Copyright of NASA media

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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keith_12345
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Copyright of NASA media

Post by keith_12345 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:44 am

What is the copyright of NASA media?
Can I generally use them (I live in the UK)?
These guidelines are confusing to me.
https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/guidelines/
How about other US public bodies' media copyright? They're public domain in the US, are they in the UK?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:32 am

Hi Keith,

I am surprised that you find their guidelines confusing. I thought they were fairly good as terms and conditions go!

Anyway, NASA do not claim any copyight in the materials it releases, because they are an agency of the US Government and therefore everything they prodice is, de facto, free from copyright due to section 105 of the Copyright Act 1976. Hoewever they do assert ownership in various of their logos, which may only be used with permission. They can do this due to US trademark law, which does not contain a similar exception for Federal agencies. As you can see from the guidelines, their major preoccupation is that use of their media should not imply any endorsement by NASA.

And yes, if something is free from copyright in the USA, that also applies elsewhere in the world. However when it comes to other US public bodies, you need to differentiate between State and Federal bodies. Section 105 specifically applies to Federal bodies, and although many argue it should also apply at State level, the case law does not support this interpretation.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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