Using videogame images in a review site

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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leoshiner
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Using videogame images in a review site

Post by leoshiner » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:19 am

I have just created a video game review site and was wondering do I need to get permission from the game manufacturer in order to use images from the games in my reviews?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:51 am

Hi Leo,
There's a specific section of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 which allows small amounts of copyright material to be used for the purposes of criticism or review:
30 Criticism, review and news reporting.

(1) Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement and provided that the work has been made available to the public.

(1A) For the purposes of subsection (1) a work has been made available to the public if it has been made available by any means, including—

(a) the issue of copies to the public;

(b) making the work available by means of an electronic retrieval system;

(c) the rental or lending of copies of the work to the public;

(d) the performance, exhibition, playing or showing of the work in public;

(e) the communication to the public of the work,

but in determining generally for the purposes of that subsection whether a work has been made available to the public no account shall be taken of any unauthorised act.

(2) Fair dealing with a work (other than a photograph) for the purpose of reporting current events does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that (subject to subsection (3)) it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

(3) No acknowledgement is required in connection with the reporting of current events by means of a sound recording, film or broadcast where this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise.
So long as the games you review have been legally made available to the public and you acknowledge the maker etc, including stills to illustrate your review will be legal.
However once your site is established, it may be beneficial for you make contact with the games manufacturers in case they feel moved to send you advance copies of new games to review.
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

leoshiner
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Post by leoshiner » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:48 pm

thanks for that

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