Physics, Feynman and copyright

Dear readers,

I took my blog offline 10 days ago because I got an email from Mr. Gottlieb, which I copied below. Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Pfeiffer did mankind a favor by publishing Feynman’s seminal Lectures on Physics online. While doing so, however, they reclaim on what is basically a very standard textbook which was published almost 60 years ago.

I think I’ve done my utmost to properly attribute material. The e-links go straight to the online edition, and the name and site of this blog ( say it all. I also think I’ve done my best to put Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Pfeiffer in the picture in the ‘About‘ section of this blog, where I actually recommend you do not read this blog but just buy the Lectures (or use their site) and grind through them yourself.

Fortunately, I am one of the lucky people to have an original 1963 print copy and I should, therefore, probably change all references and refer to this original edition. I am sure Richard Feynman would have approved of that.

In fact, I was thinking of fundamentally reviewing all of my blog posts anyway as part of the insights I gained while searching for a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics, which I published on Phil Gibb’s site as well as on

Indeed, I now think Feynman was very close to a full and complete realist interpretation of quantum mechanics. In fact, when I re-read his lectures on electromagnetic mass and his classical explanations of the spin and angular momentum of an electron, it makes me think he privately must have had such realist interpretation. But then he probably couldn’t say so as a mainstream academic—and especially not as one who was eager to get a Nobel Prize.

He got one in 1965, together with Schwinger and Tomonaga. He, therefore, had huge stakes in keeping the ‘mystery’ alive and ensuring the survival of gauge and quantum field theories and all of the associated nonsense.

Jean Louis Van Belle

20 February 2020 (20/02/2020)

Post-scriptum (dated 23 February 2020): We’ll do our best to make Mr. Gottlieb happy. 🙂 I was planning to review the whole site anyway to add some references here and there to my more recent models of the photon, the electron and the proton. Plus some other corrections so as to incorporate some more recent insights. In the process, I’ll check on the links. I will probably refer to the original 1963 print edition instead of the online edition. Too bad Mr. Gottlieb doesn’t understand it’s people like me who direct (rather than divert) traffic to it.

—–Original Message—–
From: Michael A. Gottlieb <>
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2020 5:01 PM
To: Support <>
Cc: Jean Louis Van Belle <>; Adam Cochran <>
Subject: Re: [-] DMCA submission from


I sent you two DMCA notices because when I sent the first one (detailed below) I did not understand the kinds of links to the material you would accept in your notice. So I sent links to Mr. Van Belle’s posts (below) in which the copyrighted material is infringed. However, after sending that I realized I could be (and should be) more specific, so I sent a second DMCA notice (which you’ve also acknowledged) with links to specific copyrighted material that is being violated, namely, figures and images of equations copied from the online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics on which I share copyright with Caltech and Rudolf Pfeiffer.

Mr. Van Belle would like to make “Fair Use” of the figures in The Feynman Lectures on Physics, and Caltech, myself and Rudolf Pfeiffer welcome him to do so. The problem is, that he isn’t doing that, because Fair Use requires proper attribution, which Mr. Van Belle is not giving our material.

Two years ago we contacted Mr. Van Belle about another one of his blogs in which our copyrighted material is similarly infringed. [He did not mention at that time the fact he had another (WordPress) blog (the one I am complaining about now) in which he was similarly infringing.]  In our letter Caltech’s Office of the General Counsel provides Mr. Van Belle with instructions on how to attribute our copyrighted material when it is re-published in his blogs for “Fair Use”. I have copied that letter below.

I would like to retract this DMCA notice (but not the other one I sent, concerning images), because, as I wrote above, this one may be too broad. We are specifically concerned about images (figures and images of equations) that Mr. Van Belle has copied from and is using in his blog without proper attribution. This is addressed in the second DMCA notice I sent you, and which you’ve acknowledged under separate cover.

(We are also concerned about copyrighted text Mr. Van Belle has copied where it is not properly attributed – specifically, the text of exercises in our book, Exercises for The Feynman Lectures on Physics, which is the subject of his WordPress blog – but we prefer to deal with that separately, as it violates a different copyright.)

This email is copied to Caltech’s Office of the General Counsel and to Mr. Van Belle.

Best regards,

Michael Gottlieb

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s