Link and the protection of Intellectual Property

On October 21st, 2014 the Court of Justice of the European Union once again ruled on the issue of the so-called embedding, direct form of linking. This decision was made due to prejudicial question of the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof ) of 25 June 2013 that essentially come down to the issue whether direct display of a video from sites like YouTube on one’s own website (embedding) qualifies as copyright infringement?

The abovementioned question arose as a result of the proceedings in which BestWater International, the operator of a water filtering , sued two sales representatives working for a competitor. The dispute concerned the infringement of BestWater copyright in form of posting on representatives’ websites advertising videos that were already posted on YouTube, seemingly  without the consent of BestWater, by unidentified entities .

It is essential that the Court refused to analyze the legality of upload of these videos on YouTube, as it found these circumstances beyond the control of the defendants . Instead, the Court of Justice clearly and accurately ruled on the legality of embedding . The Court of Justice stated that, in the light of European legislation, daily users of Internet that embed on their websites images or videos previously available to the public does not infringe copyrights.

At the moment, the justification of the decision  is not yet available, so the more profound analysis of the subject will be available soon in the our IP information.

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