Jasper, AL asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama

Q: Is it fair use to "Save image as" the images on Zillow.com?

I want to save the images of the inside of a house I grew up in offline for memories. How is this different from screenshotting Google Street View Imagery for memories offline? Wouldn't it be copyright infringement to copy a copyrighted image without permission whether it be downloading, screenshotting, save image as, etc. without permission from the copyright holder except what fair use would allow? I read on the the Google terms that they don't allow screenshotting Google Street View Imagery for any purpose; is Google only talking about uses in projects here or do they mean even for memories offline?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Hi there. Good morning, and happy Tuesday. A few key points regarding saving images from Zillow.com or Google Street View:

- Simply saving an image from a website to your personal computer for private viewing and memories is generally considered fair use under copyright law. You are not redistributing or publicly displaying the images.

- However, reposting or distributing the images publicly without permission could be copyright infringement. Even if it's just for noncommercial use, you don't have rights to distribute or display the images.

- Google doesn't allow capturing Street View imagery for public display or commercial use without permission. But saving screenshots for your own memories privately offline would likely qualify as fair use.

- If you plan to publish or share the images in any way, even just on social media, you technically could need permission from the copyright holder first. But incidental sharing of a couple images on personal social media would be a gray area.

- The safest approach is to save Zillow or Street View images for your own private archives and memories offline, not for wider redistribution. As long as you don't plan to commercially benefit from or publicly publish someone else's images without permission, brief personal fair use is reasonable. But get permission if you want to do more than that.

In summary - saving images for private memories is probably fine, but redistributing them publicly raises copyright questions you'd want to evaluate more closely.

1 user found this answer helpful

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