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Internet History Sourcebooks Project

Copyright and Fair Use

Editor: Paul Halsall

I. Documents at Internet History Sourcebooks Project

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project [IHSP] is an world wide web project designed to provide easy access to primary sources and other teaching materials in a non-commercial environment. It was developed and is edited by Paul Halsall with the aid of numerous other contributors. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University, although it is physically located on the University's web servers. Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.A good faith effort has been made to comply with US copyright law. This does not mean that none of the material is copyright, but that the "fair use" clause of US Copyright Law has been adhered to. The "fair use" clause, as explicated at the University of Pennsylvania web site (, is given below.In particular, any copyright material used here is (a) not used for commercial gain and used exclusively for educational purposes; and (b) used in limited amounts in comparison to the published source. 107: Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phone records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:
  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. (added pub. l 94-553, Title I, 101, Oct 19, 1976, 90 Stat 2546)

I.a. Documents at other Websites Linked from the Internet History Sourcebooks Project

The Internet History Sourcebook Project presents thousands of documents from its server, but also links to hundreds more that have been made available by other websites. The IHSP can make no guarantees about the status of such documents.
II. Use of Documents at the Internet History Sourcebooks Project
This Sourcebook is specifically designed for teachers to use in teaching. There are several ways that this might be done.
  • By pointing students to this web site.
  • By downloading the documents, and printing/Xeroxing them for distribution in course packets or as class handouts.
  • By creating syllabi and course outlines at local websites with linksto the documents here.
  • By creating local copies of selections of documents at class websites for time limited periods (1 year).

DO NOT download and incorporate the texts permanently into your local network websites. The files are updated and corrected: multiple versions on the web makes this difficult to do.All such projects are specifically allowed, permitted, and encouraged. Not all the documents here are out of copyright, and I claim copyright on the the specific electronic form, modernized versions of texts and any notes (this is not to prevent you using the material freely, merely to prevent others using it commercially).What is asked is that reference to the source of the material is included, and that no commercial use be made of the material. If you feel a need to pay up, do so by contributing texts you have made available in etext form.

II.a. If You Want to Re-Use Documents at Internet History Sourcebooks Project

Many, but not all, the documents at the Internet History Sourcebook Project are in the US public domain. Many others are under the copyright of recent translaters (indicated with each document). For permissions and other such inquiries email

III. If You Believe that Copyright Has Been Infringed

It is the Internet History Sourcebooks Project's policy to respect the copyright and intellectual property rights of others.

If you believe that your copyright in any material has been infringed at the Internet History Sourcebooks Project, please contact the editor: Paul Halsall (click for email).

Please provide the following information for action to be taken:

  1. Identify with specificity the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
  2. Identify the material at the Internet History Sourcebooks Project that you claim is infringing, with the URL of the document.
  3. Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
  4. A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;

Upon receipt of the above information, the Internet History Sourcebooks Project may temporarily remove the allegedly infringing material from the site until the situation can be resolved.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 3 May 2024 [CV]