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March 28, 2005

Fair Use Thumbnails

I was reading Joi Ito's Web: Google lawsuits guiding the way and stop at the phrase "Fair Use Thumbnails" to describe the use of small images to refer to an image that might be copyrighted, just as you'd use a quote from text to illustrate or refer to a point. Joi mentioned 150x150 pixels max, which is enough for you to know what the image is about, without it being of much value to you. It will make for an interesting discussion for my summer course.

According to GigaLaw.com: Photos and Fair Use Online: From Penthouse Pets to Kelly's Thumbnails:

In a landmark case, a U.S. court of appeals has ruled that posting small, "thumbnail"-sized images of another's aesthetic photos on a web site is a fair use -- and therefore not copyright infringement -- when done for information-gathering or indexing purposes. Although the court's decision provides important guidance about fair use and photos on the Internet, it does not mean that all thumbnail images are legal. In this article, a former attorney for Penthouse magazine discusses the history of illegal photo copying on the Internet and the significance of this case for understanding online copyright infringement and fair use.

Posted by jason at March 28, 2005 08:11 AM