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montysimmons
montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience:  Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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I would like to create an ibook that is a software instruction

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I would like to create an ibook that is a software instruction book for Autodesk Maya. The book will employ both screen shots of the software interface and instructional videos that show how to accomplish certain processes. I do not know if displaying the software in this manner will require copyright permission, or does it fall under fair use?

montysimmons :

What you are wanting to do is an example of Fair Use.

montysimmons :

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, there are four factors listed in copyright law to determine fair use:
Fair Use Factors
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.

montysimmons :

There is not bright line rule and each case is decided on its specific facts.

montysimmons :

*no

montysimmons :

What software developers are worried about is someone copying their code or creating another program that has an identical user interface.

montysimmons :

I doubt that any software company would be worried about a person using screenshots to create a tutorial to help people learn their software.

montysimmons :

Software companies should want such to happen.

montysimmons :

What you are doing seems very low risks.

montysimmons :

*Risk

montysimmons :

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.

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