Deskish accesses GIPHY animations and stickers through an API license issued by GIPHY. This license allows Deskish to incorporate GIPHY’s realtime library directly into our site. However, all Deskish users must follow all copyright notices and restrictions associated with any content accessed through GIPHY. In other words, it is the users responsibility to make sure their use is inline with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
There is no U.S. legal case that definitively states whether creating a GIF made from copyrighted material is or is not copyright infringement.
Since there is no definitive law the legality of it depends on whether it is ‘fair use’. Fair use is any copyrighted material used for a limited and “transformative purpose”, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. This type of use can be done without the permission from the copyright owner.
Fair use is determined by not only what the GIF is but who created it and for what purpose. SInce it’s such a gray area when it comes to GIFs there are four factors taken into account when determining fair use:
The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or for nonprofit or educational purposes
The nature of the copyrighted work
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work