[Air-L] Using screen captures in Thesis paper

Maria Eronen m85327 at student.uwasa.fi
Wed Jul 18 09:22:42 PDT 2012

Hi everybody,

This is a question that also I've been pondering at the moment. I'm  
analyzing the content of some celebrity gossip sites and showing a  
print screen of the site's layout to my readers would be significant.

But the problem is that those sites are typically overloaded with  
celebrity images, which makes the copyright issue a tough question (By  
no means, I'm going to ask separately the permission of every single  
photographer or media corporation behind those pictures).

On the one hand, I would say that if you can justify using print  
screen pictures as a part of your analysis, the use falls into the  
category of fair use (although most of websites deny any use of  
content for any other reasons than merely personal and informational  
ones). The another problem I have faced is that academic journals have  
commercial interests as well (nowadays more and more), so it's not so  
simple. I would say that the use of print screen pictures would fall  
into "fair use" easier when it concerns thesis papers, not articles  
meant for academic journals. And if my thesis paper would not be  
published online, I would not hesitate using a print screen picture if  
I am able to justify the use.

Anyway, I think it's a shame that some copyright issues try to hinder  
effective academic critique, or at least, make it very complicated.


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