Let's assume that I have an iPhone and

  • I tell how to use it (e.g. how an app is downloaded, how a photo is taken),
  • I mention about its functions, features (e.g. how a contact is created, how Wi-Fi is disconnected),
  • I tell use, functions, features of another downloaded software from App Store,
  • I show built-in and downloaded software's screens, screen images, screen video records, symbols, logos, functions, features etc.

in my blog webpage which made money via Google AdSense and/or affiliate marketing or on YouTube which made money via Google AdSense and/or affiliate marketing or on Udemy which made money by selling courses.

Or, let's assume, I have a Windows 10 on my desktop and I do same thing (e.g. selling C language course on Udemy by using Code::Blocks or selling complete Windows 10 course on Udemy).

Or, let's assume, I have a Linux disto on my laptop and I do same thing (e.g. publishing how a virtual machine is created by using VirtualBox on the blog which made money or selling complete VirtualBox course on Udemy).

As you predict, much more combinations can be produced.

Can you please explain what the rights are of the software owners in this case?


You can think that I buy the software if it requires something like a key and if I want to handle them on the platforms as in the way I mentioned. E.g. Windows 10


I mean people or companies who provide a software, such as PuTTY, VirtualBox or WhatsApp, by software owners.

  • 1
    Who do you mean by "software owners"? Copyright holders? People who downloaded some software, either for free or paid? – gnasher729 Jan 1 at 17:22

You are absolutely allowed to discuss or describe or criticizes software (or books or other copyrighted or trademarked things) without any permission from the copyright holder or trademark holder. This includes teaching people how to use those things.

You may not, however, copy protected software without permission. For example you could not include a CD with a copy of Windows 10 as part of a course you taught on using Windows 10, without permission from Microsoft. Also, you may not use a trademark in such a way as to imply that your course is approved or endorsed by the trade mark holder, or by the maker of the trademarked item. If reasonable people could think that your Windows course was approved by Microsoft, you are probably infringing their trademark.

Use of screenshots is more of a grey area. Such use, for purposes of teaching or of commentary, is probably covered by fair use (in the US) or fair dealing (in any of several other countries). But that is always a case-by-case determination, and depends on the exact facts, such as how extensive the use is, and whether it in any way harms the market for the original. If in doubt consulting a lawyer experienced in IP issues is wise.

But aside from the issues of screenshots, the makers or copyright or trademark holders of software have no right to grant or withhold permission to one who teaches about the softrware, nor to demand any fee from any such person.


The primary legal division is that you can lawfully talk about intellectual property (such talking becomes your intellectual property), and you can only redistribute intellectual property with the permission of the owner. (A contractual non-disclosure agreement is irrelevant, because you aren't an Apple employee obligae=ted to not talk about the new system until date X). Therefore you can teach people how to use a phone, but you cannot redistribute the phone's software without permission. Such protected property includes text (instruction booklets), software, and images – hence screen shots.

However, this may be covered by the concept of "fair use" or similar notions, depending on jurisdiction. Such screen shots would probably be permissible under the fair use exception to copyright, but that assumption is not risk-free.

  • So, tech instructors who make money such as Howfinity, Hackers Academy, It's FOSS are under risk ? Then, the internet and it sector needs to be shut down. – arastirma hesap Jan 1 at 18:26
  • I think not, because risk is ubiquitous, and we simply decide whether to take the risk. They also run the risk of spending money to develop products that don't sell. – user6726 Jan 1 at 18:32

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