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Why Isn’t Revenge Porn Illegal Everywhere?

People who have their nude pictures posted on the Internet without consent — a vile practice known as revenge pornhave little legal recourse. That’s changing, but only very slowly, with legislation proposed in California earlier this year joining New Jersey as the second state with laws specifically targeting the practice.* The California bill passed the state Senate earlier this month and this week the California legislature will debate it. If the bill passes in its current form, posting revenge porn would be considered a misdemeanor and posters of their ex-girlfriends’ nudes could face up to a year of jail-time or a fine of up to $2,000.

Despite what sounds like a much-needed bill for a practice that victims and advocates like Holly Jacobs — the first Floridian, according to her lawyer, to sue her ex for the alleged distribution of non-consensual pornography — say is becoming increasingly common, not everyone thinks explicit revenge porn bills are the way to go. One California State senator voted against the proposed legislation arguing, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, that it limits free speech, reports The New York Times‘s Somini Sengupta today. Both Florida and Missouri rejected similar bills last year because of free speech concerns.

In addition, other legal experts argue that current laws already protect revenge porn victims, under harassment, stalking, and even copyright law. “I’m unclear exactly how much ground the new law would cover that isn’t already covered by existing laws, such as anti-harassment/anti-stalking laws,” Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, told Sengupta. “As usual, one of the key questions is how existing law has failed and what behavior is being newly criminalized.” Indeed, Jacobs’s May 2013 lawsuit aims to charge her ex-boyfriend with one count of stalking, two counts of harassment by use of personal identification info and one count of unlawful publication, all of which could add up to a total of four years’ jail time. (Jacobs worked with Florida lawmakers to pass a bill, which ultimately failed, to make the practice of posting pornographic images on the Internet without consent a third degree felony.)

Still, Jacobs and others say laws specifically targeting revenge porn only cover repeated postings of images. The Internet and sites like the now defunct Is Anyone Up and its even more vile replacement, from noted jerk and Internet entrepreneur Hunter Moore, make a single posting even more impactful because just one image posted without permission can go viral, and harassment or stalking laws might not cover a single infraction. In addition, having specific laws against posting pornographic images online without permission would deter the behavior, argues University of Maryland law professor Danielle Citron. “It signals taking the issue seriously, that harms are serious enough to be criminalized,” she told Sentgupta.

*This post originally said New Jersey passed a revenge porn law in 2011. It already had one on the books.

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Why Isn’t Revenge Porn Illegal Everywhere? - The Atlantic Wire

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King, the Candy Crush Saga company, Sues 6Waves for Game Copyright Infringement

Farm-EpicKing, the company best known for the social-mobile juggernaut Candy Crush Saga, is suing game studio 6Waves for allegedly infringing on the copyright of two of King’s other games.

In a filing with the Northern District Court of California, King asserts that 6Waves is “blatantly cloning two of its most popular games.” Update 9:15pm PT: 6Waves responded to a request for comment with the following statement from Sharon Lau, the company’s director of Corporate and Legal Affairs:

6waves cannot provide detailed comments at this stage but we deny all allegations of the copyright infringement complaint by Limited. Puzzle solving games and themes like farming and jewels are not unique and have been created by many other companies. Such popular gameplay and themes cannot be copyrighted.

The 6Waves games in question, Treasure Epic and Farm Epic (pictured above right), are available on Facebook, as are the games they are accused of copying, King’s Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga (pictured below left). Pet Rescue Saga is also available on iOS and Android.

farm-heroes-sagaAll four are puzzle-solving matching games in nature, but King’s claim extends beyond game mechanics: In the filing, the company asserts that the “theme, look and feel, game progression, game interface, map [and] graphics” of both of its games have been infringed upon, and that additionally the text of Pet Rescue Saga has been copied, too.

Starting on Page 18 of King’s complaint (which I’ve embedded below), the company walks through Pet Rescue Saga and Treasure Epic’s tutorial levels, which appear to follow the same beats, with cartoon characters appearing in similarly colored dialogue boxes using near-identical text to explain how to play the games. For example, where Pet Rescue says, “That’s great! Now try to remove as many blocks from the screen as you can!” Treasure Epic says, “Good job! Now try to remove as many blocks from the screen as you can!”

