D&D Wiki talk:Copyrights

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Fair use Guidelines (for the U.S.)[edit]

A number of issues need to be taken in to account for fair use guidelines. First, transformitive works are generally considered legal, so if you modify something based on something else, it's perfectly fine and does not violate copyright laws. Secondly, it's not a violation of copyright laws if you don't intend to sell something, so if you make your own fan-fiction, this is perfectly legal, and you don't owe royalty's or the like. The reason why it's legal for web forums to allow for people to write their own fan-fictions of harry potter, Star wars etc. and post them is that these are not being published by the forum in the way a book publisher would publish them. This website does not control everything it's user's post, and thus cannot violate copyright laws just because a user uploads something, even if it would violate copyright laws if they tried to sell it. Thus, the same rules do not apply.

If you take a picture from another source and add a caption to it, or add writing to it, this is considered transformative, and as long as your picture provided in the article is captioned or modified in some way, even for commercial use it's often considered transformative. Crediting the original owner does not give you automatic permission to use it, although it can be helpful, instead what you need to do is make sure it's transformative in some way. Adapting some from another medium, such as Dungeons and Dragons for example, and changing it to work with another medium (let's say changing a race from 4e over to 5e), is considered transformative, and so this does not violate copyright laws. However, a verbatim copy from another medium or to reuse it for the same intended purpose would be a copyright violation. A verbatim copy is also not necessarily illegal, if it's for non-commercial use. As a user on this forum that uploads it is not selling it, it would not qualify for commercial use. I thought I'd clarify this since there are a large amount of misconceptions on the issue. A forum or website like this where you use other photographs and ideas is considered transformative in most circumstances, as you are using it for a different medium or in a different way. It is also okay to upload pictures you do not own the copyright too, for the same reasons. Thumbnails are also considered fair use (with google making it's own thumbnails for images, for example), so using slightly resized images has in the court of law qualified as fair-use, although mainly for identification purposes. A good example of picture uploading websites include Flickr, Pinterest, and Imgur, which due to their users uploading the photos, do not suffer from copyright infringement issues as they are just a webhosting platform. So if using images from these major webhosters, or in a similiar manner, there is not likely to be any major copyright issues simply for having the images.

Various quotes: "Nature of the copyrighted work: This factor analyzes the degree to which the work that was used relates to copyright’s purpose of encouraging creative expression. Thus, using a more creative or imaginative work (such as a novel, movie, or song) is less likely to support a claim of a fair use than using a factual work (such as a technical article or news item). In addition, use of an unpublished work is less likely to be considered fair."

"Additionally, “transformative” uses are more likely to be considered fair. Transformative uses are those that add something new, with a further purpose or different character, and do not substitute for the original use of the work."


Fair use on images example case law: "The painter, Richard Prince, created a collage using—in one collage—35 images from a photographer’s book. The artist also used 28 of the photos in 29 additional paintings. In some instances, the full photograph was used while in others, only the main subject of the photo was used. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that to qualify as a transformative use, Prince’s work did not have to comment on the original photographer’s work (or on popular culture). The Court of Appeals concluded that 25 of Prince’s artworks qualified as fair use and remanded the case to determine the status of the remaining five artworks."


"Repurposing a work to aid identification of the base work is also generally transformative. In Kelly v. Ariba Soft and Perfect 10 v. Google, the respective courts held that the creation and use of thumbnails to allow users of a search engine to easily browse through images returned by their search was transformative."


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