Hamburg Partner Philipp Plog was recently interviewed by Germany's leading economic daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on European Court decisions surrounding 'framing' and 'embedding' of third party content (including the recent Bestwater case). A summary of the discussion is as follows:
Does 'framing' or 'embedding' someone's original content on your website require the consent of the original content owner? After all, it is not always clear to the end user whether content is embedded or not, and in many cases the end provider may economically exploit content (e.g. with advertisements) that he does not have permission to use.
The consequences of a recent case brought to the European Court of Justice, concerning a company called Bestwater may be far-reaching. Their video content had been uploaded to YouTube by third parties and then embedded in other websites for advertising purposes. In addition, the initial upload had taken place without consent of the owner.
The ECJ nevertheless considered such use lawful. That puts the responsibility to limit access to prevent embedding on the content owner (using paywalls and other barriers). In other words, anything that is already available on the internet is also available for embedding by others without royalties. This seems at odds with a basic principle of copyright law: that a commercial use of contents requires the right holder's permission, even if the latter did not implement any safeguards. It remains to be seen how courts in the European member states will implement this decision.
Please click here to read the full article in English.
Sign up to our email digest