Goodies To Go! Newsletter #375

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
February 7, 2006 -- Newsletter # 37
This newsletter is part of the network.


Featured this week:
*   Goodies Thoughts - Copyright 2006
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
Copyright 2006
Here at Goodies we get questions all the time concerning copyright.  Typical are: "A site has a great picture on it, but they also have a copyright notice.  Is it OK for me to use the picture on my site, as long as I don't make money?" and "Even though it's copyright, can I use it just for (family and friends  |  the kids in my class  |  the members of my club)?"
Here in the US it is illegal for a person who is not an attorney (lawyer) to offer legal advice.  These questions are matters of law and so it is not for us to say what is legal and what is not.  We can (and I do), however, express our personal opinions on the matter.
First, let me say that if you want legal advice you should consult a lawyer, and next, let me say (to the questioners, not to my readers here!) "are you nuts?"  The clue is in the word "copyright".  It means the right to copy.  It doesn't mean "the right to copy and use under some circumstances but not others".  It means that if someone claims a copyright, they reserve the right to make a copy of the work to themselves alone.  If you really want a copy, you must contact the owner of the rights to make that copy and ask them for permission, which they might either give, deny or sell you, with or without some limitations.
Copyright law was established and internationally accepted to provide those who create things, such as, among others, painters, musicians, sculptors, programmers, film makers, designers and writers (that was WRITERS -- people who write stuff; like newsletters and so on) with some protection for their work so that when they spend their time doing what they do and providing something others can enjoy, they can reap the rewards themselves rather than have those rewards go elsewhere.
"Ah yes," say the technically savviest among us, "but when you view a copyrighted web page, you are in fact making a copy of it on your own computer before you see it."  My answer? .....  "You are perfectly correct, my techno-nit picker friend.  You sound like a lawyer."
Here's the deal.  If you're trying to find a way around a copyright, you are probably violating the law.  Why not simply ask for permission?  On the web, this is particularly easy, since you can find contact info for almost any domain name.  If you get permission, great; if you have to buy it, your conscience will be clear; if you are denied then you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did the right thing and committed no crime.
Good for you!
Thanks for reading!
- Vince Barnes
Q & A Goodies
Questions are taken from submissions to our Community
Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to

Q. I have a domain name that I keep my website posted at. But I also use folders on my site that I do not link to from anywhere in my site. These are just folders for me that I can create pages of reference material that I can look up on the go. I would like to be able to give the address for these pages to certain people but for the most part want to keep them private. Is there any way that I can keep them from showing up in search engines, or some code that would render them invisible to search bots. I don't want to password protect the pages I just want to make it harder for people to stumble onto them without knowing the link.
A. You can tell the search engine robots which folders should and should not be indexed by them. It is called The Robots Exclusion Protocol. When a robot visits a web page it first looks for a file named ROBOTS.TXT. This file contain the information about which parts of the site should nojt be visited by the robot.
The Robots META tag lets you tell the robots if a document should be indexed or not:
Only a few robots support this way.
HTML Author's Guide to the Robots META tag:
The Web Robots Pages: