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European Court Of Justice ruling says embedding not infringement

By | Published on Tuesday 28 October 2014


The European Court Of Justice has ruled that embedding a YouTube video on a website without the permission of the video owner does not constitute copyright infringement. Which is just as well, given how much YouTube video embedding goes on.

The ECJ seemingly made the ruling in relation to a dispute in the German courts between a water filtering company and two men working as contractors for a rival who had used one of its videos on their personal websites. The court concluded that the defendants could embed the plaintiff’s video on their site without specific permission, providing the content was being pulled in from a publicly available source through a frame. So a YouTube embed.

The full ruling is yet to be published, but a copy has been seen by Torrentfreak. What isn’t clear is what the deal would be if the original video on YouTube hadn’t been posted by the rights owner; ie whether any liability for copyright infringement would extend to the embedder as well as whoever originally uploaded the video without permission.

Of course, YouTube allows people who upload videos to stop third parties from embedding their content, so the system pro