Microsoft Copyright Statement – Who Owns the Screenshots?

Every day on the Internet, you are faced with one or another copyright problem – whether it is downloading a song or sending a video to others.While it is clear that the person or company that created any part of the work – text, graphics, animation, music, narration, video, or a combination of both – is the actual owner of the copyright, there are times when people get confused about who owns the copyright. for different things.

For example, if you take an image from Wikimedia Commons and use an image in a brochure you have prepared, does that infringe any copyright? If you record screen movements for a program and compose it as a teaching aid, are you violating the copyright of the owner of the software or hardware?

I will be the first to respond to the Wikimedia Commons case. Yes, you are infringing copyright if you use any image from Wikimedia Commons and do not attribute use to the original creator in the manner prescribed by Wikimedia. For those who don’t know, Wikimedia is a repository of text, graphics, animation, and audio / video that is shared under a Creative Commons license. A Creative Commons license requires you to assign a work to its creator in a predetermined manner.


  1. Microsoft Copyright Statement
  2. Cases where copyright infringement occurs
  3. Microsoft Intellectual Property Permissions

Microsoft Copyright Statement

Going to Microsoft, if you create a tutorial for – say, MS Paint – and upload it to some video sharing site or distribute it via CDs, are you violating a Microsoft copyright? MS Paint is software from Microsoft, so whatever appears on the screen is naturally Microsoft products. In such cases, the screenshots are copyrighted by Microsoft.

But … Microsoft relieves you of copyright problems by providing some guidance . If you use screenshots in the manner prescribed by Microsoft, you retain the copyright for the screenshots.

Cases where copyright infringement occurs

If you have access to software that is still under development and not available to the general public, you will not be able to use its screenshots. After and only after Microsoft releases the software – in a preliminary release of the final form, no matter what they call it – you can take and distribute screenshots of it.

If the screenshots you use contain images owned by third parties , this may or may not be an infringement of Microsoft copyright. For example, if you are documenting any software, such as Adobe Premiere, and capturing a screen for presentation purposes, you need to check with Adobe if you can use screenshots as such or if you need any pre-written license to use screenshots.

As far as I know, if you are using AutoCAD and for any reason taking screenshots, it is a copyright infringement even if you are using AutoCAD on Microsoft Windows. This is because Microsoft has no right to exempt users from copyright problems that arise from using AutoCAD. It was mentioned on some forum that AutoCAD users should not take screenshots, as this would constitute copyright infringement. But then the case will be “user versus AutoCAD”, not “user versus Microsoft”, since the latter has nothing to do with AutoCAD, which runs on the Windows operating system.

Microsoft Intellectual Property Permissions

Below are some of the restrictions imposed by Microsoft before relinquishing its copyright on Windows screenshot and Windows-based software.

  1. You shouldn’t change thescreenshot, except to resize it. Changes include color corrections, color changes, and more. However, you can use markers if you are creating material for study or reference.
  2. You cannot use Windows screenshots or Microsoft Windows software screenshots as a user interface elementany custom program you can create. That is, if you are writing any software, you should not use screenshots of Windows elements such as the boot screen, welcome screen, and shutdown screen as part of the user interface of the program you are writing. However, you can use Visual Basic or another programming language to reproduce items that are not proprietary or trademarks of Microsoft. This means that you can reproduce the OK and Cancel buttons for use with your programs, but you cannot use the Windows-specific Start button. Likewise, you cannot use logos and trademarks in your programs unless you have written permission from Microsoft.
  3. You shouldn’t use parts of screenshotsHowever, I don’t really agree with this. To provide specialized tutorials, you may need to strip out unnecessary elements from a screenshot. Until now, there has not been a single known copyright infringement case where anyone has been accused of using part of a screenshot rather than the entire screenshot. I will try to get clarification on this and will let you know as soon as I get a response from Microsoft.
  4. According to Microsoft’s copyright statement, you cannot use screenshots if they contain images of identifiable people. For example, if a screenshot contains an image of a celebrity, you cannot use it as a copyrighted screenshot. In this case, the copyright does not belong to Microsoft either. The person in the screenshot should have objected to the screenshot, and in my opinion, this clause is included in Microsoft’s copyright statement to avoid unspoken controversy.
by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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