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Search for copyright in Topics


Hello, I am an author of the instructable: instant party paper lanterns At first, I was genuinely excited about the amount of links it generated from various etsy-like sites all crediting the original post. I have recently come across a slew of blatant ripoffs all in violation of the copyright...some of which actually use one of MY images as the main image for their business which essentially sells these (listed here). Is there anything I can do? I have the Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) license. Thanks.

Topic by vasilena    |  last reply


I was recently contacted by a magazine asking the copyright i have with instructables on a specific instructable. Am i able to have them publish the project? Do i need to do anything special like mention instructables? The default license on my account is as follows: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature. Should i reset that to some other setting?

Topic by gumbytig    |  last reply

The Copyrights

Dear , I would like to know if I can use some of instructions on my web as a link with the name of author? Best regards Agata

Topic by agatas    |  last reply


Hello!I am Brazilian and I am looking to create some colleagues along with a site that translates into Portuguese, the Articles of instructables faithfully, always showing the links of the original articles.We have people with fluent English and able to express exactly what the original author of the article wanted to express.My question is:We can do this without violating any law or conduct on copyright and terms of Instructable?Now appreciate the responses and understandings of all.(note: I am the creator of the site, not I who will lead the topics, conversation made by Google Translator):)

Topic by brunonar    |  last reply

Copyright Question

I recently got into this amazing song called 'Sad Machine', and I have what I think is a really good idea for an AMV.  My only problem is- you guessed it- copyright issues.  I'd like to make it in my animation software and upload it to YouTube, but from what I've heard, it's hard to get a request for using a song in a video noticed, let alone accepted. According to YouTube: "1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes Courts typically focus on whether the use is “transformative.” That is, whether it adds new expression or meaning to the original, or whether it merely copies from the original. Commercial uses are less likely to be considered fair, though it’s possible to monetize a video and still take advantage of the fair use defense." I think I may be covered here, since I do not have monetization enabled, and my idea completely different from the official video.  Then there is this: "Uses that harm the copyright owner’s ability to profit from his or her original work are less likely to be fair uses. Courts have sometimes made an exception under this factor in cases involving parodies." For what I have in mind, I don't think it would take away from its profitability. I realize that without a visual of mine it's going to be tough to determine, so what I'm thinking is storyboarding then sequencing it to the song on another platform.  Maybe then you could see what you think.  I value your current input very much, though.

Question by StarscreamClone    |  last reply

Copyright Confusion

Hi all!  New here, first post.  Hopefully I'm putting this in the right spot and it hasn't been asked.  Was wondering, so you make those little magnets with a picture glued to the back but is there a copyright discrepancy with using images that aren't your own and making it into something that is your work?  Crafts like that are tedious but not hard though it seems like if those selling things like that in shops wouldn't be making those magnets and such if they could do such great art.  Thanks for any info 

Topic by MosaicM0n5t3r    |  last reply

Copyright issue? Answered

Hi I'm a subscribed user of instructables, and I've just finished my 1st instructable. My work is about magnetic levitation. I'm able to make a magnetic top levitate over a magnetic base. My idea started from a commercial toy called "levitron", and my instructable is a full detailed receipe to build a similar toy, using cheap or second hand objects, by yourself. My last concern is about copyright. I got my result on my own after a long time and a lot of research, and it's easy to understand that the object realized is made also with scraps, but anyway I'm worried if I can or I can't publish that. Can you help me Regards David Zuliani

Question by zuliani71    |  last reply

Copyright Infringement

I noticed that somebody has stolen this instructable, but the author hasn't done anything on instructables since 2006. The stolen version has different photos, but near word for word duplication. Anyone have a suggestion on what can be done about these types of situations?

Topic by Weissensteinburg    |  last reply

Copyright violation

This instructable is for a knex sight. However, the exact same sight to the last knex piece was used on my gun a couple of months before. This person has said he created it, not given me credit, and the annoying thing is that i think he left the site. Has anyone got advice or views on this?

Topic by The Jamalam    |  last reply

copyright infringment

Https:// This looks an awful lot like the following website I do not have a entry nor do I know of anyone with an entry in this contest but I think the award should go to somebody that does the work.  The likelihood of anyone having the rights to those photos is slim to none since it was not even a book published in a country eligible for this contest.  And if they were that good they would have done something new....

