Disney has been concerned over the popularity of the screenshot of Baby Yoda that was seen in the popular Star Wars: The Mandalorian television show.
The popular giphy was given a DMCA removal order but immediately this runs afoul of fair use provisions of international copyright law.
The article by Forbes states: “According to Jeff John Roberts of Fortune, GIFs can be considered ‘transformative’ under copyright law because they do not undermine the market for the original work: ‘No one, for instance, is going to watch a Star Wars GIF instead of the original movie.'”
Most fair use analysis falls into two categories: (1) commentary and criticism, or (2) parody.
Two types of situations are especially likely to cause legal problems:
- Your work causes the owner of the original work to lose money. For example, you borrow portions of a biology text for use in a competing biology text.
- The copyright owner is offended by your use. For example, you satirize the original work and your satire contains sexually explicit references or other offensive material.
Given this site is focused on gaming and personal computers there is nothing controversial. Articles on games generally use images for identification of the software.
Screenshots are tricky as they can be almost unique as its often inexact with randomized procedural games. Still screenshots can convey enough about a work adequately.
Game reviews are called as we see them, editorials vary widely in their writing ability,
The legal climate is murky as nothing has been litigated to clarify if of some animated GIF is an infringement. The cost is a large barrier.
The toy industry has jumped in with toys and stuffed plush dolls, t-shirts and various other merchandise. Before long the images will likely surface on coffee mugs.