Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Social bookmarking" sites have raised copyright infringement claims, of which courts seem skeptical so far

It’s important to note a relatively recent decision regarding copyright, from August 2012, by Richard Posner in the Seventh Circuit.  Posner vacated a preliminary injunction against a “social bookmarking site” called myVidster (link), which had been sued by another site “Flava” (link and property identity not determined) for allowing users to go to the material on the site around the paywall.  The Thomson Reuters story link is here.
Posner reaffirmed that this sort of linking is a long way from filesharing or P2P and does not represent copyright infringement on its own, although there could be further issues if the defendant had actively encouraged infringement.
Most of the time when someone links to an article to a site behind a paywall, the paywall will still work and enforce the content owner’s payment intentions.  I don’t know why this is different.

The article suggests that paywall evasion issues leading to copyright infringement claims have occurred with porn or adult sites.  
I have discovered more concern in other articles about “framing” or “embed” links and will return to the subject soon.  This may become an active controversy again. 

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