Are you allowed to take screen shots of websites you are talking about in an ebook?

21 replies
Are you allowed to take screen shots of websites you are talking about in an ebook?

I am putting together an ebook and I would like to know if I am allowed to take screen shots or even videos on how to use the website? And add it to my ebook?

Thanks in Advance!

Richard
#allowed #ebook #screen #shots #talking #websites
  • Profile picture of the author Jay Truman
    If in doubt, Ask the site owner
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    Think about your question carefully. You are saying that you are writing about web sites without the owners of the web sites being aware and that you want to use screen shots of the web sites, also without the owner being aware.

    I think a lot will depend upon what you say, how you say it and how long it will take for the owners of the web sites to discover what you have done.

    Your excuse that asking permission takes too long is just a little too cavalier for my taste.
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    • Profile picture of the author BuildItForFree
      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      Think about your question carefully. You are saying that you are writing about web sites without the owners of the web sites being aware and that you want to use screen shots of the web sites, also without the owner being aware.

      I think a lot will depend upon what you say, how you say it and how long it will take for the owners of the web sites to discover what you have done.

      Your excuse that asking permission takes too long is just a little too cavalier for my taste.
      I think you are misunderstanding me.

      My Question is it legal to do without asking permission. If not then either I won't take the screen shots or I will seek permission even if it takes a long time.

      The purpose of this thread is to learn if I am writing a review/recommendation about a website, can I take a screen shot to post with my review.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kingshouse
        Originally Posted by BuildItForFree View Post

        I think you are misunderstanding me.

        My Question is it legal to do without asking permission. If not then either I won't take the screen shots or I will seek permission even if it takes a long time.

        The purpose of this thread is to learn if I am writing a review/recommendation about a website, can I take a screen shot to post with my review.
        All it takes is a simple email to the owner of the site.

        Quite frankly if they don't respond then try others. There are lots of websites out there.

        I think most webmasters will probably say yes once you convince them you are genuine

        No point getting into trouble over nothing!

        Let integrity reign....

        There's my few pennies

        Will D
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  • Profile picture of the author The Pension Guy
    If it is just to use it as an "image" to illustrate the text... I don't see why not. It happens automatically every day with every website. Think "snap preview anywhere": you hover a link to a website and the snapshot of the site pops up.
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  • Profile picture of the author CliveG
    I would play safe with this and seek permission. Surely it's worth doing if you are going to the trouble of preparing a video. They may even help you. I would in their position as you would be promoting my site, but not everyone sees it that way.

    As far as the legal side is concerned, I am not a lawyer, but if, for example, you reproduce a page that contains content that you can read then that is probably a copyright violation in most jurisdictions. If you show a web page as a postage stamp size link then that might be OK. If you have a concern you should consult a lawyer - at least one reads this forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author mejordecuba
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author halfpoint
      Angela and Paul include screenshots of every site in their backlink packets.

      Maybe you could ask one of them..

      I doubt either of them ask the sites permission considering the reaction of a couple of the sites when everyone started putting backlinks on them.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Lancaster
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    • Profile picture of the author BuildItForFree
      Originally Posted by James Lancaster View Post

      I think it's ok to include screenshots and videos IF the site is public.
      It can be seen by everyone, I think it's totally ok.
      do you think it would make a difference if the screenshot was on a free public website as opposed to an ebook that people pay for?
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I've seen serveral print books that show snapshots of websites
    and in their legalise there is no indication that they asked permission
    of these websites to print these pictures.

    I would think it is a acceptable practice, but again this is not legal
    advice. Most books dealing with online subjects do this all the time.

    I've used these in my ebooks as well and never had a complain.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Frankie D
    If not I'm in big trouble...
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  • Profile picture of the author ic7
    Richard,

    Yes, it's Ok. It is considered Fair Use. Of course, it depends on certain factors. It's best to limit the screenshot to a portion of the page quoted, and not to take screenshots of a whole bunch of pages.

    Ask the Law Geek: Is publishing screenshots Fair Use? - Copyright - Lifehacker

    The 'Fair Use' Rule: When Use of Copyrighted Material is Acceptable


    Paul




    Originally Posted by BuildItForFree View Post

    Are you allowed to take screen shots of websites you are talking about in an ebook?

    I am putting together an ebook and I would like to know if I am allowed to take screen shots or even videos on how to use the website? And add it to my ebook?

    Thanks in Advance!

    Richard
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  • Profile picture of the author SKWeaver
    Paul - great response. Thanks for the links. I've never really understood fair use (and obviously never took the time to figure it out). I guess now I can justify the gazillions of screenshots I've been using.
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  • Profile picture of the author kkchoon
    I do that on all my ebooks, no one has such questions until now...
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalboyz
    should be no problem.but to be safe,u can ask permission from the owner of the website.
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    • Profile picture of the author barbling
      What I do whenever I include screenshots is to make the images in my pdf clickable as WELL as pointing the reader to the actual link as well.

      Anything that can drive targeted traffic to another site is a good thing to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I've seen several print books that show snapshots of websites
    and in their legalise there is no indication that they asked permission
    of these websites to print these pictures.

    I would think it is a acceptable practice, but again this is not legal
    advice. Most books dealing with online subjects do this all the time.
    I'm the author of a book that has a lot of screen shots in it. My publisher (which went bankrupt during the dot-com bust because of circumstances beyond their control) published a lot of computer-related books and did not ask me to get permission for any screen shots.

    However, other publishers are ultra-careful and require signed permissions for just about everything.

    In my understanding (I'm not a lawyer), the reason you may not need permission to publish screen shots is that if you are commenting critically on these web sites, using them to illustrate a positive or negative point, it is considered "fair use." If you are using web site screen shots just as decoration, then this is not "fair use" and would require signed permission and possibly a permission fee.

    Things get really tricky if you are using screen shots of sites that are not publicly available, however. In that instance, you should probably ask permission of the site owner.

    Marcia Yudkin
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