The complaint brings to mind EA’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Zynga over similarities between EA’s The Sims Social and Zynga’s The Ville. That lawsuit was quietly settled out of court in February under confidential terms.

King itself has been in this position before. “We also brought, and won, a case last year for copyright infringement against Playmonk regarding its game Sultan Bubble,” King CEO Riccardo Zacconi told AllThingsD. Playmonk appears to have shut down Sultan Bubble in March as a result of the lawsuit, and I was unable to find a currently active Web presence for the company itself.

Here’s King’s filing from earlier today:


King Sues 6Waves for Alleged Game Copyright Infringement. Here’s the … - AllThingsD

copyright infringement news - Google News

Marvin Gaye’s Family Rejects Robin Thicke Copyright Infringement Offer

(Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for CBS Radio) Robin Thicke

(Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

It may be Robin Thicke‘s year on the charts, but it’s certainly not his year in the courts.

Billboard reports that Thicke’s team recently offered a six-figure sum to Gaye’s family in order to “preempt a copyright infringement showdown” but his family rejected it. This comes a week after Thicke filed a countersuit to Marvin Gaye‘s family over their claim that “Blurred Lines” isn’t really his song and that Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” feels and sounds the same.

In an interview with earlier this year, Thicke admitted when he went into the studio with Pharrell last summer to record “Blurred Lines” that he wanted to create a song that embodied the fun vibe of his favorite song of all time, Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up.” An hour later, the duo came up with “Blurred Lines,” the song that would become Thicke’s first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

As surprised as he was that the track went to No. 1, he surely didn’t expect to be sued by Gaye’s family. After the Gayes and Bridgeport Music, which owns some of Funkadelic’s compositions and are also filing suit for musical similarities, Thicke and collaborators Pharrell and T.I. filed their own suit against Gaye’s family and Bridgeport Music.

Thicke’s reasoning for the suit, the court documents note, is defensive: “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists. Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions.”

The countersuit also points out that ”being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era.”

Stay tuned to for ongoing updates of the Thicke/Gaye lawsuit.

Marvin Gaye’s Family Rejects Robin Thicke Copyright Infringement Offer - News

copyright infringement news - Google News

Lawmakers Aim To Limit Revenge Porn Postings

SACRAMENTO (AP) — State lawmakers are attempting to limit a distressing social media phenomenon known as “revenge porn,” where spurned suitors post intimate photos of their ex-lovers on the Internet for all to see.

The Assembly is set to debate a bill that would make such conduct punishable by up to a year in jail, while Gov. Jerry Brown is considering separate legislation that would make it a crime to impersonate or bully a domestic violence victim online.

The measures are forcing lawmakers to consider where to draw the line between unfettered free speech and privacy rights.

“Right now law enforcement has no tools to combat revenge porn or cyber-revenge,” said Sen. Anthony Cannella, a Republican from Ceres who proposed one of the bills. “Unfortunately it is a growing trend and there are a lot of victims out there, a lot more than I ever imagined. … It’s destroying people’s lives.”

Under his SB255, perpetrators who post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without their permission with the intent of causing serious emotional distress or humiliation could be charged with a misdemeanor. They could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense, with a year in jail and a $2,000 fine for repeat violations.

Current California law allows victims to sue their virtual assailants in civil court, but it is an expensive and time-consuming option that does not seem to be much of a deterrent, he said.

That was the experience of Holly Jacobs, who sent intimate photos to her boyfriend during their 3½-year long-distance relationship.

In January 2009, a month after they broke up, a friend informed her that a nude photo was posted on her Facebook profile. By November 2011, a collage of photos of her went viral on more than 200 websites, accompanied by an explicit video from a web chat that she says was secretly recorded. The posts included her full name, email address and the name of the Florida university where she worked, forcing her to tell her parents and university officials. She began getting emails from strangers attempting to set up liaisons.

“Emotionally, the situation put me through hell and back,” Jacobs said in a telephone interview. “I just felt so alone and you blame yourself. You have a lot of people in your life that judge you and say this was your fault. … It took me a long time to realize I was the victim in this.”

She said she equates the judgmental reaction she received to the blame-the-victim attitude that rape victims often confront: “You shouldn’t have been wearing that outfit, you shouldn’t have been drinking, you shouldn’t have been walking alone.”

