Due to threats of legal action by a copyright scraping company named CatchScan out of Denmark, the above images related to this cold case have been removed, even though we believe them to have been used under the fair use principle related to copyright. The links to the articles containing the images will remain in order for our members to view them in the published article.
The general idea behind fair use is that if a picture is uploaded to newspapers for the public to see, it is considered fair use to reuse the image for research and educational purposes.
from: Fair use images – Understanding your image rights
“However, if the owner stored it privately and someone obtained it unfairly, it’s not fair use. Understand the original uploader’s intentions to cover your bases.”
The images that were contained here were NOT stored privately; they were publicized in online newspaper articles, presumably to aid in solving this case of a murdered woman. They were not obtained unfairly as they were available in the media. There are no copyright watermarks on the images and it is my personal opinion that it was the original uploader’s intention to assist in solving this cold case, not to directly or indirectly gain financially through copyright scrapers threatening lawsuits over the image being published. It is also my own opinion that the copyright scraping company threatening legal action has no interest in the case actually being solved but only how they may somehow benefit financially by threatening legal action.
Having said the above, Websleuths has existed for almost a quarter century now with the sole purpose of researching and educating its members and the public about missing and murdered individuals worldwide. In all those years, national and international mainstream media companies, news agencies, missing persons organizations, law enforcement and government agencies have never threatened legal action over sourced images contained in their publication, and which images are presumably intended to assist in solving cases related to missing or murdered individuals.
If the original content creator never wanted their images related to this cold case to be shared with a view to solving the case, what was their intent ? Where else would they want their work to be shared if not on a site that devotes itself to helping in any way to try to solve the case?
The decision to remove the images has been made solely because Tricia does not have the time or inclination to argue legalities with copyright scrapers or argue with them over the definition of what constitutes fair use.