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Legal limitations of Fair Use

Currently no English translations of rabbinic works are copyright-free. The texts on this site are all protected by copyright laws and should not be copied for commercial use or any use which will compromise their commercial value.

The Soncino Talmud has been available on the web in large quantities for some time, especialy at (see their copyright notice). The publishers have chosen not to defend their copyright. This does not mean this text can be considered to be in the Public Domain, but it is an indication that the copyright holders have been generous in their support of serious scholarship.

The Hebrew texts have been prepared and corrected by and are not in the Public Domain, though Mechon-Mamre generously include these texts in their free program MTR which can be downloaded by any scholar. We recommend that you download their MTR program to indicate that you accept their offer of sharing their work with you.

Other translations on this site are protected by a very strict interpretation of the law of 'fair use'. Fair Use is a provision in the law of copyright by which limited portions of copyright text can be made available for scholarly purposes. The amounts of text are not defined by law, so this site errs on the side of caution, by allowing a reader to see only no more than three of the thousands of portions of each text per day. This means that even if someone viewed the maximum number of texts every day for a year, they would only have seen less than one tenth of the whole.

There is a 'security delay' of 24 hours when this site is accessed on a computer for the first time, or when you all the cookies are wiped off a computer which has been used for this site. During this 'security delay', no copyrighted texts can be viewed. This delay is necessary to prevent Fair Use abuses.

No charge is made for viewing the texts on this site. All users have free access to all the texts, within the limitations of 'fair use'. Membership payments relate only to the search mechanism of this site. Members can perform searches on more than one computer, but only one computer at a time. If more than one person uses the same login, they will restrict the number of texts which can be viewed by the real member under the Fair Use restrictions.

Users are encouraged to cite the published version of these texts, and not the versions on this site. While every care has been taken to faithfully reproduce the printed text, the versions on this site may contain errors and they do not benefit from the careful formatting and other helpful additions in the printed works. In particular, many published works contain footnotes, introductions and other helps for the reader.

David Instone-Brewer 2008