After spending months trying to get the photos removed, repeatedly changing her phone number and quitting a university job she loved, Jacobs eventually legally changed her name. In her darkest moments, she considered suicide.

Then she got mad and she got even, creating a year ago, which sometimes records 1,200 hits in a single day. Jacobs said she has been contacted by women in similar circumstances around the world.

From her home in Miami, she now lobbies for states to adopt laws to criminally punish revenge porn.

Aside from Cannella’s bill awaiting action in the Assembly, lawmakers already sent the governor AB157 by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, which would outlaw stealing the online identity of domestic violence victims. It lets judges issue protective orders barring abusers from impersonating a victim online, and came in response to the concerns of judges who worried that doing so would violate free speech rights.

Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, who carried AB157 in the Senate, said state law has not kept pace with technology.

“Advances in technology and the increased communication on social networking websites have enabled abusers to get around restraining orders,” she said.

The Legislature has attacked the problem piecemeal as loopholes have been discovered in the state’s original 2006 cyberbullying laws.

A 2010 law made it a misdemeanor to impersonate someone on the Internet to intimidate, threaten or defraud them. Campos authored a law last year that lets schools suspend or expel students who harass their classmates on social networking sites, as well as a 2011 law targeting bullying on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Her bill this year was approved with no dissenting votes, while Cannella’s legislation had just one opponent in the Senate — Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco. He and the American Civil Liberties Union fear the bill could interfere with free speech rights.

“For me it was more an issue of the definition being overly broad. We just really have to be careful of that slippery slope,” said Yee. He said a better approach would be to educate Internet users, particularly children, about the irreversible harm that can be done online.

Florida’s legislature rejected a similar bill this year after First Amendment concerns surfaced there, while Missouri’s supreme court last year cited concerns about free speech in striking down part of a 2008 law enacted after a teenager who was teased online committed suicide.

Cannella believes that’s not an issue with his bill.

“This is intimidation, this is harassment, this is bullying,” he said. “This goes way beyond free speech.”

 Lawmakers Aim To Limit ‘Revenge Porn’ Postings - CBS Local

revenge porn - Google News

Please go to to sign the petition. Help us make the spread of revenge porn a crime.


Metropolitan Transportation Authority Guards Against Copyright Infringement

In recent years, though, a decidedly unsexy brand — derided for decades, with little sign of an image improvement — has become one of the city’s most imitated: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Powered in part by the rise of online shopping, which has helped small-time entrepreneurs market their subway-inspired creations widely, the transit agency now issues up to 600 notices a year for copyright infringements to protect trademarks on train line logos, subway maps and other system imagery. That represents a more than twentyfold increase since 2005.

But the authority’s focus has not been limited to New York’s starving artists. It has flagged Massimo Vignelli, the designer of the beloved if confounding 1972 subway map, whose 2008 update for Men’s Vogue used trademark route symbols without permission. There have been illicit pastries resembling MetroCards, and earrings made of surviving subway tokens.

A stern letter was sent regarding an amateur, all-female roller derby team called the Grand Central Terminators, whose request for a photo shoot inside Grand Central Terminal was rebuffed after a determination that, as the authority wrote to the league’s commissioner, “aligning our G.C.T. brand with your organization” would perhaps be ill advised.

Then there was the Midtown trade reception whose invitation recreated subway line logos. The perpetrators: the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.

“It has almost become a game of Whac-a-Mole,” said Mark R. Heavey, who is the transportation authority’s chief of marketing and advertising.

Almost always, the authority has legal standing, even if notices are issued inconsistently. Subway, rail and bus maps are copyright protected, and each subway line symbol is a federally registered trademark. Even in borderline cases — where a business uses a subway logo, for example, but alters the color scheme slightly — the authority often has wide latitude in issuing infringement notices “if there’s reason for confusion,” Mr. Heavey said.

It is under this premise that the authority would not allow the roller derby shoot, reasoning that any images inside the terminal would imply the authority’s endorsement.

But a business like Grand Central OB-GYN, on East 43rd Street, does not run afoul of the authority because, a spokesman said, “there is no potential that anyone might think the M.T.A. is in the OB-GYN business.”

