Although this site is based in the United Kingdom, I previously made use of images taken from external sources according to the “fair use” convention applied in the United States. This was due to the fact that (a) the majority of large photographic archives apply United States law, and (b) most agencies outside the United States – in my experience at least – apply simple common sense with regard to the use of imagery on non-profit sites dedicated to the free transmission of information, news and research.

It had always been my intention to use externally-sourced images in good faith for the sole purpose of providing visual clarity to articles that clearly come under the category of news reportage and historical sports research, but it appears that even this is not good enough for some of the more litigious types out there. As a result, the majority of the previously available third-party photographs have been removed from this resource and those that remain are no more than 225 x 225px in size. To all those who might have enjoyed the images that once accompanied the articles and match reports, the risk is just too great. Of course, if anyone owns the rights to any images that might be useful, please do feel free to let me know.

In the meantime I will be scouring Wikimedia Commons to find any items that might help make the articles a little less monochromatic, though the recent move by Getty Images to allow for the embedding of images has been of major benefit. The downside is that you cannot cut and chop the image to fit clearly into the article, but this is a small price to pay for making the site more visually appealing.

Should any standard image on this website be in breach of copyright by any agency that does not apply United States, I would request that a simple cease and desist order be issued – at which the offending image will be immediately removed. Alternatively, I would be more than happy to provide links back to the original source or to use a watermarked image instead. It’s all about having a civilised dialogue rather than resorting to factory-produced letters or extreme litigious behaviour.

Yes, there are many agencies out there that are unreasonable: the sort who would chase an elderly lady for using a stock photo of a cat or hound a teenage girl for a thumbnail-sized image of their favourite actor or pop star. But by the same token there are many others out there that thankfully choose to exercise legal restraint and – I’ll say it again – simple common sense.

With regard to my own images, third parties are free to use large versions – all you need to do is not pass anything off as your own. If you want to ask permission, great: if you are not going to use the image for anything suspect there’s never going to be an issue. That said, only football geeks would want to use this sort of stuff anyway so I am not expecting my photographs of the 1988 “Flag” Trikot to make their way around to every corner of the Web anytime soon.

For those conducting similar research, I would be more than happy to supply larger examples on request. Meanwhile if you might wish to use any of my images and use them as thumbnails under 250px in width or height – though I would be intrigued as to why anyone might wish to do this – go right ahead and right-click.

With regard to my writing, the rules are slightly different.

Quite simply, if you want to copy small chunks of copyrighted text to use elsewhere or as a quote in another article – no problem. The same applies to any of the statistical charts and graphs that have been generated. In most cases it will be a matter of “ask, and ye will receive”. For the odd paragraph or sentence here and there, just go right ahead.

If I find what might be a large chunk of my writing elsewhere and it has been properly quoted and referenced, I’ll be sure to thank you – the chances are that you share my interest and passion. If I find what I might be a large chunk of my writing elsewhere and it hasn’t been properly quoted and referenced, I’ll just ask that you do. I won’t send Hans-Peter Briegel out to get you, nor will I threaten you with extortion letters, legal action or a two-week action/adventure/torture holiday in one of Felix Magath’s mountaintop training camps.

My mission is to share my love of the Nationalmannschaft and spread this knowledge wider in the English-speaking world, and if being quoted elsewhere draws people right back here then part of my mission would have been accomplished.

The simple fact is that if everyone decided to act to the letter rather than within the good and decent spirit of the law, the Internet as we know it would cease to exist. Visual media will end up solely in the hands of the large conglomerates and their established agencies, while everybody else will be forced to use their own imagery – fine for photographing plants in the back garden but useless for writing on sport and contemporary news issues. The simple fact is that without this application of common sense, news articles written by those outside of the established media and their agencies would be in simple monochrome – or simply unsustainable.

In short, the independent blog and fan site – the real lifeblood of the Internet where much of the really interesting information online can be found – will find itself threatened with extinction.

Home Page Photo Credits

While some of the larger images used on the home page are mine, others have been used under the Wikimedia Commons open licence.

Details and links below:

Image of Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer and Helmut Schön in München, 7th July 1974, Bert Verhoeff / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Image of the team with the FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, 13th July 2014, Danilo Borges / CC-BY-BR-3.0
Image of Mario Götze scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final, Rio de Janeiro, 13th July 2014, Danilo Borges / CC-BY-BR-3.0

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