Embed All The Pirated Videos You Want Because It's Totally Legal

A few months back, porn studio Flava Works and the MPAA launched a legal campaign against site myVidster to outlaw the embedding of videos that weren't uploaded with the permission of the copyright holders. Hypothetically, you could be punished for posting an old N*Sync video to you blog that wasn't uploaded by Vevo (or whoever). Thankfully the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck that case down.

According to GigaOm, Judge Richard Posner says that because myVidster was not hosting the links, but merely pointing them to content, it infringed on no copyrights. He considered it akin to the New Yorker providing show listings to readers. Furthermore, he went out of his way to mention that viewing illegally uploaded videos was not copyright infringement either.

"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... 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."

And while that puts any notion of infringement to rest, what's curious about that statement is that it doesn't necessarily close the argument on the viewing of illegally uploaded videos being considered theft. But that issue, if taken up, will be on another day. For now, embed at will. [US Courts via Eric Goldman via GigaOm]



    "myVidster was not hosting the links"

    You mean hosting the video right? You can't possibly stream a video without actually having some kind of link hosted on your site within the source code.

    Also I've never believed there was any worry about streaming a video on your site. This could hardly be a landmark case could it? Certainly doesn't mean much for Aussies unsure about streaming video as well...

      Of course you can, if I provide a link to YouTube on my website the video is still hosted on YouTube clearly you are making an uneducated guess

    It's a fairly trivial exercise to ensure that any media on your site is only viewed on the site. You just need to make sure that the referring site is your own rather than another. I've seen this use to good effect when one UK newspaper's site linked to an image on a cartoonist's site. As soon as the cartoonist realised what was happening he changed the linked image for external sites to Tub Girl.

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