I was about to do something but got curious about the legal aspects. Say you search for an image of something, for example a famous work of architecture, because you recently visited it and want to show it to a friend in an email and an internet search returns many results. Let's say the one you like is a reduced, low resolution version of an image that is offered for sale as a larger print. Are you free to include the small digital file in an email?
I did some investigating and find it all confusing but the following from The Complete Guide to Using Images Legally Online would seem to indicate my intended use would be allowed. Agree?
To elaborate further, four main criteria determine whether the picture is ‘fair’ or not.
- The purpose and character of the use: This determines whether the picture is used for a non-profit or commercial activity.
- The nature of the work to be used: For example, the laws give more freedom to factual pieces such as biographies compared to fictional work.
- The amount of the image used: The laws usually permit using a small piece of the picture or a low-resolution version.
- The market effect: Using images that do not decrease the market value of the images