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The Avengers Movie Infringes Wikipedia's Copyright

Anonymous Coward writes | about a year and a half ago

Movies 2

An anonymous reader writes "The hit movie The Avengers from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios uses content from Wikipedia and fails to give credit, in violation of Wikipedia's Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike copyright license. At approximately the 15 minute mark in the movie, a computer screen is displaying a combat scheme and informatoin about characters Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff. The bottom of the screen contains a small window clearly displaying the text "image compression works in part by "rounding off" less-important visual information. There is corresponding". That text is copied verbatim from the Wikipedia page on data compression. The movie's credits make no mention of Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, or the Creative Commons license. As a result, the movie is in violation of Federal copyright law."

2 comments

Forgotten two legal principles (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#41199729)

One: de minimis non curat lex, the law does not concern itself with trifles.
Two: The Golden Rule, as in "he who has the gold makes the rules". This is why a de minimis use of a Wikipedia page in a movie is OK, but a screenshot from a movie in Wikipedia isn't.

Re:Forgotten two legal principles (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205349)

A screenshot from a movie in Wikipedia is actually fine under fair use, if it's used for the purpose of commentary, which in most Wikipedia articles it would be.

Wikipedia does have a policy of not over-using fair use images, not out of legal concern, but because they want most of their images to be freely licensed and reusable by others. Fair-use images, compared to cc-licensed images, might produce pitfalls for downstream users, since something that's fair use in the context of a nonprofit encyclopedia might no longer be fair use if an article is reused in another context (say, in a travel brochure).

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