Topic by backyardengineer    |  last reply

The Copyright FAQ for Knitters

The Copyright FAQ for KnittersI've been trying to work up a human-readable description of copyright and patent law, as it applies to Instructables. In my research, I found this really interesting resource for those looking to better understand copyright law, and to see how it differs when applied to various crafts. Some highlights:A knitting pattern is by default copyrighted, but utilitarian items (clothing, for example) are not copyrightable. You can make and give away items made from a copyrighted pattern. You may not make and sell items made from a copyrighted pattern. A recipe is a process and cannot be copyrighted; only the expression of the recipe can be copyrighted. A patent is required to protect a process.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply

Provisional copyright wording?

I received an instructables message from someone wanting to use some of my pictures for articles in an Italian online newspaper. I think I was not the only person who has gotten this request.  This is a quote from the actual request-- "is it possible to take your images to publish for free, obviously citing the copyright and linking the website?" Now, my inclination is to say yes BUT.  I want to make certain that they are not making money on my work and just getting it from me free. I also want to make certain that the pictures remain under my control, that I am not giving up my work but rather giving permission for it to be published elsewhere while still retaining all copyrights to it. What would be a good wording for accomplishing this? Anyone else who has received this request might want to consider provisional permission also.  Ownership of your work is something you should keep the rights to.

Question by Vyger    |  last reply

Copyright question (again...)

Hi everyone, I’ve been searching Instructables for a while now and found similar questions to mine, but none putting my (overly paranoid?) mind at ease. So, first off apologies if this question has been asked before. Q: Is it copyright infringement to use artwork from a video game for a project and post it to Instructables? I’m in the process of finishing a few projects (and subsequent instructables) but I’m hesitant to post them here. I’ve seen many projects using essentially unaltered video game art, for example: They’re all probably passing through as fair use, but I understand that fair use is a “legal mine field”. In all these cases, the final product is not similar to the product from which the art originated, but the art used is essentially direct copies. One of my projects comprise putting pixelated images on a table (the sprites used are not altered and certainly copyrighted). Is it sufficient to just mention in the instructable that the sprites are copyrighted to e.g. Nintendo? This article on sprites and copyright ( give a very definite maybe as the final conclusion. But what is Instructables’ view on this? Thanks André

Topic by CR34M3    |  last reply

Licence = Copyright and Patent?

I have a few projects that I plan to place up, but I want a little bit of assurance that my ideas will be safe in general from people that might want to copy. I sometimes use the by-nc-nd as a way to keep my ideas up, but I was wondering if the idea can be kept in my ownership. I know that pictures have copyright protection (along bottom of pictures if clicked to see single pictures), so it might mean that it's protected in a way. Does this seem confusing? To put everything down shortly, does placing Instructables up provide copyright protection and/or patents when using the right license? Thanks, username252

Topic by username252    |  last reply

Legal and copyrights confusion.

Hey everyone, I love instructables and I've been working on my own tutorial for the last few weeks. I am not far from publishing the instructables. Recently it came to my attention that I might have some legal/copyright issues. I built my DIY using some parts I took down from other products that are still on sale. One of these parts is copyrighted but not patented. I was wondering, due to the DIY and instructables nature if that would be an issue for me? I am not reselling the DIY or pushing people to do the same as me and even give indication to future makers about how to obtain that part legally. I cite all the sources of the original product from which I borrowed the parts. Would it be ok if I publish my instructables like this or should I avoid talking at all about the "borrowed" parts? Also, if a newspaper or magazine wanted to publish an article about my instructables, would granting them sole publishing rights interfere with using the "borrowed parts" that I talk about above? Would I even be able at all to grant them these rights, given the general terms of the CC license (Non-commercial share-alike)? Does this CC license allow anyone to publish an article about my instructables without my written consent (print and online), so long as they cite the sources? Thanks in advance for helping me out, I'm a bit confused!

Topic by twinbirder    |  last reply

Is Instructable not copyright in 2018?

It is not changed in copyright area © 2017 Autodesk, Inc it 2018.

Topic by FahadI7    |  last reply

Help me about Copyright

Hi everyone, i have a question want to ask about copyright. That is if i copy a prọject on, then translate all content in that project to my language, credit author and link to original project, then post on my website and share to everyone on my country, so can i have permision to to that? or if i want to do that, what i need to do? Thank you about your help :)

Topic by tuanhuu    |  last reply

report blatant copyright violations

Who should we be reporting stolen content to? IE. having it removed for review It's not MY content but I won't just watch and ignore while other people submit material ripped off from others. It shouldn't require a request from the owner for something do be done when it's so obvious. Step up and confront it. At least add something to the flag menu.

