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All art is but imitation of nature.

- Seneca, Epistles

UM Free Arts License Agreement 共享藝術授權協定

(End-User License Agreement for Free Arts Owned by Uncle Ming's Gallery)
- Version 1.01 -


The UM Free Art License is a free license for artworks created and owned by Uncle Ming's Gallery. All the artworks and documentation including this agreement except otherwise stated are copyrighted by Uncle Ming's Gallery. This license agreement is a legal agreement between you, either an individual or a single legal entity, and Uncle Ming's Gallery for the images released under the category as stated above. By clicking and downloading the image hosted on the web, you are bound to accept the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Terms and Conditions

1. Free Arts License

This grant you a license to use the artwork as identified above free of charge. Except otherwise specified, you may download, store, copy and distribute the artwork files provided under the category of free arts for non-commercial use free of any charges on condition that you keep the all the copyright stamps intact. Resale of this artwork as independent product is strictly forbidden.

2. Additional Restriction to Copyrighted Materials of Third Party

2.1 All the fonts, symbols or clip art displayed in the font, symbol or clip art navigation list are shown for reference only. They belong to their respective owners. The original source file(s) of the font(s) or symbol(s) in use cannot be sold as an independent product.

2.2 Some of the images may contain logos, trademarks, company names or identifiable entities. They belong to their respective owners. This license does not suggest any exemption to the use of them. You are not allowed to create scandalous, obscene or immoral works with them or relate them to identifiable individuals or entities in a manner suggesting their association or endorsement of any product, service or opinion. In such a case, you must liable to all the legal responsibilities for your abuse.

2.3 The creation and display of the artworks may involve other third party softwares. They belong to their respective owners and should not be downloaded, copied or distributed along with the images as freeware.

3. Additional Restriction to the Use of Images, sounds or video clips Involving Identifiable People or Entity

You are not allowed to create scandalous, obscene or immoral works with them or relate them to identifiable individuals or entities in a manner suggesting their association or endorsement of any product, service or opinion. In such a case, you must liable to all the legal responsibilities for your abuse.  If such video clip is shown using the streaming technology such as embeded "swf" or "flv" but not a  downloadable  file, you are not allowed to circumvent theprotection against unauthorized download and abuse of the said video. However,  you may hyperlink the page freely.

4. Disclaimer

There is no warranty of any kind for the artworks.

End of the Terms and Conditions

Supplementary Notice

Not all of the images or sounds are allowed to be used for commercial purpose. All interested parties who want to use  any image or sound track under this category for commercial purpose must apply for permission at first. Please refer to the following web pages for details or sent email to  

Thank you very much for your interest and appreciation. It's always our pleasure to share our experience with you.

Licenser: Uncle Ming's Gallery,
Dec 1, 2008

Our Belief in Sharing

After releasing our stock photos for public sharing for more than 1 year, we consolidate our belief in our move to embrace free licence. Last year we released our calendar under creative common licence but we decided to releasae our works under our own free licence for some considerations. Now it's time for us to tell the public our thinking.

Someone claim that the majority of people may enjoy wealth generated from their creative work. So our legislators  have drafted and passed a series of law for the protection of intellectual property. However, under the copyright ordinance, we cannot be sure if a piece of work is allowed to be copied, shared, distributed, reproduced or modified without a complete knowledge about the details of license even though we are willing to pay for the use of it. For the peace of mind, we must create everything from the very beginning together with a thorough prior art search confirming that there is no similar wrok in the world.  However, the new ordinances have not helped too much in protecting our creative works. Customers, including government departments, are expecting "free  demo design service" early  in the stage of tendering quotation for jobs involving the elements of creation.    

The problem is not limited to this. Nobody is able to tell if his idea would coinside with someone living and working in elsewhere of the world. This intrinsic defect of the so-called intellectual property have given rise to the overwhelming rent seeking activities of a group of professional litigators who take advantages from champerty and maintenance. These brave new ordinances, to some extent, have legalized their legal extortion from innocent people. In Hong Kong, their victims are mainly SMEs, especially small retailers or service providers. It's hardly for outsiders to imagine how and why a well lawful and disciplined retailer keep receiveing legal letters from prominent law firms representing prominent content providers or trademark owners claiming hundred thousands dollars for the infringement of copyright just for selling stationery of dollars and cents only because it  is deemed by these smart heads to be "too similar" to what they possess. In Western countries, even the wealthy gigantic corporates are their targets. 

Then some people stood up and vowed that this "permission culture" was not the thing they want but that they valued the joy of sharing and recognition of their idea more than money. They realize that whether  or not a piece of work can generate profit relies on the popularity but not the promise of law. In software industry, some vendors introduce the idea of "SAAS" (software as a service) and support the open source movement. In creative industry, some artists start to release their work free of charge to the public for gaining the  popularity and make their money from the provision of service. Thus a number of free license like "creative common", "copyleft", "wiki-common" or "GPL" were created to get around the restriction of copyright which is granted to the creator automatically as a natural right by most of the prevailing legal systems in our world. To the astonishment of a lot of ordinary people, in just a few years, more and more authors have joined the camp of "free culture" and released their work under various kinds of free license.  They contribute their effort in building a more beautiful world. 

However, do not confuss piracy with "free culture".  Advocates of free culture only share with others their own creation but not pirated property from others. Actually, they respect the right of the author of all intellectual property. Whether or not to release their work under free license remain their own choice. 

This point is important when using our hyper-links to these 3rd party web site providing free resources to artists all over the world. We respect the will and the right of the author of all intellectual properties. When we provide the information and hyper-link of these web-sites, we believe that their activities and content are lawful and ethical. Hence, before you visit those webs, please read our disclaimer once again. If you find any abuse or obsession, please email to "".

Taking the most pragmatic point of view, the action of releasing free works to the public may be regarded as a "free demo service" like what a contractor provides in  tendering a quotation for a project. Nevertheless, as a humble person, we should believe in the pure intention of some people who only demand for  echo in return for what they have shared with  the world.

- 11/12/2008