Sideloading Service Defeats Copyright Infringement Claims–BWP v. Polyvore

27 01 2017

BWP Media is a celebrity photo agency and a repeat online copyright plaintiff. Polyvore is…well, I don’t really get what they do. They say the site “is a new way to discover and shop for things you love in fashion, beauty and home decor” and they mention “social commerce,” whatever all that means. I don’t think I’m in the target audience.

Polyvore apparently enables its users to sideload photos as they browse the Internet. The term “sideload” doesn’t appear in the opinion, but the court’s opinion and Polyvore’s own description point strongly to sideloading. So a user of Polyvore’s “Clipper” tool can designate photos that are automatically loaded into Polyvore’s database and added to the user’s profile, where the user can further manipulate the photos. BWP claimed that Polyvore’s database contained at least 79 BWP photos.

The court says it doesn’t need to address the DMCA safe harbors. Instead, BWP’s case fails on the prima facie elements.


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