It’s long been widely assumed that in-line linking is not a basis for copyright infringement. Following a recent decision by a Southern District of New York federal judge, that is no longer true.
Justin Goldman took a photograph of Tom Brady. Under the copyright laws, one of his exclusive rights is the right of public display.
Goldman posted the photo to Snapchat. It went viral and was embedded in a tweet. A number of mainstream media publications posted the tweet by embedding the tweet into articles on their sites. Because the tweet was linked “in-line” (displaying content from one site within another via a link), none of the publications downloaded the image, copied it, or stored it on their own servers.
Is this copyright infringement? Specifically, did the embedded tweet violate Goldman’s right of public display?
SDNY judge Katherine Forrest held that it could, and granted summary judgment to Goldman on this issue, leaving for trial or later motions whether Goldman released his image into the public domain by posting it on Snapchat and whether the defendants have a fair use defense.… Read the full article