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Forum Moderators: not2easy
I'm certainly not a lawyer, though, so don't take what I say too seriously. Another thing to bear in mind: even if you're completely right, that doesn't make you immune from getting sued. I know that's not a brave and valiant thing to say, but you have to choose your battles.
If you use a still of Paul Newman captured out of a movie for your commercial website, it is still a Paul Newman face, and Paul Newman has publicity rights for his likeness. Unauthorized commercial use of images of people (people who have established that they have expanded publicity rights, like celebrities) is a very strictly enforced part of copyright law. You don't have much chance defending against those charges.
There is a huge difference between what the original poster suggests, and "review sites". Review is very specifically covered under Fair Use.
"[P]ost them on the internet and let others download and use them", ain't anywhere near the same thing.
I still don't think it makes a difference. Movie studios hand out production stills/promotional images like their life depends on it. Look at Yahoo! Movies or any number of major movie sites. They don't do movie reviews at all, and their only purpose is to provide movie images for people to download and reuse -- the whole purpose is to spread the images in order to promote their movie. Really, I understand most people's reply to this topic, but having been in this business for a while now, I can tell you that movie studios would PAY you to distribute their movie images/stills if they couldn't get you to take it for free.
The question is not whether you can get away with it, or whether the studio might give you permission. The question is whether it is legal and considered fair use.
As described, it is not fair use. It is not the shots supplied "with permission". Therefore, it is NOT legal unless you gain permission.
Whether they will prosecute or not is a different question, and not one that you are qualified to answer since you are not the rights holder, but it is a fool that is willing to risk it.