Wednesday, January 14, 2015

European Union follows US 7th Circuit, not regarding embeds as possible copyright infringers in most cases

There is a case from the European Union that suggests that court still generally don’t recognize a website that embeds content that itself turns out to be infringing on copyright and gets removed, as guilty of contributory copyright infringement.
In Policy Review on Nov. 26, 2014, Philippa Warr writes about a case of BestWater mbh International v. Michael Mebes and Setfan Posch, and the writer is somewhat critical of the opinion as potentially encouraging more piracy, link here.  Also videos are the most common embeds, still images and PDF’s can also be included in “iframe”.  There’s another, even more detailed story Kluwer copyright blog here.
Generally, a blogger intending to embed just one video to illustrate something (like scenes from a movie, for a review) has no sure way of knowing that the original content does not infringe, although YouTube does have some automation that does prevent some infringing material from being uploaded.  I think a problem could occur if someone deliberately provided many embeds of the same source company with the intention of making it look like the content was the “embedder’s” and really wanted to encourage users to bypass paying for content as had been intended. 
The decision in Flava Works. v. Gunter (or myVidster) by the Seventh Circuit in Aug. 2012 still seems to hold.  The Wikipedia details are here and I haven’t heard of a SCOTUS appeal.  
The logic of the EU court is encouraging for free speech here, even if it wasn't so much with it's "right to be forgotten" ruling recently.

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