All content on is protected by international copyright law, which means (basically) that you can’t steal it. This applies to everything on this site, including (but not limited to) all coding, text and artwork; exceptions are noted as such (see below).

Most of the stuff on this website is created by me, and if you want to use it, you need to ask my permission first. There is no requirement under international copyright law for copyrighted content to be marked as such, nor any reqirement for the copyright symbol © to be present, or for the copyrighted work to registered with any authority (such as a Patent Office). This is true even in the United States, which has recently signed up to the Berne Convention.

Public domain and “fair use”

Just because this content is available on the internet does not mean it’s in the public domain. Only content which has been specifically released into the public domain by the copyright holder is in the public domain.

Exceptions are generally made for what is called “fair use”. What counts as “fair use” is decided upon by the courts on a case-by-case basis, but it is usually considered “fair use” to use the material for the following purposes:

  • comment and analysis,
  • parody,
  • teaching,
  • and other similar uses.

Whenever I have used other people’s material, I have tried to keep within the bounds of fair use; where I can’t legitimately claim fair use, I have sought the permission of the copyright owner and credited the material as appropriate.

YouTube videos by other people are an interesting case. Since people uploading YouTube videos have the option of disabling the embedding of files, it is reasonable to assume that where embedding is not disabled, the owner is happy for the video to be embedded in other websites. This does not, of course, mean that anyone can download those videos, make copies and use them elsewhere.

Creative Commons licences

Certain material, such as text and images from Wikipedia and similar sites, may be covered by a Creative Commons licence. Generally, this licence means the material can be freely used. It is usually also permitted to create derivative works based on that material, on the understanding that the derivative work is also released under the same licence. In plain English: If I take an image from Wikipedia, edit it and post it onto this site, you are also free to use that edited image in the same way — and you must make your version free for use in the same way to other people. Such material is always credited as such.

Need some royalty-free music?

Many of my videos feature background music, which I have generally obtained from one or more sites offering royalty-free music. The sites I use most often are:

  • Flash Kit (mostly short musical loops, designed principly for games and Flash animations but will work for videos as well)
  • (a wealth of longer pieces by composer Kevin MacLeod)
  • (music by Jonathon Roberts, perhaps a little less easy-listening than MacLeod’s)
  • ccMixter (a collaborative effort by a large number of musicians, both professional and amateur, releasing excellent music under the Creative Commons licence)