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I have seen a lot of the time on YouTube that people are using images which are copyrighted or may be copyrighted in their YouTube video thumbnails. My question is: is it allowed to use copyrighted images in YouTube video thumbnails?

Here is an example in which pewdiepie, a famous youtuber, uses an image of Leonardo de Caprio in his video thumbnail.

screen shot

And here is the link of the original picture: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/the-revenant/leonardo-dicaprio-golden-globes-win-oscars/

  • Look up "fair use" – Eight Days of Malaise Feb 28 '16 at 23:35
  • there is nothing in the fair use about Video Thumbnails – TardyT Feb 29 '16 at 19:51
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When you use content (picture or a photo or a sound or even a small article) in your website or in your Social Media page and this content is taken by you from another website, you should first search for copyright clarifications on the "Terms and Conditions" page of the source website or News Portal.

For example in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/the-revenant/leonardo-dicaprio-golden-globes-win-oscars/ , go to the Terms & Conditions subpage of Telegraph's news portal and read the 6th paragraph:

  1. Access and use of the Site You may use the Site for personal non-commercial use only. You may only download and print extracts of the Content for your own personal non-commercial use.

You may not:

(1) download or print any Content or extracts in a systematic or regular manner or otherwise so as to create a database in electronic or paper form comprising all or part of the Content from the Site; nor

(2) reproduce, republish, modify, archive, distribute, store, archive or commercially exploit the Content without our prior written consent; nor

(3) modify or adapt or create derivative works of the Content; nor

(4) utilise links to this website received as part of a paid-for media monitoring service; nor

(5) systematically forward links to this website within a business or outside a business for business purposes; nor

(6) copy or extract data from this website by means of robots, spiders, crawlers or other automatic devices or by any manual process used to systematically extract or copy web content.

Any such use of this website or the content is prohibited without an appropriate licence. Please contact NLA Media

Access(http://www.nlamediaaccess.com) or us at syndication@telegraph.co.uk. If you wish to syndicate or licence any Content from this website, please email us at syndication@telegraph.co.uk, or contact us by telephone on +44 20 7931 1010.

Now in case a News Portal does not have a "Terms and Conditions" subpage it does not mean that you can reproduce their content without their permission.

Another possibility is that some webpages or News Portals or Blogs they also reproduce content from other News Portal without their permission, so do not get in this loop because you will be considered equally a violator of the source's copyright terms.

If possible, always ask for permission from the source website or News Portal before reproducing their content.

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