Be grateful if anybody could answer a few question I have on image copyright.
I recently found an image posted on a forum which I thought would be ideal for a website I was creating. Researching a bit further I found that the image was from a national newspaper website. Is this ok to be posted on a forum, and secondly if I were to use it on a website could I get in trouble?
What’s the rules on screenshots? Say you wanted an image taken from a movie, went to youtube and paused the movie trailer and took a screenshot, then cropped it in photoshop. Could that screenshot be used on a website? Or does this fall under copyright infringement?
Screen shots and photo manips are not okay and yes if you use them without first getting permission from the owner of the original, it is copyright infringement.
Does this include every kind of screenshot? Sure, i can understand screenshots of original images is a no no, but I was talking about screenshots of videos. If It’s ok to embed these videos is it ok to take a still image of the video?
Are you using the word liable as in legally or looking for Vegas odds?
The forum owner’s ISP will get a takedown notice. The ISP has the option of taking down the whole site. Probability argues they will pass this notice on to the forum operator. The operator has the option of what to do with the forum member, from warning to ban.
Do not look to forum posts for legal advice. Do not base your actions on opinions found in a forum as if they were legal advice. It isn’t.
Many people, found innocent of infringement, were brought to trial and after thousands of dollars expended, the findings were in their favor. They weren’t liable, but in the larger scheme of things, it didn’t matter.
The safest solution is ALWAYS to ask the owner of the image for permission to use it. If you have permission in writing then it doesn’t matter that the image is copyright because the owner of the copyright has given you permission. If you have trouble later over using the image then the written permission will get you out of it.
What is a screen shot but for a virtual photograph? What if you take a screenshot of a photograph? Do you suppose that it’s yours to use then? If you do, you suppose wrong.
Or perhaps you’re thinking that an image from a video is only a “part” of the video? How does that differ from a paragraph of text out of a book? Here’s your answer. It doesn’t.
As DCrux said, you shouldn’t be asking for legal advice in a forum. Consult an attorney. If you are trying to figure out how to manipulate the law to make it meet your desires, you’re going to need one eventually anyway.
I tend to follow the guidelines that Wiley uses (their legal team have general rules about what requires 3rd party consent) and on the case of screenshots:
We do not need permission to use one or several simple sample screen shots of a web site. However, we do need to get permission if the site contains extensive proprietary information or if we want to use a larger number of screen shots that demonstrate a substantial amount of information that is presented on the site. Also, we do not have to obtain permission for anything else contained in the website like trademarks, except perhaps photos which may be copyrighted.
Any image produced in the form of a screenshot is still protected by copyright as it qualifies as a derivative work of the original protected item, of course it depends on the content as to whether it is owned by anyone. In the case of a newspaper article it would be particularly important as the content has a level of value which images may not have (contextual content). Generally people don’t have a problem with the use of screenshot’s as it’s usually tastefully done with the purpose of showcasing a website or design (which gives promotion). In the case of videos you are taking a still of an owned piece of media which violates copyright law (in the same way that making a direct copy of the video would be). All in all, no you technically shouldn’t do it however it would be a very petty organization to file a takedown notice for the sake of a screenshot (unless it really detracts from their potential business earnings). I tend to use screenshot’s in projects and have never had an issue with it’s use, though I don’t tend to ask permission (which I probably should) I do make it as clear as possible who the legal owner is (when I can).
Thanks, Alex, thats very helpful. I wonder how sites/companies feel when screenshots of their site are used in a negative way. I’ve seen this done on smashingmagazine where they point out mistakes that sites have made in their design.
It’s always an issue of contention, what constitutes fair use and when you start stepping on toes (with negative points however valid) it can cause more friction than intended. I am not a lawyer (making it clear here) however I can’t see the harm in screenshot’s unless you are detracting from the businesses potential profits (beyond your rights for freedom of speech). Perhaps the safest thing to say is, “when in doubt, get permission” and leave it at that.