69 votes

Nystrom: A Note on the Use of Copyrighted Materials on the Daily Paul

Dear Daily Paul,

Yes I love you, but sometimes you can be a real pain in my heiney! For example, this is what happened to me on Tuesday evening. I opened my inbox to find the following email waiting for me.

Dear Michael,

It has come to my attention that your publication is using an image of mine relating to the NSA on the following article and I have reason to believe it is unlicensed as I do not have a valid record.


You can see a correctly licensed version of the image as used by [redacted]

This image is registered with USCO under case number X-XXXXXXXXX.

Please provide a license should you have one for use of the image or address the invoice attached to this email. The image must be removed immediately and you must let me know if the image ha been used in print also.

The information in this email is accurate and not a false claim.



This happens from time to time. Attached was a screenshot of the DP page in question, including the offending image, and an invoice for $1,400! Oh boy, here we go again, I thought.

While I am sympathetic to artists and photographers who have their work unfairly appropriated online, there are laws that govern these types of situations. And whatever your political beliefs are about intellectual property, if I want this site to stay online, I have to follow those laws.

That being said, this was clearly another shakedown attempt. But as an electronic bulletin board, the Daily Paul is protected under the Safe Harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. I learned this after being sued in 2010 by the copyright troll Righthaven.

I took down the image, and wrote him back ignoring the issue of the bogus invoice.


I am sorry about the trouble. The Daily Paul is a bulletin board user forum, and the image was uploaded by one of the users. I have removed the image and warned the user not to use unauthorized images again in the future.

Sorry again for the trouble.

Best regards,

An hour later came his response. He wasn't going to relent:

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your response. Simply removing the image is not enough. As stated in my previous correspondence the image is protected by U.S. copyright law and the penalty for illegal use carries a potential fine of up to $150,000 plus legal costs. The usage on your site, by error or not by a contributor, is in breach of my intellectual property rights and is a criminal offence. (sic) Furthermore the image was used as an 'orphan' with stripped metadata and no visible credit. This action leaves my property open to violations from other parties and due to the topical subject matter of the image this is particularly damaging to my business and livelihood as a professional photojournalist. Your publication makes money from advertisements on the site, has a google page rank status of 4 and has used my image on the article which has been generating money for you since 01/16/2014. Please review the invoice and get back to me.



Now I was getting annoyed. He was using scary language to try to scare me. The keywords that stand out: potential fine of $150,000 plus legal costs, criminal offense. While I know that the law in this case is on my side, dealing with such matters is disconcerting.

"Please review the invoice and get back to me." I reviewed the bogus invoice one more time then wrote:


The Daily Paul is an internet forum with thousands of anonymous users. You know as well as I do that sites such as this are protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act from uploads by users. I have DMCA disclaimer and takedown notice page here, which is where you found my email address.

What you are claiming is nothing but bluster - we are both aware of that. Your invoice is meaningless. You have no claim. You have asked for removal, and I complied within one hour of your request. Case closed.

If you wish to continue wasting my own time and yours you will be hearing from my accomplished intellectual property lawyer, Mr. Dan Booth of Booth Sweet LLP.

Let's not waste any more time. We can make this easy for both of us, or difficult. Please advise how you wish to proceed.


Dan Booth is an excellent intellectual property lawyer and friedn based in Cambridge MA, who helped me when Righthaven was after me. Having not heard back from A--- in a day, I forwarded the email chain to Dan for review. "Bravo," he said. "You handled it perfectly, Michael."

- - - -

The point of this story for you to understand that there are risks, costs and expenses for me in maintaining this online community. Things most people here never think of when posting.

Please take into account copyright law when posting articles, and especially pictures. Don't post entire articles that are copyrighted. Most everyone here is good about that now. But since we've allowed image posting at the DP, I want to reiterate that copyrighted phontos should not be embedded here at the Daily Paul. And please don't hotlink photos from other people's websites. That is bad form. In the old days it was called "stealing bandwidth." But these days, linking a photo on a high traffic site like the DP - especially if it ends up on the front page - from someone's little website can cause extreme hassle for that site. Embedding photos is fine assuming it is an image you own, that you've cleared with the copyright holder, or one that is in the public domain. At such time, please use an image hosting site such as imgur.com or photobucket.