Topic by explosivemaker    |  last reply

The use of copyrighted music in Videos

Quick question; what are the rules regarding the use of music in videos posted on Instructables (or on YouTube, through Instructables)? I ask because I'd like to post sound clips and some may contain copyrighted music. Is there a 30 second rule or something? Do I just have to give credit?

Topic by jeff-o    |  last reply

Websites to Shun - Violate Copyright

More and more websites are doing it now...taking pictures and info from instructables and posting it without giving credit. (Link Removed - Just in case I'm crazy, because no one else seems to recognize it)I found that using stumbleupon (and gave it a thumbs down).Post up the links to website to avoid...websites that don't respect copyright laws. (in relation to instructables)Can you guys help me find the original instructable that the linked to website copied?

Topic by Weissensteinburg    |  last reply

translation of some instructables and copyright

Hi I came to a site which translate some instructables to another language and published them in their site. I guess as long as the copyright for an insructable is not "Non, All rights reserved", nothing is wrong here. Am I right? I my opinion. it is also great that many other people can think the "DIY way" by reading the translated version, since not all of the world speak English! And also people share what they make in istructable to be seen and by this translation, even more people around the world can see their work. waiting for your answers and thoughts.

Topic by Dani78    |  last reply

copyright laws and answer books?

I want to write answer manuals for textbooks that don't provide the answers in the back in my fields of physical science and math. I want to make my own answers, proof check with others, and probably e-publish it. My question is on the legality of doing this. The copyright aspect pertains to the questions themselves. The answers are all original on my part. Now I suppose it is harder for copyrighted, recently published books but do you think the authors of free albeit copyrighted texts ( are more willing to allow me to do this? How does cramster get away with this?

Question by phillyj    |  last reply

is star wars a trademark or a copyright?

I have been asked if star wars was a trademark or a copyright by someone else and i said i dont know

Question by HannahN11    |  last reply

Are the pictures in our instructables protected by copyright?

I see one of my photos all over the internet without a link to the original material.

Question by cpacker1    |  last reply

Does instrucables own copyrights to our posts? Answered

If we post something on instructables, do we own copyright to the post or does instructables?

Question by gumbytig    |  last reply

How can I avoide product Copyright laws? Answered

I have been asked to make a product based off of a game to market, I want to do this but I am unsure how close I can make this product to the game without encountering copyright, Any suggestion or ideas where I could look? Many thanks

Question by KyleofAsgard    |  last reply

Is this a copy right problem? Using google images.

Instructables seems strict about authors using their own images.  If I want to use a cartoon figure of Garfield, for example, embedded into other art work I'm doing, would that be allowed?  The Garfield image would just be something I would google image, but it won't be standing alone - it would be incorporated into some other diagrams I'm making. Just wondering if that's allowed or if I should just stay away from it totally.

Topic by electronichamsters    |  last reply

A few thoughts about copyright and Instructables

I have had some excellent exposure from some of my projects on this site. My Nintendo card reader was published in Popular Photography magazine. My geek wallet went pretty viral. Even my shopping cart bike was picked up on Wired and may be published in an Italian magazine. These have been great because they have had my permission to publish my work. But there have been some negatives.Many splogs (spam blogs that just scrape content from valid blogs) have essentially stolen my photography. Thanks to a tip from someone near Boulder i was able to pick up a copy of a newspaper that had published one of my photos "courtesy Instructables." I'm happy to have other people take my ideas and tweak them. That's why i post my projects here. That's why the license i have chosen for all of my projects is Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike. This specifically states "This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms."So when a newspaper publishes my photo without my authorization and credits Instructables that gets me a little hot. When someone takes one of my projects and then makes a video of it and submits it to the MetaCafe rewards program that seems like a violation of my license. And when dozens of splogs pick up a popular project and i have to go around trying to get photographer credit it makes me really reconsider if sharing projects on here is actually beneficial to me at all. I'm sure others have had their great projects ripped off (if they want to retain any rights) in the effort to contribute to the community too. Admittedly, i do have a Leatherman and a few t-shirts and magazine subscriptions to show for my efforts. I do want this site to work - i truly believe in it. I guess i'd like to see image protection for projects that have specified that they need to be attributed. I'd like the license more visible on the project pages. Perhaps a "if you write about this project provide a link to as well as the author's website at" type footer to projects. I suppose i can watermark all of my photos and put copyright notices all over my pages and it would be moot.

