My article “I’ve been stung by the Copyright bee. Believe me, that bee sting hurts!” back in June ’17, is a good example of Daniel Nazer’s new article at EFI.com. This is a sober reminder that if you display images, or link to them without the owner’s permission you may be in for a law suit. I can once again caution you that this is going to get a lot worse before it breaks — any time the ambulance chasers catch a whiff of big money, they’ll be circling like a bunch of hungry sharks!
Daniel Nazer provides the full dossier, including the court opinion on yet another case of showing images on the web. Daniel writes :
Rejecting years of settled precedent, a federal court in New York has ruled that you could infringe copyright simply by embedding a tweet in a web page. Even worse, the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking, not just embedding tweets. If adopted by other courts, this legally and technically misguided decision would threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability.
So, you need to understand this. If you see a TWEET in your twitter account, and you “Share” it to your Facebook account you have broken copyright ownership of the entity and can be sued for millions no matter how innocent you think you are. That’s what this particular judge is saying.
I did a little digging. The image in question did NOT have the required copyright notice. I went to Google images and entered “Tom Brady” and Justin Goldman, to find 440,000 infringements. (Or, rather, links and shares to social media, and other sports web sites.)
My case involved a Bee sting photo that was sent in by a reader. Google it and you’ll find thousands! I believe this is the start of a new cottage industry that seeks out popularly pilfered photos, and goes after the web sites with big threats of law suits, to get them to settle out of court. This could be very lucrative.
If this precedent sticks a lot of people will be at risk — who may be thinking it’s free, or for free use.
- Daniel’s latest article on embedding Tweets
- What If You Had Worry About Lawsuit Every Time You Linked Image Online
- Google Public Interest Prevails Digital Copyright Showdown
- My article about the Copyright Bee Sting
- Opinion : Goldman_v_Breitbart.pdf (PDF)
And, thanks for reading …