Game Screenshots and Fair Use (or Dealing)

Many publishers ask researchers to secure copyright owners permissions for screenshots for academic works. However, typical academic use falls under fair use. Jesper Juul writes that following argument (that permissions is not needed) can and should be used when publishers ask the permissions:

  1. Precedent: Video game reviews, commentary, as well as a large body of academic scholarship uses video game screenshots under assumptions of fair use.
  2. The court decision of U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals SONY v BLEEM 9917137v2 ruled that screenshots can be used under fair use (
  3. To assert the copyright of the game developers, we have added game developer and publication year under each image.

Published by lankoski

Petri Lankoski, D.Arts, is a Associate Professor in Game Studies at the school of Communication, Media and IT at the Södertörn University, Sweden. His research focuses on game design, game characters, role-playing, and playing experience. Petri has been concentrating on single-player video games but researched also (multi-player) pnp and live-action role-playing games. This blog focuses on his research on games and related things.

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