Good News Bloggers – Embedding Illegal Content is NOT Illegal
Good news for me and bad news for my lawyer – if you embed a copyright-infringing video, or if you watch it, it is not illegal (via Tech Dirt). This is huge news for music websites and blogs like this fine one you are wasting your time with. Instead of tip toeing around illegal or dubious videos (which I never did – I’m a rebel), I can post videos freely, knowing that the judge’s ruling states that the uploader of the video is the one who is in the wrong. The whole case stems from the MyVidtser site and a p0rn producer Flava Works who were mad at the bookmarking site.
Judge Posner notes “Is myVidster therefore a contributory infringer if a visitor to its website bookmarks the video and later someone clicks on the bookmark and views the video? myVidster is not just adding a frame around the video screen that the visitor is watching. Like a telephone exchange connecting two telephones, it is providing a connection between the server that hosts the video and the computer of myVidster’s visitor. But as long as the visitor makes no copy of the copyrighted video that he is watching, he is not violating the copyright owner’s exclusive right, conferred by the Copyright Act, “to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies” and “distribute copies . . . of the copyrighted work to the public.” 17 U.S.C. §§ 106(1), (3). His bypassing Flava’s pay wall by viewing the uploaded copy is equivalent to stealing a copyrighted book from a bookstore and reading it. That is a bad thing to do (in either case) but it is not copyright infringement. The infringer is the customer of Flava who copied Flava’s copyrighted video by uploading it to the Internet.”
Translation: if you watch a video someone else has uploaded, you are not infringing on any copyright laws. Also, embedding videos is not infringing nor is hosting the embed code. Hooray for music bloggers! Or is that p0rn bloggers? Pete Hates P0rn?