Topic by zieak    |  last reply

Wondering if it would be a violation of copyright to use the American Girl mailer to make an Instructable? Answered

I have an idea for an Instructable that would utilize the advertising mailers from the American Girl company.  I have read the definitions and the analysis, but thought I would ask here for more information.  This idea does not involve damaging the dolls or defacing the pictures.  It is a positive craft idea for young girls.  Thanks in advance for any advice.

Question by cdawisconsin    |  last reply

Can i translate post on and post on my website and share to everyone in my country?

I want to ask because i respect all good thing that has bring :)

Question by tuanhuu    |  last reply


Has scoochmaroo plagiarized Emeril Lagasse's work?  You be the judge! I, for one, would find it hard to believe that Emeril would poach from smoochmaroo, and that's not considering the six year difference in dates.

Topic by JunkBot Bob    |  last reply

Ofslides ible poaching

I ran across this site that has republished my ibles with no link to the original content. I've asked them to remove it. I'm guessing one person has taken and republished it there under my username. I thought some others might want to check to see if their ibles had been copied as well.

Topic by Brooklyntonia    |  last reply

Option for Flagging copied content instructable

I opened up the site and saw this great looking lamp instructable on the homepage ( I really liked it and thought of putting up a comment when I saw that in a previous comment, another user mentioned seeing the exact same images and content before in another place. It's nothing new that people are blatantly copying content(which might be copyrighted too) for winning prizes, but these appearing on the main homepage is a little disappointing. Another example of such project getting featured on homepage was a 9V-battery top spy bug instructable some time back. I understand the instructable staff can't keep knowledge of every project ever posted, and to feature only the original ones. But can we have an option to flag as "Blindly Copied" with link to original work, so the instructable staff can check and remove it? None of the current flag categories match the requirement,

Topic by Antzy Carmasaic    |  last reply

Again How To- Stolen Instructables Content

Again How To Hi all,  not sure if this is really the correct place to be raising this (and can’t seem to find it mentioned elsewhere), but a new website called again how to has appeared aggregating content and reposting on their site, along the lines of ehow. It does appear to be pulling a hell of a lot of Instructables up on it, as well as off peoples personal sites (how I have picked up). I hope the Instructables legal team can have a look at this. Superpants

Topic by superpants    |  last reply


I got a vhs to dvd recorder and trying to convert vhs tape to dvd but some of the tapes have some type of copyright protection and will not allow to be copied is there a mod or device that a can use to bypass the copyright. I am just coping these for own use.

Question by ewdys95    |  last reply

what is the difference between trade mark and copyright? Answered

Title says the first question but also i want to know where and what i would do to establish a company name and also where i could get a patent and what a patent protects you from in terms of copying because i have a very broad motorized skateboard idea and want to know if its even worth getting it patented since there would be tons of ways to probably get around it 

Question by BIGHAIRYDUDE    |  last reply

Is making a Linux-based OS and selling it legal as well as copyrighting certain included software that I make?

I would like to know before I begin work on my dream OS If I cant base it on Linux can I base it on Unix?

Question by nerd7473    |  last reply

why? copyright infringment - do not allow!

Https://   WAS TAKEN PIC FOR PIC FROM Sent to my inbox today AND THEY ENTERED A CONTEST???!!!  Remove it.

Topic by nowuknowjack    |  last reply

grandpajoe's Missouri Handcart entry has a photo I wish to use. Is there a way I can find out if it is copyrighted? Answered

my email is grandma.connection.  I simply want to know if I need to get permission before I can cut and paste a photo from the website.  If I need permission from grandpajoe, and his email is secure, could you forward my request to him? Gratefully, grandma-sue

Question by grandma-sue    |  last reply

Patenting an Instructable?

Hi, I'm new to Instructables and I have always wanted to know whether Instructables provides patenting services for the inventors who want their instructable to be patented. Thanks Shoukei

Topic by Shoukei    |  last reply

Creating and Registering a Trademark

Does anyone know and understand the process of creating a trademark? As best as I can gather creating a trademark is as easy as putting TM after what ever you would like trademarked. However, if you wish to register your trademark so you can have the R behind it that is where the line starts to blur and become a little more fuzzy. There are some fairly expensive fees as well as quite of bit of research that you first must do or face losing your $300+ fees.  So if anyone has had anything registered with the Us Copyright and Trademark office please share your experience. 

Topic by xtreker15    |  last reply

Can i include logo pictures in my ible?

