Can I use thumbnail photos of storefronts in an online directory?

If photos are taken of storefronts from outdoors (on private or public property) or within a privately-owned mall with no permission from the owner, would use of thumbnails in an online directory in which advertisements appear (some of which may be competitors of the photographed storefront), would fair use apply?

Ken on Aug 5, 2012

Possibly. I just wrote an article on this subject, see copyright web links — thumbnails. There is a landmark case about thumbnails in online directories, see Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., 2003. Ensure that the photos are shown in a straightfoward manner and do not imply a business affiliation that does not exist. Consult an attorney for advice.

copyright web links — thumbnails

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