Judge rules that embedding copyright-infringing video is not illegal

By Shawn Knight
Aug 3, 2012
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  1. Judge Richard Posner of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that embedding a copyright-infringing video on another website is not illegal. The decision overturns a 2011 preliminary injunction from a lower court following a lawsuit from Flava…

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  2. lipe123

    lipe123 TechSpot Guru Posts: 408   +73

    Not to be overly critical but wont it make more sense to have the topic be: Judge rules that embedding copyright-infringing video is legal.

    But we could always elaborate some more like:

    Judge rules that not embedding copyright-infringing video isn't not illegal =P Double negatives are so much fun.

    This is also just so silly, its like taking a picture of a crime. The picture isn't a crime the freaking crime is the crime! People are always busy trying to push responsibly off to someone else so they don't need to deal with it
  3. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    I think it has more to do with who can be sued rather than who is responsible. You can't sue stonerdude420 for posting something, but you can a company with assets.
  4. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Yep its all about who has the money. Since more and more Judges are cracking down on frivilous lawsuits, ppl have changed thier focus. However I think the judge in this case may be incorrect in his ruling. Yes the website itself may not be liable for embedded copyright info, if they collect ANY fees for the useof thier website they would be profiting from coptrighted material they have no right to collect on. Atleast not w/o paying the original artist. But thats only if they collect any membership dues or allow for micro transactions within the website itself.
  5. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TechSpot Maniac Posts: 513   +95

    "Yes the website itself may not be liable for embedded copyright info, if they collect ANY fees for the useof thier website they would be profiting from coptrighted material they have no right to collect on."


    So you are saying the website is not liable, yet if they make any money they are liable?
  6. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Yes.....IF they earn profits by membership fees AND they still run embedded videos it can be argued that they are profiting from other ppls intelectual property. BUT thats only if they profit from membership fees.
  7. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    @Tygerstrike - "it can be argued that..." sounds like a lawyer or academic stepping away from a position they don't really want to support. Then again you did say the judge might be wrong, and I'm unclear why a paid membership in a site where people trade links makes the site responsible for the links that the members trade. That seems like a legal position almost custom-made to make member-supported, niche interest groups impossibly risky to start. Or in the analog world, like holding the post office responsible if someone buys a stamp to mail, say, a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover to someplace where that book has been banned. Seems absurd.
  8. MPAA backed a porn company?? Wonder how the conservatives in congress will explain porn money funding their campaign? Guess Romney will come out to support pron.
  9. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @TJ
    Just simply pointing out that though the website itself wouldnt be liable for the actions of its members, it would be liable if they PROFIT from the copyrighted material through any form of fees they collect. Kinda like a movie theater. Every movie theater signs a contract that pays a certain amout of the ticket price to the person who controls the movie.
  10. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    @Tygerstrike - Thanks. Now I can see the logic, though such analogies can be tricky. I guess a lot depends on whether the site is like a carrier (is FedEx responsible for the contents of the packages its employees carry for a fee?) or a content provider (like a theater, which has control over what they show and who they show it to). Still, as you said, the logic is there and it "can be argued" (just not by me). :)
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,420

    It's my opinion that TechSpot is responsible for links that members post. There are links taken down all the time, that do not meet the posting requirements of the website. I fail to see why one site would monitor their links for fear of being held responsible, while another site's links are being ignored. Maybe there is not that much to fear, from allowing any type of link on a site after all.
     
  12. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @TJ
    I think the example of Fedex is funny. Because they are responsible for the box itself and not the contents.
    @Cliff
    TechSopts business is all about informing ppl of upcomming product and trends. Sites like TBP and others...Thier model is the storing and sharing of files. TechSpot does monitor thier own site so that any links posted are quickly taken down. The other sites, well they wouldnt make any money.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,420

    My point is based around why TechSpot takes the links down, not the fact that they do. Why would TechSpot take down links if there where no repercussions or legalities involved?
  14. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Its a great question. I dont know the answer. I can take a few guesses on the why. Most being that someone could post a link that sends someone to a malicous site or maybe to pron.
    Shawn!!! Give us a heads up on that question.
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,042   +84 Staff Member

    Torrent sites generally don't store illegal files. TPB and others argue that they're nothing but a search index, not unlike Google, except they focus on a certain type of material -- material that generally violates copyright laws. They don't host the illegal content, they essentially tell users where to find the illegal content. Obviously many copyright holders, judges and legislators don't buy that argument, because many people and organizations have been sued for inducing copyright infringement. That's why sites like TS forbid links to torrents and so on. It's obviously frowned upon and it's just not worth the potential hassle/risk. At least that's how I see it, but I'm no expert.
  16. This is just ridiculous. How come they did not come to their door to let them know that they have a cut coming since so many more customers went and saw those movies based on the clip. People are just sue happy!


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