Best Practices



Quoting from, fair use copies, and pointing to other sites

While some of us (of you) have the wherewithal to make measurements, many of the rest of us do not. I’ve looked at what’s available at Inner Fidelity’s headphone measurements, and wonder if there is any policy here regarding either pointing to that site, or capturing one graph, and giving credit to that site (or others, if any with similar resources).

Is there a greater headphone community, where our (fearless) leaders might negotiate some permissions and/or definitions of fair use?

Earlier today, I pulled a post because I noted in a photo I picked from a website, that there was a small copyright notice in it - one that did NOT appear, I might add on the photo UNTIL I downloaded a copy to re-use. (and also, although “innocuous” it might have been impolitic in a #metoo world as one could have “misinterpreted” the nice looking “models” not as the beautiful STAX and GRADO headphones being shown, but the female human headphone stands on which they were displayed).

This topic is hereby opened for comment by TPTB, and anyone else that has a question on best practices, editorial policy, copyright rules, and matters of good taste.


Short version …

Everything is automatically copyrighted when it is created (never mind published). Unless there is a published permission or license to the contrary, you should first assume that you cannot and should not legally copy and re-post that content.

Posting a link to it is fine.

Posting a hot-link to it - i.e. referencing an image on another site such that the image itself shows up inline in your post is not something you should do. For one thing, it’s very poor net-etiquette (the linked site is bearing the hosting burden for the use of that image on a site that isn’t their’s). And for another, the image owner can change or remove the linked image (etc.) to anything they want … include something that is unsavory, represent poorly or simply is broken.

So … embedded hot-links are not something we want to deal with.

As far as I’m concerned, if there isn’t a published policy for the content you want to re-use/link to, then ask permission first. If it’s not worth asking permission, then I’d say it’s not worth using that content.

Obvious exceptions for things like images in press/media kits and/or where there is a visible copy-left or creative-commons license/attribution license (provided you comply with it’s terms).

Fair-use is great, but it’s too subtle for most casual poster to execute against safely and as such it is best avoided.

This is all covered in the Article & Review Guidelines and Template document that I’ve created and is available to anyone doing more than ad-hoc posting. They simply have to ask for it.

I think I’ve sent you the link to this previously, but let me know if not,


Yes, I understand copyright, having worked in professional publishing for a decade or two. And people often confuse the length of time for a copyright vs a patent. Disney freaked out a few years ago when the 95 years from first publication ran on Mickey Mouse, and did some fancy legal footwork to protect the franchise.

Performance rights have yet another period, and are an area under active legal contest. The whole thing can be a mess and I highly recommend Dr. Larry Lessig’s “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace” I got to see Dr. Lessig do a keynote presentation on this back when I was in the SSP (Society for Scholarly Publishing).

But as a practical matter, for non-commercial use, I TRY to pull from a WikiCommons, WikiMedia, or other CC (Creative Commons) license. When I used to post photos on Flickr, I always gave them one of the CC licenses. However the world is not perfect. And the facility of search is astonishing. I figure the animated GIF I pulled from somewhere of Morticia Adams putting Uncle Fester’s head in a vice (clamping force) comes under “fair use”.


Yeah …

To be clear:

I’m not saying people can’t apply fair-use for what they want to repost.

I am saying that I can’t distill the rules into what safely constitutes fair-use into a form that a typical forum poster will reliably and correctly apply - so my recommendation is just not to do it unless you’re sure. The rules are out there, and trying to re-interpret/re-state and simplify them is just a legal minefield that I do not wish to be in the middle of.

Therefore the onus is on them to make sure they’re doing it properly. And when it doubt, they probably aren’t.

We don’t have a specific policy regarding graphs from Inner Fidelity - that just has to be treated the same way as any other content.

I am saying that hot-linking to media on someone else’s server is poor form and shouldn’t be done - except in cases where those sites are either designed specifically for that (e.g. some picture hosting sites have a specific option to get a valid external link) or where permission to do so is clear.


Yes, agreed. Good point about the picture hosting sites.


I will do my best to not hot link … I learned something today lol, looked it up and yeah kind of a jerk thing to do, unless the site explicitly is for that sort of thing…gfycat etc…

My wife is a lawyer so I can get behind not wanting to anger them lol