As per U.S. Copyright Law, Title 17 of United States Code, Chapter 1:
It is of the firm belief of Background HQ (BGHQ) that its display of digital images of graphical background content from commercial, copyrighted video game works does not infringe on the works or the rights of the copyright holders.
BGHQ believes the purpose of the website qualifies as Fair Use, where:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
BGHQ is not commercial in any nature, and is intended for non-profit parody (through the creation of sprite comics) and educational purposes (providing resources for sampling by aspiring digital design artists or game developers). Its intention is to stimulate creativity by assisting third-party authors express new ideas (story, dialogue, or game design) through providing backgrounds which often serve as a stumbling block to these aspiring comic authors or game developers.
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
The works are video games which are sold to be played and experienced.
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
The portion of the work displayed by BGHQ are screenshots of the game's background graphical content, and BGHQ does not reproduce the game's characters, animation, music, gameplay elements, or code.
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Where the display of the game's images does not negatively influence the potential market or value of it, no more than standard screenshots of the game, as the game code and gameplay experience (the selling point of the work) are not reproduced and can only be obtained by purchasing the work.
On the contrary, it is the belief of BGHQ that display of images from the game help its market such by:
a) Increasing the game's exposure, and
b) Assisting third-party authors to generate consumer interest in the game through the creation of comics and parodies, similar to the use of Mega Man character sprites in Bob and George, and Final Fantasy sprites in 8-bit Theater