When I read a (math or statistics) textbook, sometimes I do not understand some of the equations or proofs in the book. Is it OK to take a picture of the page in the book (or ebook) that has the equations or proofs, and include it in the question as a supplemental matreial? Does this violate any copyright law?

  • If you're asking "does this violate copyright anywhere in the world", only a professional lawyer could say for sure, although Law may be able to give you some information. However, in practice, SE doesn't care much about the copyright regimes in most of the world: US law is the most pertinent, although the EU or other areas may occasionally have effects as well. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 2 '18 at 0:31
  • Very complicated issue, and one that really cannot be resolved here - see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention, particularly the issue of "fair use". – Neil Butterworth Sep 2 '18 at 1:33
  • I can't believe 9 people have downvoted this. It's a fair question, written to an ok standard. – James Sep 2 '18 at 13:14

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really answer whether a certain use is a violation of the law. I can explain why putting such pictures in your questions may not be a good idea.

One problem with using pictures instead of text to explain your question is that they aren't searchable, so other people with the same question you posted won't be able to find the answers as easily. Another problem is that people with visual impairments may not be able to understand your question if most of it is described by a picture.

It would be best to try to transcribe or summarize the material that you want to take a picture of. You can include the picture as well (but be sure to put something meaningful where it says "enter image description here" and to include which book the picture is from) but your question should be able to be understood without it.

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