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Legal: can I use screen prints of Windows dialog boxes in my commercial App ?

P: n/a
I want to include numerous screen prints about printing, date time settings,
regional settings in the help files I will distribute with my application.
Must I obtain written permission from Microsoft or alter these screen shots
to avoid getting into legal trouble ? Thank you.
Jul 17 '05 #1
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5 Replies


P: n/a
You mean like a file open or save dialog? I doubt very much ms would go
after you for demonstrating graphically how to use your application by
proper utilization of a common control.

--
Randy Birch
MVP Visual Basic
http://vbnet.mvps.org

Please respond only to the newsgroups so all can benefit.
"dave" <da*****@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:vz******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
: I want to include numerous screen prints about printing, date time
settings,
: regional settings in the help files I will distribute with my application.
: Must I obtain written permission from Microsoft or alter these screen
shots
: to avoid getting into legal trouble ? Thank you.
:
:

Jul 17 '05 #2

P: n/a
But also Print, Adjust Date/Time, Adjust regional settings in other words
any dialogs one might see when using windows to specify settings for
different aspects of whatever using Windows or specifying a choice. In
practically every book I've ever read regarding use of a PC I've seen these
kind of screen shots. The thing is I have no way of knowing whether the
authors had to jump through some kind of legal hoops to get OK'd by
Microsoft.

Common sence would seem to say 'why should they care, after all it is
somewhat like a little free advertising for using Windows'.

Only thing is common sence doesn't seem to necessarily apply to the law.
"Randy Birch" <rg************@mvps.org> wrote in message
news:oa********************@twister01.bloor.is.net .cable.rogers.com...
You mean like a file open or save dialog? I doubt very much ms would go
after you for demonstrating graphically how to use your application by
proper utilization of a common control.

--
Randy Birch
MVP Visual Basic
http://vbnet.mvps.org

Please respond only to the newsgroups so all can benefit.
"dave" <da*****@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:vz******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
: I want to include numerous screen prints about printing, date time
settings,
: regional settings in the help files I will distribute with my application. : Must I obtain written permission from Microsoft or alter these screen
shots
: to avoid getting into legal trouble ? Thank you.
:
:

Jul 17 '05 #3

P: n/a
On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 01:37:31 GMT, "dave" <da*****@mindspring.com>
wrote:
I want to include numerous screen prints about printing, date time settings,
regional settings in the help files I will distribute with my application.
Must I obtain written permission from Microsoft or alter these screen shots
to avoid getting into legal trouble ? Thank you.


I expect MS would be quite pleased if you included such things
- they do want people to know how to use their common dialogs etc

I doubt anyone would be daft enough to sue because somebody
(effectively) published a picture of their PC's screen.
Jul 17 '05 #4

P: n/a

"dave" <da*****@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:vz******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
| I want to include numerous screen prints about printing, date time
settings,
| regional settings in the help files I will distribute with my
application.
| Must I obtain written permission from Microsoft or alter these screen
shots
| to avoid getting into legal trouble ? Thank you.
|

Go to this link at microsoft for specifc information:

http://www.microsoft.com/permission/copyrgt/cop-img.htm

Here is a quote regarding screenshots:

"Microsoft does not object to third party use of screen shots of our
software products in advertising, on product packaging and
documentation, in books and other printed matter, on video tape, in
tutorial software applications, on World Wide Web pages, or in
television programs, commercials, movies ("Your Product"), so long as
the use is not disparaging and provided you adhere to the following
additional guidelines which may be amended from time to time. If your
use falls within these guidelines, no further written permission will be
required and will not be forthcoming. If you need assistance
interpreting these guidelines, please seek the advice of your own
copyright attorney. "

Followed by numerous specific guidelines, including "1. You may not
disparage Microsoft or any of its products in your use of Microsoft
product screen shots."

I would not recommend altering a screenshot in any way; that is far more
likely to cross the line than using them as is.
Jul 17 '05 #5

P: n/a
This is what I needed. Thanks so much !

"Steve Gerrard" <my********@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:-8********************@comcast.com...

"dave" <da*****@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:vz******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
| I want to include numerous screen prints about printing, date time
settings,
| regional settings in the help files I will distribute with my
application.
| Must I obtain written permission from Microsoft or alter these screen
shots
| to avoid getting into legal trouble ? Thank you.
|

Go to this link at microsoft for specifc information:

http://www.microsoft.com/permission/copyrgt/cop-img.htm

Here is a quote regarding screenshots:

"Microsoft does not object to third party use of screen shots of our
software products in advertising, on product packaging and
documentation, in books and other printed matter, on video tape, in
tutorial software applications, on World Wide Web pages, or in
television programs, commercials, movies ("Your Product"), so long as
the use is not disparaging and provided you adhere to the following
additional guidelines which may be amended from time to time. If your
use falls within these guidelines, no further written permission will be
required and will not be forthcoming. If you need assistance
interpreting these guidelines, please seek the advice of your own
copyright attorney. "

Followed by numerous specific guidelines, including "1. You may not
disparage Microsoft or any of its products in your use of Microsoft
product screen shots."

I would not recommend altering a screenshot in any way; that is far more
likely to cross the line than using them as is.

Jul 17 '05 #6

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