EU Court Declares Embedding As Not A Copyright Infringement
EU deserves credit for making and implementing anti-piracy laws and securing copyrighted works, but their laws are not much clear about embedding copyrighted videos or content.
This week EU’s Court of Justice had been hearing an interesting case about embedding copyrighted videos. This case, about the dispute between the water filtering company BestWater International and two men who work as independent commercial agents for a competitor, was referred by a German court.
BestWater accused the two commercial agents of embedding their promotional video that was uploaded on YouTube. They claimed that the agents embedded it without the company’s permission. The video was embedded in a frame — the usual way like it is embedded on all the websites.
[Read also: UK Citizens Might Be Able to Legally Copy CDs Soon]
The court, however, is now inclined to give the decision in favor of the two agents declaring that embedding is not a copyright infringement.
The decision is not officially announced yet but TorrentFreak reports that they got a copy from the defendants’ lawyer who describes the decision as “ruling victory.”
The Court of Justice argues that as long as the original content is not altered, embedding it is not a copyright infringement. As the video was already available at YouTube, a public video sharing site, embedding it was like watching it on YouTube. The ruling sounds logical.
“The embedding in a website of a protected work which is publicly accessible on another website by means of a link using the framing technology … does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of [the EU Copyright directive] to the extent that the relevant work is neither communicated to a new public nor by using a specific technical means different from that used for the original communication,” the Court’s verdict reads.
The Court had dealt with a similar case in the past in which one party accused the other of copyright infringement because of a hyperlink. In that case, the Court found that hyperlinking to a previously published work is not copyright infringement. This time, it was a video instead of a hyperlink, and hence the Court based its decision on the previous similar ruling.
This ruling will have impacts on Internet users. The video streaming websites would be able to embed third-party videos without worrying about copyright violation issues.