Screenshots vs. copyrights...

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  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
    DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years ago

    If writing an article on strategies for a particular game, would a screenshot or two be considered copyright infringement, or would it come under "fair use?"

    1. Matthew Meyer profile image71
      Matthew Meyerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      You should ask permission to use a screen shot as it could contain copyrighted information. Fair use usually does not cover commercial usage and a Hub with ads enabled would likely be commercial.

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
        DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Sigh--dangit!  and games are HARD to track down who the actual maker is... there are often 3 or more entities listed in the loading screen, and then complicated by "distributed by" in some cases, so knowing WHO actually owns the copyright would be a serious challenge.  sad

        1. lobobrandon profile image89
          lobobrandonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Actually writing a guide is kind of promotional. Most gaming companies wouldn't mind. But then again it's your decision. I would go for it. There are so many tutorials out there and most people never asked for permission to take screenshots. Unless the stuff is confidential, I don't see a problem with a strategy guide.

          1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
            DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Right--I could see a problem if one was exposing part of the programming code--but a single screenshot of a small section of the game?  And a still, not even a video, so no one should be able to reverse engineer the action...

            I'll think about it..thanks.

        2. RonElFran profile image98
          RonElFranposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          "Commercial" use in the sense that it will appear in a for-profit publication does not necessarily mean the content doesn't fall under fair use. Here is a quote from the Stanford University site (

          "The National Enquirer and USA Today conducted telephone polls about the musical group New Kids on the Block. Use of the names and images of the members of the group to publicize the newspapers’ profit-making telephone numbers did not require permission because it was primarily for purposes of 'news gathering and dissemination.' (New Kids on the Block v. News America Publishing Inc., 971 F.2d 302 (9th Cir. 1992).)"

          If use in publications that generate income from ads or subscriptions precluded claims of fair use, newspapers, magazines, textbooks, etc would be hamstrung. If your use of the material is primarily for critical or educational purposes, rather than selling the content itself to make money, I think the precedents show that a fair use claim is probably justified. But, let me be quick to add, I'm no authority on the subject. I'm not sure anyone is.

          1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
            DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks, Ron.  I'm thinking to update an already-published hub to include screenshots, for better clarity in the explanations....

          2. makingamark profile image70
            makingamarkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            but "news reporting and dissemination" has always had a "fair use" exemption - that's nothing new

            However a hub is not news!

            1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
              DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              No--but they can be "educational."

              1. makingamark profile image70
                makingamarkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Good luck to you if you want to try that exemption and you earn money (i.e. are commercial) with your hub.

                However if you want to avoid a legal case you might want to check out Columbia University's Fair Use Checklist
                * … klist.html and
                * … cklist.pdf and in particular the contraindicators (eg "commercial") for the claim of a fair use exemption.

                Put simply - here's the question you need to answer.
                If you want to create an educational site why do you create it on HubPages?

                There are plenty of sites you can use which enable you to put the information online at absolutely no cost to yourself - ones which are simple and easy to use.

                So why HubPages if all you want to do is educate?

  2. meganelijah profile image55
    meganelijahposted 3 years ago

    hey why isn't news


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