Copyright Information


All original material is Copyright James Sinks. All rights reserved.

If you want to use my photos or text, please shoot me an email and ask permission:

For all other material, copyright resides with the copyright holder (a stupid tautology, I know, but I feel compelled to cover my sizable derriere). I do my best to determine the copyright status of items I post, and when they are still protected, to either stay within the bounds of fair use or to clear my use with the rightsholders.

If you feel I am violating your copyright, shoot me an email.

The compilation of all this material (i.e. my blog) is copyright James Sinks. What does that mean? It means that the selection and order of the material posted here is protected by my copyright, even if all of the individual elements are not. But what does it mean in practical terms? One thing: Don't steal my blog. (And why am I this specific? Because it's happened before.).

Special note to museums (and libraries):

I love you. Really. I spend an inordinate amount of time visiting you. I buy postcards in your gift shops. I eat at your restaurants. I buy your books on Amazon (I love you, but not enough to pay $50 for an exhibition catalog that's only $40 at any other book store or $35 on Amazon). I visit your websites. I even donate money to you, particularly if I'm unlikely to patronize you in person or if I make heavy use of the images you have made available.

But much as I love you, you often do something that really bothers me: You claim to hold copyright on faithful reproductions of two dimensional public domain works. Actually, it does more than bother me. It makes me angry. It's illegal, immoral, and runs counter to your mission, which is to collect, preserve, and share cultural artifacts.

Sometimes you even try to claim that your reproductions of public domain works are copyrighted because you've made certain "aesthetic choices". If your work is a faithful reproduction, you're wrong. If it's not a faithful reproduction, you've failed as a museum by presenting mutilated images instead of faithful reproductions (and you probably still don't hold copyright unless your reproduction is very unfaithful indeed). Verbal gymnastics like that are disrespectful to the public, to the artists involved, to the art itself, and to anyone who actually relies on copyright protection—yourself included.

Trying to claim you have exclusive rights to an image that actually belongs to the world creates an impression of dishonesty and greed. The practice of trying to fetter said images with restrictive licenses just reinforces that impression—particularly when those licenses have clauses about how the end user must reproduce the art respectfully...while you have said art plastered on coasters, fridge magnets, puzzles, notebooks, and anything else you can buy from China for a buck and sell here for five.

I appreciate the effort involved in taking high quality photographs of flat art. Believe me, I do—I've spent fifteen years taking pictures of flat stuff. But effort does not equal authorship, and authorship is required for copyright. Faithful reproduction of a work is not authorship (for that matter, neither is unfaithful reproduction most of the time).

Full Disclosure

I have an Amazon affiliate account and I do put Amazon affiliate links in my posts when appropriate. If you buy something through one of those links (not necessarily the linked product), I get a small commission at no cost to yourself. I disclose my affiliate status on every page with affiliate links and virtually every other page as well. Disclosure matters.

I do not have affiliate accounts with any other businesses.

Sometimes I recommend products. I do so because I bought them and found them useful (or because I've rented them or borrowed them from a library), not because I got a freebie from the company or a PR firm hired me to shill for them.