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What a disappointment you've turned
out to be, MPAA President Chris Dodd
(Embajada de EEUU/Wikicommons)
At Ars Technica, Tim Lee has the report on a disturbing lawsuit, now joined by the Motion Picture Association of America, which would make simply embedding videos—not hosting them—a copyright infringement. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is considering appeals by Google, Facebook, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge of a decision made by a federal judge last year that it is "possible to directly infringe copyright by embedding an image or video hosted by a third party."
"Although there is nothing inherently insidious about embedded links, this technique is very commonly used to operate infringing internet video sites," the organization writes. "Pirate sites can offer extensive libraries of popular copyrighted content without any hosting costs to store content, bandwidth costs to deliver the content, and of course licensing costs to legitimately acquire the content." The MPAA also notes that embedding can enable sites to monetize infringing content by surrounding it with ads. [...]
Numerous websites embed content from third parties they have not personally inspected. Under the theory articulated by [Judge] Grady, and supported by the MPAA, these websites would be responsible for this content, exactly as if they had stored it on their own servers. This could create a serious disincentive for sites to allow users to post embedded content, hampering the convenience and user-friendliness of the Web
This would put innumerable Web sites, including this one, in the position of having to vet any video we wanted to embed to determine if it's legal. It could also mean that we would have to shut down the ability for diarists and commenters to embed videos, since it would be nearly impossible to moderate every diary and every comment for potentially illicit video embedding. Media sites of all stripes would be in a similar postion.
That's not just a problem for us, it's a problem for artists, filmmakers, anyone who wants to get their stuff out there to as large an audience as possible. The difficulties of determining the provenance of any given video would like just mean videos would largely disappear from most social media. Which is apparently just how the MPAA wants it.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 02:05 PM PDT.