The authority has gone to court only once, officials said, to challenge a deli called F Line Bagels in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, in 2005. The sign out front now reads just Line Bagels.

Other major transit agencies have also kept an eye on possible emulators. A section of the London Transport Museum’s Web site reminds visitors to “mind the copyright.” The band Chicago, originally called Chicago Transit Authority, shortened its name after receiving a “quiet suggestion” from the office of Mayor Richard J. Daley, according to a 2007 Chicago Tribune interview with the group’s former manager.

But New York’s creative class has at times shown itself to be particularly persistent.

Some artists have run afoul of the rules repeatedly, Mr. Heavey said, offering products on sites like Etsy without the authority’s approval. Others said they were simply unaware that the symbols of their daily commutes were not considered public domain.

Even larger operations have slipped up. In 2010, Nordstrom received a letter from the authority after a dress emblazoned with a subway map was found in its online catalog. Transit officials were “pleased” that Nordstrom recognized the map as “a clever, colorful design that is fit for a silk dress,” the letter said, but less pleased about the copyright breach. A spokeswoman for Nordstrom said the dress was no longer available.

The authority reviews scripts for films, television shows and commercials that seek use of the system or its trademarks, Mr. Heavey said, then decides if it wants to associate with the show or product. But sometimes crews do not seek advance permission, forcing the authority to flex its muscle.

The authority, which receives $500,000 a year in licensing revenue, said it could not estimate how much had been lost to copyright offenses, but any amount is of consequence, particularly given the agency’s quest for income that does not come from fares.

Occasionally, those who infringe later strike licensing deals with the authority, which typically takes in about 10 percent of the wholesale price.

In one instance, the authority decided to commission Mr. Vignelli to create its “Weekender” map, an interactive guide on its Web site.

At times, a copyright tiff with the authority can prove helpful.

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

MTA Guards Against Copyright Infringement - New York Times

copyright infringement news - Google News

The Dangers Of Social Interaction: cTrader Accused of Alleged Copyright

American technology firm Modulus Financial Engineering, which produces software solutions for professional traders, brokerages, trading firms as well as educational, governmental and non-profit institutions, announced that it has applied the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in order to achieve a successful take-down of source code from

cTrader_powered_by_Spotware-1The website in question,, which encompasses the trade name cTDN, an acronym for cTrader Developer Network, and is a community which supplies trading algorithms for the cTrader and cAlgo trading platforms  is owned and operated by cTrader’s developer, Spotware Systems.

This DMCA take-down came into being after early suspicion by Modulus Financial Engineering that cTrader was infringing on copyright – and later that cTrader’s predecessor, Cosmilia Ltd, was in direct breach of its license agreement with Modulus.

Subsequently Modulus Financial Engineering filed a DMCA take-down notice in July 2013 which was complied with by Rackspace.

Intellectual property is most certainly a valuable asset, and in today’s FX market, where every company which provides technological solutions relies on retaining its own competitive edge via constant development to maintain an edge in the market.

Use of protocols and coding is a delicate business, as it must be kept secure and not only away from those with malicious intentions, but also those wishing to plagiarize it for their own purposes. This is certainly a sensitive enough matter for those who compile their own material, but for those who host an open community where others can contribute from outside, as in the case of so many social communities in the FX world these days, the dangers are exponential.

Richard Gardner, Founder & CEO, Modulus Financial Engineering made a public statement regarding the take-down that “in July we had a successful DMCA take-down with cTrader’s ISP Rackspace to remove our source code from the cTDN website.”

Mr. Gardner also alleged that despite cTrader’s assertion that this particular source code was posted under an anonymous account, the code was posted under the cAlgo_Support username. Mr. Holeu considers this to be a pseudonym used by the forum user, and not to originate from the company itself.

Spotware Systems responded to the matter relating to Rackspace’s compliance with the DMCA take-down insofar as Rackspace, which hosts the website, issued a letter to Spotware Systems requesting that those particular links must be deleted.

This has resulted in a battle of wits, which culminated in Modulus Financial Engineering making something of an example of this particular case by having gone public. The matter of whether it is an infringement of copyright by cTDN or whether it was an anonymous posting by a community user, it seems, generates the same outcome in the eyes of the law.

