Is Embedding Infringement? MPAA Sues Two Sites

from the we-may-find-out dept

While we still need to wait for the end result of the YouTube/Viacom case to learn whether hosting infringing videos is infringement itself, there's another open question about whether or not linking to or embedding infringing videos is also infringing. It seems difficult to understand how it could be infringing, as it's no different than pointing someone to freely available content (and, technically, linking and embedding are no different at all -- it's just some HTML). The person (or computer) doing the linking or embedding has no idea whether the content being linked or embedded is infringing -- and it seems reasonable to believe that if it's available online, there's nothing wrong with linking to it.

Yet, here we have the MPAA suing two sites that both link to and embed various movies. The two sites in question, FOMD (Found Online Movie Database) and MovieRumor, don't host the movies themselves. They merely point people to various movies that are publicly available online. It would seem like a rather drastic stretch of copyright law to claim that is also infringement, but don't be too surprised at how this will be argued. The MPAA will play on emotional, rather than rational, arguments -- and it may actually work, given some similar cases in the past.

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  1. identicon
    Best Political Quiz, 20 Nov 2009 @ 9:35pm

    embedding

    It is just ridiculous that sites on the internet can be bullied while search engines remain unharmed. Google does not even make an attempt to clean itself of illegal activity unless it is of the worst kind (child porn) but even at that is making a ***** attempt.

    I remember a case that a site got sued simply for being on google. For no other reason, google's response is they should have had a no follow on their bot.txt file.

    I find it ridiculous, why even try to enforce copyright rules on the internet, some sites will never give in to pressure and if they have enough experience in online anonymity they can get away with anything. They will never be taken down but will just go through multiple proxies, ect. One example is pspiso.com Oh no now this site will be taken down..lol ridiculous..

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