Screenshots for dissertation

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  • Hello.

    I would like to put some screenshots from several music videos (mostly from Youtube) for my dissertation and wonder if that is considered to be violating the copyrights.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    - Shiho 


  • I would approach this as a fair use question. Is it fair use to use the screenshots for the dissertation?  My guess would be yes, but we need to consider a few things.  In terms of the four factors of fair use, it seems that the first factor would be most important.

     (purpose of the use) Why do you need to use the screenshots? Why are you choosing these particular screenshots? Are you using the screen shots in a transformative way? (that is, are you using the shots in a way different than their original purpose -- probably)

    So say a bit more about what you are trying to do, and we can give better analysis.

    The bad thing is that some graduate colleges have strict copyright rules, and may encourage you to clear rights even if it is not necessary.





  • Hi Smoto,

    I agree with Carrie. First you should check to see what the policy of your instituion is regarding the reuse of copyrighted works in your dissertation. Your advisor or the graduate department should be able to help you with this. If you are required to obtain permission when reusing works created by others there is some great info on this website that can help guide you through this process: If you are allowed to consider using fair use for the reuse of works created by others then there are tools like the American Library Association's Fair Use Evaluator that can help you work through the four factors and make a thoughtful, informed decision as to whether this may be considered fair or infringing:

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