I will address any questions in the comments section (but at the moment, I have to run).

Thanks all for your understanding and continued support.

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Are full youtube video embeds

Are full youtube video embeds ok? I figure since it is credited and any youtube ads are intact it should be fine. Let me know if I'm wrong.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

Michael Nystrom's picture

Yes - YouTube embeds are fine

(Until further notice).

YouTube (Google) is actually the one doing the hosting, so any copyright holder with a problem will have to deal directly with them.

And because they're big, with huge resources and scores of lawyers on staff, they can better defend against trolls like this. A troll like this would never even think of going after YouTube with a bogus invoice like that. Google would just laugh at him (like I did).

But no - until some copyright troll comes up with a new scheme of suing bloggers for embedding YouTubes, we're good on embeds. Don't laugh, I'm sure someone is trying to come up with an angle. After all, someone has claimed the copyright on "Podcasting" after all.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Thanks for the info. Before

Thanks for the info. Before asking, I checked the posting guidelines but all they said was "YouTube videos and images cannot be embedded in the forum for copyright and security reasons." which must have been written before the embed feature was added. So you might want to clarify that line.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

Michael Nystrom's picture


Michael Arthurholtz sent a message using the contact form at http://www.dailypaul.com/contact.


Your article above has directly copied text from a blog post on my site without my permission, and without referencing the original post. Please remove all literary work from the referenced page that does not belong to you.

Your cooperation is appreciated,
Michael Arthurholtz

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts
jrd3820's picture

I wonder why that took him 2 years to send you a complaint

about it?

It was just a thought that went through my head when I clicked on the dp thread and realized it was from 2 yrs ago.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Yeah, he probably just found it.

Maybe he googled his essay and then the DP version came up first. And then he got pissed. Wouldn't you? I would.

There was no link back to his site, no credit - nothing.

It is a shame when that happens. It really is.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts
jrd3820's picture

Oh, I see...you revised it

To add the link because I thought to myself...well, the link to his wordpress page was there, but you must have just added that.

Yeah, I would be a bit upset, if there was no credit given. Anyone would be.

What a mess.

Someday when someone copy and pastes some of my writing to the DP and I find it, I won't threaten to sue you ok?

I promise.

Michael Nystrom's picture

That's good to know

At least that is one less thing I have to worry about!

(Yes, I went back and revised it. It had been his whole article - no credit, no link.)

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Forget even DMCA (which

Forget even DMCA (which protects you), you are allowed to use images, video etc, as part of discussions and educational purposes. This site is clearly that. mediate constantly uploads videos etc as part of their articles.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Michael Nystrom's picture

Easy for you to say when your ass isn't hanging on the line

Like mine is.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Michael, you might not know

Michael, you might not know this, or maybe you should know this, but I am on your side of this. I was just offering an additional and/or alternative defense to the money grabbers who try to distort you through intimidation.

Are you having a bad day?

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Michael Nystrom's picture

Brian, I'm having a great day, and I hope you are too

I'm sorry if the direct nature of my comment offended you. I mean no offense. Thank you for offering help.

But what kind of a day do you think you would be having if you opened your mail to find a bogus invoice for $1,400 from a shnitzelhead for something that you didn't even do.


The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Hmm, I guess it would depend

Hmm, I guess it would depend on my mood, but knowing what I know I would probably laugh my behind off, and do what you did, which is exactly what he deserved ;)

And you didn't offend me, I was just taken aback what appeared to be a little testy response to me trying to add some more ammo to your wealth of knowledge...

My point was you really shouldn't worry about idiots like him. You are in the right.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

You won't hear from this guy again

Because he doesn't want to F!@k around with a Booth!


I try to keep all my posts original besides the random drunken video from the 80's. The last time a DP member messaged me about this type of thing was when I posted my group Mesa County Patriots mission statement. I gave the full go ahead as I am the secretary of the organization and have that authority. This is also permission to post this information anywhere and all liability will be with me. Gmartine :)

"Founding Principles
As our economy and culture reaps the effects of decades of the destructive policies of the political class, the timeless ideas of Liberty and Freedom are currently experiencing their greatest resurgence since perhaps the founding of this great nation. The Mesa County Patriots are men and women joined together by the shared dedication to the goals of:

Rule of Law
No one is above the law. Including Government. A paramount respect for Justice, natural rights, and a higher moral law must be adhered to if any society expects to retain the blessing of God and prevent gradual decay into tyranny, fascism, poverty and slavery.

