I have paperback comics which I legally bought. I was wondering, if I scanned them into PDFs and uploaded them on my website for people to VIEW for free, not DOWNLOAD, would it be illegal? I'm in the UK, and if it is illegal, is there a way to get around that? Thanks in advance
You want to research "Fair Dealing" in the United Kingdom. (I'm most familiar with how it is applied in the US as "fair use", which is similar, but more broad than the UK law.)
- If you are excerpting sections of the comic for academic purposes, you are probably protected
For instance, if I wanted to use a page from from the Sandman comics for an essay about Neil Gaiman and modern adaptation of mythology, that would likely pass muster.
I could see this potentially getting complicated if it was an article on a private blog which hosted advertisements, because the UK law seems to prohibit this practice for commercial gain...
- Criticism & review is protected with certain caveats. [See Section 30(1) of the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act ]
Motive seems to be a major factor in the UK in determining if use is "fair"--if your intent is personal financial gain, or if your reposting economically harms the copyright holder, you could be in hot water. (In the US, a "cease & desist" letter often precedes legal action, due to the high cost of litigation.)
Again, this comes with the caveat that I have no experience with this issue in relation to UK policy, and thus this answer does not constitute advice on whether to repost, but merely serves as a pointer to the relevant legal concept in the UK, with some very basic context.
In other words, take what I say with a grain of salt--the statutes and precedents are what's important.
In the US, all statutes are available online from the relevant governmental agencies, and this also seems to be the case in the UK. I'd recommend:
- Looking at the statutes
- Reading legal review articles relevant to your region
- Looking at relevant rulings that may relate to your project
Post Script: Based on the description of what you want to do, although your intent is not personal profit, the reposting would likely be seen as resulting in economic damage to the copyright holder in that they might lose sales if people are able to read for free online. For this reason, you probably want to accept @Shazamo Morebucks answer.