It’s going to take more than the Megaupload takedown to satisfy the copyright Rottweilers at the MPAA. Now they’re determined to convince the legal world that not just hosting, but embedding protected content is a form of direct infringement, says Ars Technica.
At issue: An internet pornography company, Flava Works, discovered its adult wares being shared on the video bookmarking site MyVidster. MyVidster wasn’t hosting the videos; they were merely embedded. Previous precedent suggests that, at worst, this would fall under the harder-to-enforce rules regarding secondary infringement, which carries lighter penalties. But last July, Judge John F. Grady ruled that MyVidster was engaging in a form of direct infringement. Google and Facebook and the Electronic Frontier Foundation quickly filed amicus briefs, calling for an overturn.
That’s where the MPAA jumped in with its own brief supporting the decision and asking that the court draw no distinction between the two acts. The organization, while magnanimously acknowledging that “there is nothing inherently insidious about embedded links,” points outs that “this technique is very commonly used to operate infringing internet video sites.” The brief continues:
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.
Such a precedent would likely make sites think twice about even allowing embedding. Because who wants to be dragged out of a panic room in the middle of the night?