I am writing a book which includes a review of old software and I would like to add a couple of screenshots for some of them. How do I go about this legally or, alternatively, does this qualify as "fair use", without need for any explicit permission?

Have any of you already encountered this situation before?


2 Answers 2


Beware: Here are no lawyers!

Fair use includes commentary, criticism, teaching. So I guess you would be safe.

Especially in "the absence of a free alternative" as Wikipedia puts it for its own screenshots.

Beware: I'm not a lawyer!


Simply write to the publisher or author, you will usually find the appropriate contact information in the about screen. They will more than likely grant you permission.

  • I don't think OP is asking about using the screenshots for fiction; OP talks about a "review of old software," which is technical or nonfiction. So I think your first paragraph distracts from the answer here, and I'm editing it out.
    – Standback
    Sep 9, 2014 at 10:04
  • Yes but what if the software in question is so old that its original company no longer exists?
    – Klangen
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:26

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