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I'm very sorry to have to tell those who have enjoyed the work I did in collecting nearly a thousand images of beautiful libraries around the world that I will no longer be able to keep up in its original format.

I have recently become aware that it was illegal for me to share images that our copyright laws say I do not have the right to share with you. Our strict laws, in fact, make criminals of millions of people who share images on Pinterest and many photo-sharing sites.

I have always tried to cite the sources of images (photographer when known), have never made any money from sharing them and would immediately have removed an image or corrected the source (if erroneous or omitted) if the owner requested me to.

But apparently that would not be enough to protect me from unscrupulous legal trolls looking for quick settlement money, according to these two very alarming articles:

I have decided with much sadness that I cannot leave myself open to costly lawsuits that are becoming more prevalent over the issue of sharing images online.

I am very sad that Intellectual Property Rights laws can be used to prevent people from publicly appreciating and sharing beauty with others. Several years ago, I read a book about IPR laws and have come to believe that they are not only not necessary in a free society, but in fact are harmful on the whole (which may outrage some artists and many corporations who profit from them, but the numerous and well argued points in this book persuaded me):

Perhaps we will one day live in a world where people will not be afraid to share ideas under threat of bankruptcy or criminal prosecution, but that day has not arrived yet.

I urge you to educate yourself about the abuse of IPR laws so that you do not fall victim to unscrupulous copyright lawyers. Be aware that if you share any images other than your own without obtaining express permission, you are open to legal trolls who can sue you for up to $150,000 (although the trolls are usually willing to settle for $5,000 or so, plus there's your attorney costs). This is even if no economic harm was intended or done, whether you were aware of the laws or not, or whether you were first notified to remove the images or not. "Fair Use" does not apply in the case of sharing internet images. Pinterest users, beware.

I have left the images of my own library under My Libraries, at left, as well as a few pages I wrote about designing your own library under Elements of Libraries. Links to articles and to books about libraries that I recommend are still at the top of the site. The other pages no longer contain any photographs.

In sadness and disappointment,