Video Embedding Site Isn’t a Contributory Copyright Infringer, But Sideloading Could Be Direct Infringement–Flava Works v. myVidster

8 08 2012

By Eric Goldman

Flava Works, Inc. v. Gunter, No. 11-3190 (7th Cir. Aug. 2, 2012). Prior blog post on district court ruling.

myVidster is a “social bookmarking” website that allows users to link to videos hosted elsewhere on the Internet and thereby embed the videos in myVidster’s user interface. Today, myVidster scored a big win at the Seventh Circuit, which held that it had not committed contributory infringement by allowing users to embed infringing videos via myVidster. It’s hard to state just how amazing this ruling was for myVidster, because myVidster’s principal, Gunter, often refused to honor takedown notices (on the dicey premise that anything posted somewhere elsewhere on the Internet was freely linkable) and thus presumptively failed to qualify for the 17 USC 512(d) safe harbor. Normally, when a website fails to honor takedown notices, judges come down hard on the website—just like the district court did in this case.


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