I was reading through the tech contest rules and saw this. My question is can i include picture such as this one in my ible if its entered in a contest? Also i my most current ible is a race car and all race cars have to be sponsored. so i was going to but hobbyking decals on it but I am not sure if doing so will disqualify me from the contests? Entries must not contain anything that is or may be: protected by copyright, trademark, patents, utility models, design patents or other proprietary right without the express prior written consent of the owner of such right.

Question by Team Dogoman RC    |  last reply

Overview of License on Publish page

I often get questions about copyright, licensing, patents, and publishing an Instructable.  In an effort to help clarify, we're going to put an overview of the license on the Instructable publish page.  We'll also link to a forum topic where users can ask questions and discuss edge cases.  I'd love your feedback, suggestions, and question on the proposed text that will appear on the publish page where you choose a license: Here's a brief overview of how the license works: By publishing your Instructable, you give permission to republish your Instructable on our website, or on a partner's website or other media.  We always try to get your Instructable seen by as many people as possible, and usually our goal is the same as yours.  For more information, see our Terms of Service. The license you choose below informs third-parties how they must treat your Instructable.  If you choose our default license, Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa), any website may republish your entire Instructable in a non-commercial venue under the same license, provided they attribute it properly -- by citing your name, linking to your website, your userpage on Instructables, or the original Instructable.  If you choose to reserve all rights, no entity other than may republish your exact text or images.  If you choose Public Domain, you are explicitly abandoning all rights. For the purposes of news reporting, pieces of your Instructable may be republished regardless of their copyright under the fair use exemption. More information can be found on the Creative Common website. The ideas or methods described within your Instructables are not protected by copyright.  Copyright only applies to original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form of expression; for the purposes of your Instructable, that includes your text, images, and any files.  If you'd like to protect the idea or method of your Instructable, you'll need a patent.  Patent law is more complicated than we have space for here, but the good news is that in the United States, you have a year from first publication to file a patent application.  So, if you think your idea is patentable, you can publish a form of it as an Instructable, get constructive feedback on the idea, and still be able to apply for a patent.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply

Not a bug -- Direct copy of my website page on Instructable

I just found this page on Instructables whose text is a direct copy from my website.The Instructable page is page is user who "contributed" it is no longer an active member, apparently. Her pictures were decent, but I would like attribution for my work if possible.

Topic by JanAndrea    |  last reply

Blatant Copy of my work.

My Instructable has been copied and re-posted here and on his/hers website. What should I do? My Instructable(for reference): His/hers Instructable (even the same cover picture): And the website he/she advertises: Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, Forte1994

Topic by forte1994    |  last reply

It it legal If I use someone elses music/Tune in My Video (trailer)? Answered

Soooo I was searching on YouTube (bored as always) And I found a small YouTube channel (less than 200 subs) With a Tune that sounded alright i was wondering if it is legal to use The Tune in my own Video If i gave that person The credit for it in the video (also in the description with link to they're channel) This is what it said in the Description of the Video: Uploaded on Apr 23, 2011 Sheet Music: Please credit me if you use my score in any way :3 And at the very Bottom it said, Creative Commons Attribution License (reuse allowed) whats that? it also gave me the option of remixing the Video. Also Here is the link to the Video On YouTube if it helps more: Thanks In Advance to anyone reading this and giving me an answer -Kevin, 7/9/2014 USA 

Question by KittyOfCamelot    |  last reply

Instructable images on another site

I noticed a spike in youtube views the other day.  Based on YouTube analytics, the views were coming from a site out of France. I went to the site and notice that  the images and new text (love google translate) were pulled off one of my instructables and placed on that site.  There is no credit (or link) given to instructables.  In addition, the adsense revenue was zero since the banner ads don't show up.   Here is the original: Part 1: Part 2: Buzzfil Version,non-classe/il-ne-savait-pas-trop-quoi-faire-avec-ses-palettes-en-bois-mais-son-idee-est-hyper-genial-9.html Is this pretty common?

Topic by mtairymd    |  last reply

What is the proper way to use copyrighted materials on Instructables? Answered

I wish to use a copyrighted image in an upcoming -ible and possibly a different one as a profile picture. What is the proper way to credit the original creator as to keep my pants in their upright, non-sued-off condition?

Question by Bigev    |  last reply

Where and How to approach my ideas to advertisement companies? Answered

Where and How to approach my ideas to advertisement companies without taking patent or copyright on them?

Question by noquery    |  last reply