Are Screen Captures Copyrighted?

Copyright symbolImage via Wikipedia

One of my students asked me a copyright question about screen captures recently that I couldn’t answer.

After teaching them about how to make a screen capture and suggesting that this would be a great thing to use when creating tutorials. An educator could take screen shots of software while progressing through the software and then write accompanying instructions.

Here’s the question “Aren’t those screen captures copyrighted?” I didn’t know the answer.

I would imagine that under fair-use guidelines, an educator could include screen captures that are used in the classroom.

The question lies in whether or not such a tutorial could be posted on the web for free distribution. At another level, what about selling the tutorial to others? Do you need to pay a copyright royalty to Microsoft if you use screen captures of Microsoft Word in a tutorial book?

What do you think?

What’s YOUR opinion?
Leave a comment and keep the discussion going.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *