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posted on Fri, Dec 07 '18 under tag: free-culture

If you use screenshots of various web pages or apps to make a presentation, can you license the presentation freely?

Putting together screenshots from webpages is a dead simple way of making presentations. I have used it in the recent past when I was speaking to a colloquium on strengthening antibiotic stewardship. I have seen Sunil Abraham doing it.

With Firefox’s new screenshot feature it is dead simple to take a screenshot and copy it to the clipboard. This can easily be pasted on any presentation software (there is no need to save the image to file system and then import it with multiple clicks).

But what about license?

I strongly advocate free licensing for any content you create including presentations. But is it okay for you to license a presentation with screenshots of various websites in it freely?

The answer is, mostly no.

As the Wikimedia Commons page on screenshots quite simply answers it:

“Screenshots are derivative works and as such subject to the copyright of the displayed content”

In other words, unless you are taking screenshots of content which are itself freely licensed (say screenshot of a page from zen habits which is my favourite blog), you cannot reuse them in your freely distributed presentation.

Even using them legally in your presentations depends on how fair use is defined