Have you ever embedded or linked a Youtube video on your Facebook, Myspace, Blog, Website or in your E-mail?
I know I have, who wouldn't, the source and or host data is there and unless otherwise specified is perfectly legal to embed or link to.
Current laws of internet usage allow for people to link to or use provided embed code to view or listen to items available on a Host servers, like Youtube, Vevo or whatever.
the DEPT of Immigration; ICE, (and what immigration has to do with copyright infringement is beyond me), arrested and seized owners of a bunch of websites, that did not host any content whatsoever, but linked to other host sites and or used provided Embed code to places like Youtube and the like as a free service to give aggregated content to their viewers.
It is the same thing as me posting a link or provided embed code on my website giving access to another website and its information, so that my viewers know that the content is related to the site itself or to the article of concern.
There is nothing illegal about this in current U.S. Internet Law, and it seems highly suspicious that a U.S. Government Agency; especially that of Immigration would be attacking U.S. Citizens with trumped up charges of aiding and abetting site viewers, as well as hosting content, and also sharing illegally content from other sites, when nothing of the sort is being done.
ICE is stating that direct permission of content holders is required, when it is not, if it is provided free of charge by said content providers, (just like how Youtube has an embed function which can be turned off to prevent embedding, but if it is left on it falls under Creative Common Licenses for free distribution without personal profit and or gain.)
By extension ICE is also implying future implications if this case goes in favor of ICE, that by saving, (Favoriting), a link in your browser. Which is the saving of code to view or review a website and or its content just like a website with a links page giving you access to other websites which offer their own content. Will be illegal, as will be the linking or embedding of content such as hosted videos, music, etc. in your email to other people.
Does this make sense to anyone who reads my articles? Am I right in my confusion over this case and situation, or am I just confused about the situation?
The first thing we need to ask ourselves is:
1) Why is ICE a section of the Department of Immigration which handles... well... Immigration issues. Handling a possible copyright infringement and illegal distribution case?
The second thing we should ask ourselves is:
2) How is freely shared web-content such as videos, music, articles, and otherwise, (except those that require payment, that are illegal such as pirating, or a previously stated disclaimer for copyright claim and owner permissions), constitute aiding and abetting as well as illegal distribution charges when nothing was hosted on the sites in question; just linked or used provided embed code from the host sites?
The third thing we should ask ourselves is:
3) How will this effect Artists, Companies, and people in general who require the free distribution of their material for advertisement and or popularity purposes if no one will be allowed to distribute their content? (i.e. People embedding my music from my Soundcloud account to their Facebook or email or the like; Does that mean I and others will have to suffer because we do not want to be apart of Big Music and pay them 3/4 of our profits just to get our names out there? Or Small businesses that survive on people distributing their name and link across the internet, saving them tons of money in the long run in costly advertisement?)
The last thing we should question is:
4) If this case wins on the side of the Government, how will this effect the Internet, Email, Social Networking as we know it? (In my opinion by what I currently see this will inevitably kill the Internet as we know it.)
So don't embed or link anything otherwise you could be next on the Governments rights infringing hit-list.
Go here if you want more details on this story and also you will have the ability to freely sign a petition against this action by ICE.
Information provided by my friends at DemandProgress [dot] Org
R. William Holzkopf Jr.