Creative Commons licence? That would allow a degree of sharing, promote your good work here and retain some rights.


    • —> Have you thought about licencing them under a Creative Commons licence?

      Yes. In fact, I am willing to license the articles under any form of licensing that will reduce or cure the problem. However, I am a pessimist.

      After talking with and exchanging email messages with many different people, ranging from online newcomers to experienced attorneys specializing in intellectual property rights, I don’t believe any form of licensing will make much difference.

      A lot of people either don’t understand or else don’t care that items published on the Internet are protected by copyright laws. Of course, those laws are rarely enforced except by big media corporations.

      I also compound the problem by allowing anyone to republish a limited number of the article without even asking for permission. (See for the details.) That encourages people to copy a few articles and republish them elsewhere and some people interpret that to mean they can copy and republish EVERYTHING.

      I don’t care about money, at least not in this case. The articles here are probably worth a very few pennies, if that much. There is very little financial loss when someone “rips off” this web site. I certainly am not going to hire an (expensive) lawyer to file a lawsuit.

      However, it really irritates me when someone republishes EVERY article in this blog for days or weeks at a time without mentioning where they stole the articles. That has happened several times, including one incident recently.

      I doubt if adding a license of any sort will make much difference. I prefer to use gentle persuasion, such as writing and publishing the above article. I may repeat it again every few months for the benefit of newcomers.


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