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Does copy and paste infringe copyrights?

This site lends itself to questions/answers that contain quoted sections of materials from other sources, and in particular embedded images. However, I have been leery of including images in my own questions/answers that aren't clearly public domain or creative commons (just finding them on the web doesn't make them mine).

For example, this excellent answer contains an image with no copyright visible in the image itself, so no question that the original author does not wanted to protect it. The same hold true for the related question.

Now, I don't want to get into a debate on whether people agree on copyright law or whether it even applies in their home countries, but I would like to know if EL&U has a policy about including copyrighted material, especially images, directly in the body of a question or an answer.

Is there the possibility of putting this site at risk by doing so?

  • The image in that particular answer is CC-licensed "BY-NC-ND", which is why I had no scruples about including it. It required attribution, so the link is included in the answer. It is copyright, but its use is allowed.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Dec 28, 2012 at 22:39
  • 1
    Meanwhile the question itself contains an image with no attribution. So, um, yeah. You'll need to provide it, Carlo.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 28, 2012 at 23:32