We are currently witnessing the results of decade’s long violations of rule of law and constitutionally limited government, including executive excesses, judicial disregard for natural law and violation of natural rights, and legislative corporatism and excess.

When those in government step beyond their rightful scope, it is they who become the “outlaws” and our responsibility to be vigilant in defense of justice. Bona Fide Laws vs. pseudo-laws. “The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.” ― Thomas Paine
Decline of the Rule of Law

Personal freedoms are vital to a free society. They ensure checks and balances against tyranny. They allow the current of human potential to flourish. A free people enjoy rights including the right to self-ownership, self-defense, free speech, the right to a fair jury trial before incarceration, to not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of religion, freedom of association and the right to contract.

A free man derives his rights from God, not from government. Many of these rights are enumerated in the founding documents and laws of our nation. But men, lawmakers, and judges are imperfect. Only personal education and vigilant activism in defense of Justice will stay our nation’s gradual and incremental slide towards the stagnation and dehumanization of socialism.

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” -Ayn Rand

See also Freedom vs. Tyranny

See also Key Concepts of Libertarianism

Free Markets
Coupled with protections of personal Liberty, fluid, spontaneous free market principles allow the current of human potential and genius to flow. History shows that central planning schemes of regulatory bureaucrats (though often well-intentioned) can never adequately predict or control the power of human beings working together and voluntarily as they deem mutually beneficial to meet mutual needs, hopes and dreams. Over-regulation squelches the current of human productivity, results in a concentration of power and wealth to a select few, and ultimately leads to the complete economic stagnation witnessed in every socialist country throughout history. Ironically, central planning concentration of regulatory power creates the same poverty and decay of a society it declares that only it has the power to stop. Cronyism, or corporatism, where insiders dominate the legislature and even the judiciary, and legislate their own theft and illegal monopolies, squeeze out competition and destroy capital. The fact that the “free market” gets the blame for America’s economic woes is a sad commentary on the lack of economic understanding by most Americans, and the success of the main stream media in convincing a large percentage of people that giving big government more regulatory power will somehow clean up the theft, sloth and fraud perpetrated by an invisible enemy.

What We Believe
What is Crony Capitalism
Government For Sale

Free-market environmentalism is the philosophy of using the free market and property rights to care for our land, air and water. This philosophy does not use the force of government to dictate how lands will be used. Environmentally destructive lobbyists are almost always the biggest beneficiary of government force.

Property Rights
A man has the right to the fruits of his labor and the land and material resources he struggles with for his survival. Under collectivism, “for the good of society”, the political class and its insiders inevitably rob material and human capital. “…If a man has the right to self-ownership, to the control of his life, then in the real world he must also have the right to sustain his life by grappling with and transforming resources; he must be able to own the ground and the resources on which he stands and which he must use. In short, to sustain his “human right ” -or his property rights in his own person -he must also have the property right the material world, in the objects which he produces. Property rights are human rights.” -Murray Rothbard. As a State, Colorado must also assert her claim to the “solemn compact” of the land that her Citizens were promised by the federal government at her foundation.

Sound Money
The framers of the Constitution clearly understood the dangers of giving private banks control of a nation’s money supply. From its creation, the Federal Reserve egregiously and dangerously violated the clear guidelines for the creation of sound money as laid out in Article1 Section 10 of the Constitution. Instead of interest rates and control of the money supply being dictated by the self-correcting laws of supply and demand, a small group of banking elite and their propagandists have convinced the American people that central bank manipulation and creation of trillions of dollars in fiat (unbacked by assets) dollars prevent the hidden tax of inflation and tragic boom-bust cycles it directly causes and profits from. Due to loose fiscal policy and massive inflationary printing, the U.S. Dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. With trillions of dollars of debt slavery being passed on to future generations, how much longer will the American people allow central bank manipulators and their apologists to trade promises for real capital? The veil of mystery surrounding economics is being lifted. Millions of Americans are waking up to the theft perpetrated under the guise of a “Federal reserve.” Exposing the fraud and failures of the central banks, repealing legal tender laws, bartering, a new look at a return to sound (asset backed) money and restoring competition to the unconstitutional federal reserve system are vital strategies to uncouple free men and women from the albatross that the political class has created.

