The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected the argument that embedding a link to a video does not “display” that video within the meaning of the Copyright Act. Nicklen v. Sinclair Broad. Grp., Inc., No. 20-CV-10300 (JSR), 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142768 (S.D.N.Y. July 30, 2021). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court held that the exclusive right of the copyright owner to “display” his work should be interpreted broadly so that the display right is not rendered “merely a subset of the reproduction right.” Id. at *13.
This hotlinking/embedded link defense always seemed at to be at odds with the intent of the Copyright Act, but was yet another example of copyright law not keeping pace with technological advances that allowed infringers to ostensibly escape liability for what would certainly seem to be a violation of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner.
RegitzMauck agrees with the reasoning of the Nicklen court. If you are the victim of hotlinking, do not hesitate to contact us.
Mike Regitz focuses his practice on intellectual property and technology disputes, counseling, and licensing.
RegitzMauck PLLC is an intellectual property boutique based in Dallas, Texas. The firm focuses on providing value-based legal services to cost-conscious clients seeking high quality legal representation in intellectual property, cybersecurity, and data privacy matters and disputes.