Legal Issues?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  holl 11 months ago.

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  • #2086 Reply


    I was wondering about the legal issues pertaining to this website. Aren’t copyrighted text and images on this image library? What legal repercussions does this pose?

    #2091 Reply

    Jonathan Basile

    Hey Eunexium,

    This question comes up often – so I responded to it in another post. I’ll copy over my answer:

    For starters, legal definitions aside, I would just point out there really isn’t anything here that could infringe on an author’s rights or their ability to control their own work. No one could conceivably access another author’s work through unless that person had a copy of the work already.

    Of course, not having a legitimate claim doesn’t always stop people from starting lawsuits. I’m not an expert in this area, but I know there are substantial protections for artists, scholars, etc. to make use of other works in the form of citations, parody, satire, and any number of recontextualizations. It is because we have these legal protections that artistic and intellectual production can continue in our society. Otherwise everything from comedic impersonations to scholarly references would be an actionable offense. I think that constitutes such a recontextualization – when one encounters text here it’s for a different reason and with a different eye than when they see it in its normal environs.

    Also, the site makes no money, and never will (that’s a promise – it’s a library!). So there could be no claim of profiting off of someone else’s work.

    #2192 Reply


    No one could conceivably access another author’s work through unless that person had a copy of the work already.

    Good point.

    #2206 Reply


    The Library of Babel on this site doesn’t really store any content. To do so would require servers larger than the known universe. Instead, it works by an algorithm.

    #23993 Reply

    The TNT Tiger

    Another problem: what if someone found illegal images on the image search?

    #24031 Reply

    Lucas S.

    Since the library doesn’t actually store anything, if one finds an illegal image, it wouldn’t be a problem so long as the finder didn’t exploit such imagery. It can’t be attributed to the library, given it’s operation on algorithm, and not the finder, assuming they came across it randomly through the slideshow and not searched up an illegal image. Overall it just depends on what the finder does with the image.

    #24036 Reply


    and if they “searched” an illegal image that they later bookmarked?

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