Copyright Policy

H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online

Copyright © 1995 - 2014.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Please note:

  • all subscribers and editors on the Commons and at H-Net Reviews are required to accept the terms of the Creative Commons 3.0 license when establishing an account.  This is no mere formality, and the staff will not check this box for anyone -- it is a legal decision to be made by the individual and not a third party.  The CC license is intended to be simple and easy to understand; please familiarize yourself with it.  It is at the heart of the concept of an intellectual commons.
  • under the terms of that license, the copyright of the material is undisturbed.  H-Net does not claim copyright to anything published on our lists or web unless we specifically place a copyright statement there.  The author or owner of the material has the copyright.  The CC license grants to the rest of the world, including H-Net, the right to reuse under certain conditions.
  • H-Net has trademarked its name and owns the names, subscription lists, logs, and websites it hosts, unless a copyright statement declares otherwise.
  • republication of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder is illegal.  Republication on a site like ours for research or commentary does not automatically constitute fair use.  You cannot republish an entire article from the Wall Street Journal simply because you are an educator communicating with other educators and are on the side of the angels.  The primary, but not exclusive, determinant of fair use in U.S. law concerns the impact of the use on the market for the work.  There are limited circumstances under which such a republication can constitute fair use, but for brevity's sake I won't delve into them here.
  • the quoting and excerpting of copyrighted material, especially for purposes of research, teaching, and commentary is fine, and we encourage it.  In short: post a paragraph or two, the copyright statement, a link to the source, and a sentence about why you're publishing it.
  • please be especially aware of the difference between, on the one hand, uploading a file, which is a form of copying, and on the other, linking to a file off our server, which generally is not.  The Commons's "embed" feature displays files on our server.  But it is also possible to use the "video" embed applet to play a YouTube or Vimeo video from another server through our site.
  • it is illegal to remove a copyright notice when republishing the material.

Further details and discussion can be found in The Historian's Guide to Copyright by former H-Netter Michael Les Benedict of H-Law and H-SHGAPE.  It was published by the American Historical Association and is available to members.  And there are many authoritative sources on fair use, especially Stanford's Fair Use Center.

Finally: Creative Commons has issued a successor to the CC 3.0 license.  The CC 4.0 license is more consistent with recent international developments in copyright law.  The Council will be discussing when to adopt that new license.