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
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