The Dangers Of Social Interaction: cTrader Accused of Alleged Copyright … - Forex Magnates

copyright infringement news - Google News

The Blurred Lines of Copyright Infringement - UPTOWN Magazine

robin thicke marvin gayeBy Jaia Thomas

The summer of 2013 was one of record breakers for blue-eyed R&B crooner, Robin Thicke. His song “Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris (“TI”), broke the record for biggest single week download when it racked more than 428,000 in June. It broke another record in July when the song reached more than 242.62 million listeners, smashing the record for highest radio audience ever. But, perhaps in August all good things will come to an end?

Last week Thicke, along with Williams and Harris, filed a suit against Marvin Gaye’s family as well as Bridgeport Music in the Central District of California Court. According to the suit, the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music had recently notified Thicke that if he did not pay a monetary settlement, they would initiate litigation for copyright infringement. According to the Gaye family, Thicke’s summer hit “Blurred Lines” too closely resembles Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Bridgeport Music claims the same, arguing that Thicke’s song infringes on the Funkadelic song, “Sexy Ways,” the rights to which Bridgeport Music owns.

In his six-page suit, Thicke claims there are no similarities between “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” or “Sexy Ways.” I recently brought both songs to Everett Cork, a music industry insider for over 30 years. A former on air-personality at the classic oldies radio station WCIN, Cork has spent the bulk of his career playing the likes of Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops and The Commodores. When asked to compare “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” two songs, Cork noted, “for anyone not to notice the similarities is truly beyond my comprehension.” He went on to state that a “great majority of the music that capture the ears of today’s music lovers, captivates because it samples the beats of songs that will forever be pleasant to listen and dance to.” He believes the song is clearly a remake of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” According to him, the BPMs (beats per minute) make it one of the simplest songs to mix with Gaye’s original hit.

So, what is copyright infringement? To establish copyright infringement in a court of law, a copyright owner must establish proof of i). ownership of the infringing work and ii). proof of copying. Proof of copying may be established either by direct evidence (such as an admission) or by indirect evidence (such as demonstrating access to the original work and “substantial similarity” between the original and allegedly infringing work).  Under the current facts of this case, Gaye’s family would have to prove that Thicke had access to the song (which wouldn’t be difficult) and that it is substantially similar to “Got to Give It Up.” The measure to ascertain whether infringement has occurred is the importance of the part taken, not the amount taken.

In his suit, Thicke is requesting that the judge issue a ruling stating that his song does not infringe on the copyright of “Got to Give it Up” or “Sexy Ways. In “Blurred Lines,” Thicke claims, “I feel so lucky.”  Let’s see how long that luck lasts….

Jaia Thomas is an LA-based sports and entertainment attorney. A naive of Cincinnati, Ohio, she is a graduate of Colgate University (BA), The George Washington University Law School and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. For more information: or @jaiathomaslaw.

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The Blurred Lines of Copyright Infringement - UPTOWN Magazine

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Comcast Corp is developing real time copyright alert

People who download pirated media content such as TV shows and movies may soon get a warning in real time, if a US cable company’s efforts become reality.A report on said Comcast Corp. is developing the mechanism and is urging major studios, content companies, and distributors to join it.”As sources described the new system, a consumer illegally downloading a film or movie from a peer-to-peer system would be quickly pushed a pop-up message with links to purchase or rent the same content, whether the title in question exists on the VOD library of a participating distributor’s own broadband network or on a third-party seller like Amazon,” Variety editor-in-chief for digital Andrew Wallenstein said. He said this may be an alternative to the Copyright Alert System (CAS), which is a voluntary initiative being used since February.CAS warns subscribers engaging in copyright infringement up to six times before the Internet service provider can actively limit their bandwidth.Wallenstein said his sources claimed the new system will complement and not replace CAS, but added it is unclear how the two systems can work together.

“CAS and the new approach share a basic framework in that the ISP role is largely automated, notifying offending users based on information derived from the content companies who have a third party pulling the IP addresses of those downloading copyright-infringing material,” he said.

However, he said there are crucial differences, especially with notification occurring in real time with the new conversion strategy.

