Copyright question for gaming screenshots and pictures...?


Hello, i’ve looked and read lots about copyright and author copyright etc, but i’m confused as to whether i can use screen shots and pictures of games without the authors permission or some kind of payment?

As the template is promoting the games i’d of thought it was possible to use any image free of charge? Or that the template images used are simply holder images and it is the purchaser that should deal with what images are used when the site is live? Any help or advice would be grateful.


If it’s screen shots from a commercial game like for example an Electronic Arts game - then no you can’t use it. Only if you have permission from the owners of the game - which you probably won’t be able to get anyway so best bet is too use the images in the FlashDen asset library which can be used in FlashDen files or create your own images somehow that look game related. Maybe a spaceship game with alot of abstract star images and you can add in expositions and what not. or a war game with desert shots and jungle scenes some expositions, tanks - but you would need to find images that are not copyrighted and you can use them to be redistributed and sold commercially - not easy to find though.


Basically this is the current ruling: It is illegal to use any images owned by anyone or any other entity in designs (whether content or design elements) without the strict written permission or applicable license obtained.

But please do not ask me why this seems to be happening on certain designs for sale.

I already submitted a support ticket last week.


here is the response from Envato re the current templates available for sale with copyright game images for all those interested:

It’s come to our attention that the author does, in fact, have permission to use those “videogame” images. Additionally, they are not included with the purchased download. We now consider this matter to be resolved. We, once again, appreciate your assistance. :slight_smile:

here is the response from Envato re the current templates available for sale with copyright game images for all those interested:

It’s come to our attention that the author does, in fact, have permission to use those “videogame” images. Additionally, they are not included with the purchased download. We now consider this matter to be resolved. We, once again, appreciate your assistance. :slight_smile:

Good news then, so just to clarify… we can show game images / screen shots within the preview of the template however should not include them in template which is for sale…?

I’ve used images from a friend who is fantastic at speed painting just to be sure i don’t breach any copyright laws. But this is great news and i may well consider using game images again. Thanks for the information and advice.

I should be ready to upload my new gaming PSD template in the next coming week if anyone is interested. we’ll find out i guess.


Remember - that statement refers specifically to one author. It does not apply to everyone. You MUST ensure that you have written permission to use copyrighted images. 9 times out of 10, you won’t. So play it safe and use our asset library.


Just curious, but if I own a website that … for example, has images on it that are for movies etc and this is my website, I then use a screen shot of this site in a template - would this be breaking the rules or acceptable.

So, in plain English what I mean is - a site I own uses copyright images in it’s articles etc - I take screen shots of this site and use them in a template for sale on TF. I can write permission to myself to use these images if required :slight_smile:



The copyrighted images on your website will have certain usage rights. If you have permission to use those images in any way you like including commercial resale and distribution then yes, you can use them in templates since you’ve obtained appropriate licensing/permission.

If you don’t have appropriate licensing/permission then no, it will still be illegal for you to use them for anything but the original usage rights you were granted.


So hold up. What about Previews then? Preview files often differ from the actual downloaded file that’s purchased (like the video game shots you mentioned).

So for demonstration purposes can we include images that are in the open? Like google and Time life teamed up and have scanned in millions of un-used negatives and are available for use by search google and putting “source:life”. As long as the photos aren’t included in the buyers source they should be usable right? or not?

Also fair use should allow you to use any image as long as you give credit where credit is due? Right?

Sometimes for different project the asset images just don’t cut it. Often they’re not hi-res enough nor do the pop.

It’d be great if we could use the google time life photos. There’s some that are amazing.


I have been told no. Fair use does not give us a right to use them - we have to have written permission by the copyright holder - attempting to get permission from EA or Sony et all re using copyright images in templates that are for sale will be an immediate “no” - I can assure you as I used to be in the video game market - which amazes me how someone can have permission to do this - but that is the case.

Using live images in a preview file was also discussed and xmdsys said that this should not be done - ( ), again I can see several that do this but we have officially been told no.


