I want to use a screenshot from a movie as part of a question in order to show the object I am referring to. I can't find another image of this object.

Will I get in trouble if I use a screenshot from a copyrighted movie to help me frame my question?

I think the 'Fair Use' policy covers me but I'm also wondering about Stack Exchange policy and whether SE would be held responsible if I (or any other user) infringes copyright.

  • 1
    Actually, my question was poorly framed so I've edited it. Nov 4, 2017 at 23:23
  • 1
    Excellent edit.
    – MCW Mod
    Nov 6, 2017 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


I doubt that you would get in trouble. The worst-case scenario would probably be a request from the copyright holder (or their lawyers) to remove the image. If that ever happens, I'd suggest that you should probably comply (even if you think that "fair use" rules should apply).

Of course, it also depends in part on where the movie was made. This article on Copyright & Fair Use may help for US Copyright laws. However, copyright laws vary by country.

As regards Stack Exchange liability in case of copyright infringement, they have that covered in the Stack Exchange Terms of Service, section ยง3 where it states that we are all responsible for ensuring that we have the right to post the content that we contribute to the SE network.

Note also, that the Terms of Service state that any content that we contribute to the SE Network is then perpetually, and irrevocably, licensed to Stack Exchange under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license (CC BY-SA). This is something to be aware of if you are thinking about sharing the results of original research on this (or any other) SE site.

  • 1
    I checked a number of fair use references but none were as clear as the one you provided (libguides) in your answer. Nov 4, 2017 at 1:55

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