Before he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan wrote the following short, eloquent and powerful explanation of economics and the clear and present dangers of central bank manipulation. Click Here.

An abundance of wisdom on Austrian economics can be found at Mises.org

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” -Thomas Jefferson

Constitutionally Limited Government
Beyond producing market stagnation and insider cronyism, using the power of government to attempt to force the behaviors we would wish to see in others is not only dangerous and doomed to failure but is illegal when it transgresses the natural rights of free men and women. Authoritarian central planning never produces the progress that only Liberty promises. “Only in a free society do individuals have the best chance to seek virtue, strive for excellence, improve their economic well-being, and achieve personal happiness… The worthy goals of civilization can only be achieved by freedom loving individuals. When government uses force, liberty is sacrificed and the goals are lost. It is freedom that is the source of all creative energy.” – Ron Paul"

Cyril's picture

We like it or not

I agree we ought to be careful.

We like it or not, nowadays' legalese related to IP matters isn't on the side of voluntarism and/or selfless sharing of information. Plus, as time goes in sucky markets, making a buck by whatever means the same legalese allows - will be more and more often and easily considered - again, we like it or not.

Not happy with the status quo and wanting change? Lead by example - some coders and digital artists for instance have for long been sharing their stuff as much as they could, either directly in the public domain or through liberal licenses, with freely available open source. "Liberal" in the original, good sense. This also improves quality in the long run, btw - keywords: competing ideas, constructive criticism incentives.

So, general rule of thumb as users of content we didn't make : look out for anywhere and everywhere in digital streams it mentions "copy" and derived words, then read, understand it, and proceed wisely.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

If one just thinks for a few

If one just thinks for a few minutes it is easy to see the burden on your shoulders. This is just an example of one of thousands of tasks required to run this ship. I wouldn't want your job. I am thankful that you do want it. No doubt you have made a mark on history with your efforts.

Redacted name

Were the next letters in his redacted name a series of S's?

Michael Nystrom's fists can punch through FUD.


important information.

This is enlightening...

Sounds like someone trying to get some easy bucks.

I am Ron Paul

More Cartoons - Feel Free to Reproduce

Hey ... don't panic ... it is ok!

some text

some text

some text

some text

some text

some text

some text

The basic problem is that one believes that everything is real, and thus everything is treated as such.
---Kalu Rinpoche

Lets put some pictures .. :D

just a cartoon (mine - so do not panic)

The basic problem is that one believes that everything is real, and thus everything is treated as such.
---Kalu Rinpoche

A gentle suggestion, Mike...

A gentle suggestion, Mike... Disable inline picture and video embedding.

Why allow it when clicking on a link to view content is not that difficult? Why make it easy to invite legal problems for yourself?

This isn't 1997. Embedded

This isn't 1997. Embedded pics and video are standard features of any forum.

SteveO24's picture

My voice

isn't being heard. not fair. not fair dude. lol

ACinMA's picture

Thanks Michael

You've taken quite a few hits for this team, and I certainly appreciate it. Your experience in dealing with these schmucks seems to have aided you in clearly explaining to them how your middle finger is facing their general direction. Of coarse the way you explained it was much more insightful..

Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts

"When one gets in bed with government,
one must expect the diseases it spreads."
‎"It's not like I'm a powerful person. My ideas are."

jrd3820's picture

Um, yeah....ok, but...

What about my 1st amendment rights?

Ya know, freedom of speech via pictorial expression?

I feel like I'm being censored.

This is what it looks like when tyranny sweeps the DP.

On that note, I'll pay closer attention to such matters wise webmaster friend.

Edit, wow....that didn't go over very well.

You guys need to relax every now and then. Really.

Debbie's picture

Thank you so much - you did a

Thank you so much - you did a fantastic job, and sorry you had to go through all that trouble!


Thanks Michael

..and you've demonstrated (theoretically) another example of:

"If You Meet the Buddha On the Road....Kill Him".

(albeit NOT the example I've previously commented on)

Nice to see the good guy won this time.
Yeah...I know...it's quite a "stretch".

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Copyright troll trying to

Copyright troll trying to leech for money. Embarrassing. Should be ashamed.