Copyright is an automatic right – granted to the originator(s) of a piece of work – to print, reproduce, publish, perform, film or record literary, artistic or musical material of their own composition. Copyright arises at the point of creation, and it may only be transferred or waived with the expressed written consent of the individual(s) who own(s) the rights to any particular piece of work.
In short, works that express an idea – through mediums such as writing, singing, painting or recording music – are protected by copyright, but the idea(s) behind those finished products are not. For example, if a particular speech inspires me to write a political thriller, the eventual manuscript will be protected by copyright, but other people will still be free to find inspiration in the speech.
Nominative fair use of trademarks
To that end, in the course of my work as a writer, author, blogger and journalist, I make incidental and nominative fair use of trademarked titles, terms, names and slogans where necessary to report, criticise, educate, research or parody said items for communal benefit.
I may report on universally beloved football clubs, for instance, or analyse the lyrics of a musician who retains strict protection of their intellectual property rights. All such uses of copyrighted and trademarked content are undertaken in the spirit of factual coverage for the public interest, with no intentions kept to influence commercial trading. Moreover, no attempt is made, nor intention kept, to exploit such trademarked brands by including them in articles or written content.
Where trademarked and copyrighted titles, terms, names and slogans are used incidentally, use of said items does not constitute sponsorship nor endorsement – neither for me, nor by me. All views expressed on this website, and in any associated products, are mine alone, and they do not reflect upon any organisation(s) or individual(s) with which I’m contracted or associated.
Please see my free speech charter for more information.
Third party suppliers and external links
For instance, Shopify is my content management system. It is the platform I use to build and host this website. Shopify therefore allows me to publish articles, but the contents of those articles do not represent Shopify’s views, nor should they reflect upon Shopify in any way as an organisation. I take full ownership and responsibility for all feedback, complaints and issues raised with regard to content written and published by me that is subsequently published on Shopify’s platform - access to which I receive on a contracted basis. That distinction should be acknowledged by readers and website users who wish to raise any concerns.
By the same token, I will not be held responsible for the accuracy and content of external links embedded within my own website – for instance, where I share a hyperlink to a Wikipedia entry while reporting on a certain topic. Such links are included in the interest of adding context for readers, who should derive their own interpretations from them in terms of debate, education and critical analysis. Due diligence will be undertaken in selecting appropriate links so they do not offend, harm or promote embellishment, but ultimate responsibility for such perceived transgressions lies with the respective copyright holder.
Where copyright holders request details about my nominative use of their work, all queries will be answered with a full and frank explanation. Where requested, all uses of copyrighted material will be taken down immediately, accompanied by an apology, without recourse to litigation. However, all steps are taken to avoid unfair and unwanted usage of copyrighted materials, and these processes are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Defining my own copyright protection
All rights to all original works published on this website are reserved by Ryan Ferguson and should not be reproduced or reused without his expressed written consent. Anybody found to have copied or plagiarise any said protected works – in part or in full – will be challenged and potentially prosecuted.
Minimal use of free-sourced public domain photography
I make minimal use of imagery and photography on this website, complying fully with copyright legislation. All photographs and graphics used belong to me, with a few exceptions, outlined below.
I have sought and received official written permission from a number of organisations – including Tranmere Rovers Football Club and South Wirral High School – to use their copyrighted photographs on my not-for-profit website.
I maintain a thorough database of all digital assets used on this website, including cross-referenced screenshots of origin in the interests of etymological traceability. Evidence of all licensing and copyright permission agreements are available upon request.
I have previously been targeted by unscrupulous organisations claiming to act on behalf of copyright holders, enforcing penalties and fines for supposed historical usage of said copyrighted works on my website. I have successfully defended against these claims with use of my fully transparent system, and I will not hesitate to seek legal advice if confronted with such bogus allegations in the future. I retain the services of a leading international law firm, which supports me on such matters.
Libel, defamation and slander
Similarly, all reporting on this website is – to the best of my knowledge – true at the point of publication or otherwise earmarked as opinion, negating the viability of disputes related to libel or defamation.
"It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the following conditions are met. The first condition is that the statement complained of was a statement of opinion." - Defamation Act 2013.
I adhere to a meticulous research process that includes extensive vetting of sources and critical analysis of interview materials, and I never publish content of dubious provenance. As detailed in my free speech charter and about page, I publish work purely in the public interest, rather than to benefit commercially.
"It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the statement complained of was, or formed part of, a statement on a matter of public interest, and the defendant reasonably believed that publishing the statement complained of was in the public interest." - Defamation Act 2013.
By way of context, the statute of limitation for defamation and libel claims is one year from the date a contentious article was published online. As such, issues pertaining to content written and published outside that limitation window will be settled amicably, without the option of legal mediation.
"A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. Harm to the reputation of a body that trades for profit is not 'serious harm' unless it has caused or is likely to cause the body serious financial loss." - Defamation Act 2013.
Finally, for defamation claims to succeed, claimants must prove that serious financial loss was caused to themselves or their organisation(s) as a direct result of the contentious article or statement. Prosecution is therefore unlikely where an author or publisher disseminates said contentious article or statement to a small, niche audience such as mine.
Approved by: Ryan Ferguson
Last reviewed: 03 December 2023