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MShore Law
MShore Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
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Im an online marketer doing a study on small businesses. Im

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I'm an online marketer doing a study on small businesses. I'm looking at their web sites to see how well they use web site design best practices. Can I use any portion of their web site designs as a reference point in my report (i.e. here is a good call to action or a poor use of a graphic)? I would include it in a PDF of my study results, on my blog etc. My guess is I can't without permission (it's their material - copyrighted just because it was created). With books, I know you can use a few sentences (some fair use law) without getting permission each time. If I can't use, can I at least crop close into something non-revealing like to show how someone used "contact us" in a tiny way that makes it not effective? In other words, I would make the screen grab just that contact us link/button.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. Is the study that you are publishing to be sold or will you give it away?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It would be a free PDF. I have a small business newsletter as a sponsor (not paying me anything, just cooperating with the promotion to their readers).

It would be a summary of data, tables.

I'm thinking I could probably screen capture some design things that don't really reveal the company in case I have a criticism about a font, an image.

With books, you can cite a small portion. I don't know how that works with websites.

This link shows a summary of another study - no images, no names, just text and charts:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX description this would fall under fair use, do you plan on using another company's trademark in your pdf?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It would just be my logo, the newsletter sponsoring the study logo and the text on the findings and the charts. I thought a few images (good and bad) would illustrate what I saw. If a web site has 6 pages and I do a screenshot of the home page, that seems excessive like taking 3 lines out of a 10 line poem. I'm probably just going to use cropping to show examples of design and not use a whole home page anyway. But if I use a whole home page screen capture, I should be OK if it's a decent size site. I'm just going to say things like the phone number is XXXXX low, colors too dark, no call to action for a demo, white paper, etc.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX would be considered fair use, as you are using the copyrighted content for the purposes of criticism and comment, which are 107 exceptions (fair use). I want to make sure I have answered your questions. If I have not answered your questions or if you have any follow up questions, please let me know. If I have answered your questions, please positively rate my answers.
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