In this particular answer, Dirty-Flow, is adding pictures as well.

Do they infringe the copyright protection and is this general practice on Sports Beta?

  • Refer here. – user527 Jul 4 '13 at 16:45

In my other meta question about copyright and fair use, I argued that the way that we had been using game images may not be fair use.

Fair use is a case-by-case analysis, so we can't make a blanket statement about images being copyright infringements. Even a case-by-case analysis is difficult and error-prone.

Our content is expected to be licenced as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported). There are few questions to consider when deciding if an image is appropriate for Stackexchange.

  1. Does somebody own copyright to the images?

    • In the US, the answer is generally yes, unless the photographer has been dead for 70 years.
  2. Has the owner issued a licence for us to use the photos that is consistent with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported)?

    • Public domain content, or content from Wikipedia (if we give attribution) are two examples that we can copy.
  3. Even if somebody owns copyright to the images, and has not granted a licence for us to use the photos, our use could still be fair use, but that is a case-by-case analysis that needs to consider 4 factors:

    1. The purpose and nature of the use
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
    4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

    Things that tend to sway the balance towards a finding of fair use are:

    • A transformative use of the original work.
    • Using as little of the original work as is needed for our purposes.
    • If what is taken from the original work is not a substantial part of the original (where substantial is not about amount, but about whether the heart of the work has been taken)
    • If our use does not take away from the owner's ability to reap the benefits of their work.

Wikipedia handles this by using a standard that is much much stricter than fair use for deciding whether or not to use copyrighted material in their encyclopedia, so that they are always on the fair-use side of the line.

Regarding Dirty-Flow's answer, in my opinion, this entire answer (not just the images) is a copyright violation that would not be covered under a fair use exception, and we shouldn't pass it off to our readers as licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported).

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