It’s a shame really that the theme forest assets library is not a little more in depth. I agree with Marcfolio that it just does not cut it for some projects. I’d not be surprised if this has been said a thousand times over.

I’m not to bothered about it honestly, but in some ways it does limit the designer to what templates he creates as the time sourcing images legally is just not productive, so sticking to boring Portfolio templates seems to be the only thing we can do.

Don’t people want more creative templates which deal with subjects other than portfolio and business?


Hey guys – I’m going to do a little more research in this area. Maybe we can find a way to use these images. I’ll get back to you after I speak with the bosswoman.


I actually came to the conclusion that I will attempt to just create a set of movie posters and game boxes myself - something nice and generic for all and then if I do get around to produce them I will supply to the community as royalty free with no restrictions - then these markets are open to all.

Of course if Envato can get permissions then forget the above :wink:


Please, pretty please, don’t tell me I spent half an hour removing the so called “copyrighted material” from my preview site and adding a generic image (and making the site uglier in the process) for nothing! Phew! :slight_smile:

Here’s another idea: how about some of us that are into photography donate a few images to be added to the Asset Library? Nothing too fancy, but something less boring than the current ones. Some Landscape, Nature, Lifestyle, etc. I would be ok with it, if others share as well.


or indeed envato offer a small amount of money for stock images to be produced exclusively for their asset libraries - photos / illustrations etc - not everything to be accepted obviously - this would be the quickest and easiest way of increasing asset libraries.


Blizzard has a fair-use clause with using images/video from World of Warcraft and other games since they support authors of Machinima movies.

You can make some cool screenshots in that game, even shots that only show a sunset or a green pasture.

I’m not sure if that would apply to Flash files on here since they clearly state you cannot sell your “videos” or anything you make inside the game. However, with our files, we don’t sell the images.

From the terms:

"What is a content use license?

In the event that you are required to prove to the contest organizer, festival committee, or television broadcaster that you have Blizzard Entertainment’s permission to use the images or video from World of Warcraft that appear in your Production, a content use license is provided. This license serves to prove you have the rights to use your Production materials specifically for that event."


Fair Use - is a term used for the review / promotion of a product and placing images with under fair use into a product being sold is against the meaning of the term “Fair Use”.

This does NOT mean however that as long as in the item description it is stated that the images used in the live preview are for illustrational purposes only and are not included with the downloadable product and that generic blank images are used as placeholders in the actual product - couldn’t be done.

I’ve been reading up on some court cases regarding fair use of copyright images - even if a company does not explicitly state that you can use for fair use, it is acceptable as long as images are not altered in any way or used to bash the product or service but rather to promote or spread the products popularity.

Again - it’s best to use something you have full rights to use though.


In interest of making a mock-up / preview of a site, I think you can try to find Independent game that’s released under open license, there’s quite a few of them. also, Look into “press packs”(usually a .zip file from creator of the game that’s available for download/to be used in reviews etc.) of some games, usually there’s some images (not all) that may be used legally.

it’s also helpful to state on your description that the images belong to their respective owners, and are shown for illustrative purposes only. the images are not included in the actual file that is being sold.

one trick that may be used is to use defunct studios (duke nukem or something OLD…lol, and some 8-bit footage under creative commons)… I mean… it’s just a mockup…it helps to make it look nice, but don’t get sued doing it.

all in all :

  • use creative commons whenever possible
  • open source whenever possible
  • draw some stick figure or something....


I’ve got a question.

If I make an artwork of let’s say Tomb Raider, featuring Lara killing dudes, whatever, can I use that image in preview purposes?
Can I use a vexel pic I did a long ago of Maserati car?

I know I did not create that character nor that car, but if it’s ok for people to take photo of it and use that photo in commercial use, why i would this be any different, right?


If this thread is still for discussion, interesting also, does review process run anonymously or not? I mean can reviewer see whom currently reviewed item is from - before he marks his final decision.