“Though not instantaneous, it would be a good deal faster than CAS, which sends subscribers e-mails, voicemails or browser-based messages that can occur weeks after the alleged piracy takes place,” he said.

More educational

Wallenstein said Comcast is hoping the new approach may be more educational than CAS, though sources said subscriber feedback suggested it is “ineffective in that respect.”

“Encouraging legal transactions could also be a better tack to take with the segment of consumers unknowingly pirating from illegal websites with design interfaces so slick they confuse users into thinking they are legitimate sources for content,” he added. — VC, GMA News

Real-time copyright infringement warning system in the works - GMA News

copyright infringement news - Google News

Thanks to MixBit, copyright infringement is even more fun

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the creators of Youtube, Chard Hurley and Steve Chen, have rolled out an alternative to Instagram and Vine, called MixBit.

Unlike Instagram and Vine, MixBit doesn’t just allow you to capture content. It allows users to mix and remix their content as well as someone else’s content, too. It’s all about the remix culture, and there’s no reason to think someone will say, snap a few seconds of a movie or music video or snippet of an sports game broadcast on TV which is in fact copyright infringement and mix them together, right? No way! I mean Youtube is a staunch supporter of artist’s rights. There’s no way the creators of Youtube would allow MixBit to be any less than stellar.

I guess these people didn’t read the terms of service very closely.

Be good and play nicely. The Service is only provided for lawful purposes and not for engaging in or promoting illegal activity. Also, don’t do things that would harm the Service or make it less enjoyable for others. If something you want to do on the Service violates the Terms or the law, don’t do it. Please also see the MixBit Community Guidelines for more information.

From their Community Guidelines:

No copyright infringement
Only add content that you create yourself or are authorized to use. You should never upload music videos, music tracks, clips from TV shows or content from other internet sites without the copyright owners permission. Keep in mind that copyright covers audio as well as video so don’t include a soundtrack to your original video unless you have the right to do so. The process for reporting content which is a violation of your copyright is described in the copyright policy. Re-mixing clips from other videos already uploaded to the site is OK and in fact we encourage you to do this!

But just like Youtube, they shift the responsibility with the same “It’s not our job to police our own site,” mantra. They just cover their butts by posting a stern (tee-hee) warning about Copyright here and then say if the creators have a problem with it, they need to go through six steps to deliver a “notice,” which is not the same thing as MixBit actually doing anything about it.

It’s only been live for four days and the Terms of Service have been broken multiple times. And that’s just with me spending three seconds looking for it. Is there anyone out there who still believes anyone even tangentially affiliated with google is actually pro-copyright at this point?

Thanks to MixBit, copyright infringement is even funner! - Adland

copyright infringement news - Google News

Linking to Content, Does it Infringe Copyright?

A recent federal court decision confirms that, without more, merely linking to content of copyrighted content is not direct infringement of the copyright in that content.Plaintiff sued defendants for copyright infringement based on defendants’ alleged unauthorized sale of educational materials online. A paralegal in plaintiffs’ law firm sought to buy some of the infringing materials, and one of the defendants sent her a link to material that had been uploaded to a file locker. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that the link constituted infringement.The court denied plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion, but not because of the linking. It found that there was a triable fact as to whether defendant had uploaded the infringing content to the file locker. The court held that “as a matter of law, sending an email containing a hyperlink to a site facilitating the sale of a copyrighted work does not itself constitute copyright infringement.” It elaborated:

A hyperlink (or HTML instructions directing an internet user to a particular website) is the digital equivalent of giving the recipient driving directions to another website on the Internet. A hyperlink does not itself contain any substantive content; in that important sense, a hyperlink differs from a zip file. Because hyperlinks do not themselves contain the copyrighted or protected derivative works, forwarding them does not infringe on any of a copyright owner’s five exclusive rights under [Section 106 of the Copyright Act].

But the decision shows where caution is in order — the court noted that although liking to the content would not be direct infringement, uploading the content to the server to which the link pointed could be an infringement. And that linking could also constitute contributory infringement.

Pearson Educ., Inc. v. Ishayev
, 2013 WL 3948505 (S.D.N.Y. August 1, 2021)

Does Linking to Content Infringe Copyright? - Information Law Group

copyright infringement news - Google News