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Thread: Copyright Issues? Or Overthinking It?

  1. #1

    Default Copyright Issues? Or Overthinking It?

    Hi, All You Aviation People,

    Being both an aviation enthusiast and a photographer, I have loved flight sim screenshots for decades. And whether you love or hate MSFS 2020 (or fall somewhere in between), it is capable of amazing visuals and gives you excellent control over cameras and your environment. So I've amassed a decent collection of images over the last year and a half. But what to do with all of them?

    I decided that I could share them with the community and return a little something to them for their years of friendship, help, and good times by making a slideshow screen saver (Windows 10/11) and distribute it for free to the flight simulator community. I also included a readme file that listed all the 3rd party aircraft and scenery use while making the images. And that's when the gremlin of potential copyright issues reared its ugly head.

    Would 3rd party developers of aircraft and scenery have a problem publishing screenshots that include their creations? Generally, as they are all listed in the accompanying readme file, this should be good for their sales, creating additional exposure and interest. But you never know. And I don't have time to go asking each one if they're OK with it. There is no money involved; the whole thing would be free.

    Any thoughts on the matter? Any experts out there familiar with the legal concept of Fair Use? An alternative would be to just post a new screenshot here in this forum every day. Not as good, but at least it could be fun.

    Thanks for any help you can provide. Attaching an example (resized down to 1600 pixels in width, and shows FlyingIron Simulation's P-38L recreating a fake recon flight over the coast of France prior to D-Day - or something like that).

    Tony.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lockheed P-38L 0001 small.jpg 
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Size:	405.3 KB 
ID:	230049

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Frankly unless you're planning on charging for your file, what you're suggesting is pretty similar to what hundreds of people do here per week. Having said that, I've never seen a separate read-me file listing but I and often others frequently mention the software whether payware of freeware we're using.

    Best answer contact a moderator, perhaps show an example.

    Good luck with your project! It sounds like fun for everyone.

    Michael
    Being an old chopper guy I usually fly low and slow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Can the builder of my home claim the rights to a photograph of it?

    Cheers!

  4. #4
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    I know what you mean, as you say you are doing it for free and it is a kind of advert for their work. Most of the aircraft builders only object if you uploaded the actual model somewhere else without asking them, but as for the picture they post a few of the aircraft anyway to advertise it so you are just adding to it.
    But... There is always one who might object and it would be a shame if that one was in the middle of the pack you put on disk.

    Col.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks so much, everyone, for your kind replies and advice. I believe I'll go ahead and post it in the file library here at FlightSim.com. If a developer of one of the products has a problem with it, which I think is highly unlikely, I can remove images featuring their product(s) and repost it. I'll ftp it up in the next few days.

    You people are the best!

    Tony.

  6. #6

    Default

    Posted the screen saver here this morning, and it should be available when Nels is able to add it to the library. Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I am not an attorney, so this isn't legal advice. That said, I think there is some reasonable understanding of what would be acceptable and what might create a problem. In general, the purpose of copyright is to protect the original creator from someone replicating their work. Thus you are free to take a photo of a Honda Civic in your driveway. A screenshot of a Boeing 757 no more enables you to model a 757 any more than a photo of an actual 757.
    Now where you could create problems, is if you copied a screenshot from the creators website or copied a screenshot from a forum posted by someone else, and reposted those shots in your compilation.
    I7-9700K, RTX-2070, Asus Strix Z-390-H MB, 32gb G Skill 3000 CL15, Corsair Obsidian 750D case, WD Black 1tb M.2, Crucial CT500MX SSD, Seasonic Prime 750W Titanium PSU

  8. #8
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    I have often seen some of my screenshots from this forum in Google images when I am looking for a certain aircraft and also many other peeps screenshots can I sue Google lol?

    Col.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ColR1948 View Post
    I have often seen some of my screenshots from this forum in Google images when I am looking for a certain aircraft and also many other peeps screenshots can I sue Google lol?

    Col.
    No, but you could sue someone who copied the image and claimed it as their own, especially if they were to make money from it.

    To the OP: No money, no problem. Just don't add any captions like "This plane is cr#p."
    Last edited by ianhr; 05-05-2022 at 09:29 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I believe to formally obtain copyright protection on a particular (and perhaps unique) item , one must apply for it (in the U.S.) thru the United Sates Copyright Office...

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