L’embedding non costituisce comunicazione al pubblico però non permette la difesa del safe harbour ex § 512DMCA

Il giudice Barlow della Utah District Court, 2 maggio 2023, caso 2:21-cv-00567-DBB-JCB, decide un’interessante lite sull’embedding.

Attore è il gestore dei diritti su alcune foto eseguite da Annie Leibovitz. Convenuti sono i gestori di un sito che le aveva “riprodotte” con la tecnica dell’embedding (cioè non con riproduzine stabile sul proprio server).

Il giudice applica il c.d server test del noto caso Perfect 10 Inc. v. Google  del 2006 così sintetizzato: <<Perfect 10, the Ninth Circuit addressed whether Google’s unauthorized display of thumbnail and full-sized images violated the copyright holder’s rights. The court first defined an image as a work “that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression . . . when embodied (i.e., stored) in a computer’s server (or hard disk, or other storage device).” The court defined “display” as an individual’s action “to show a copy . . ., either directly or by means of a film, slide, television image, or any other device or process ….”>>.

Quindi rigetta la domanda nel caso dell’embedding sottopostogli :

<<The court finds Trunk Archive’s policy arguments insufficient to put aside the “server” test. Contrary to Trunk Archive’s claims, “practically every court outside the Ninth Circuit” has not “expressed doubt that the use of embedding is a defense to infringement.” Perfect 10 supplies a broad test. The court did not limit its holding to search engines or the specific way that Google utilized inline links. Indeed, Trunk Archive does not elucidate an appreciable difference between embedding technology and inline linking. “While appearances can slightly vary, the technology is still an HTML code directing content outside of a webpage to appear seamlessly on the webpage itself.” The court in Perfect 10 did not find infringement even though Google had integrated full-size images on its search results. Here, CBM Defendants also integrated (embedded) the images onto their website.(…) Besides, embedding redirects a user to the source of the content-in this case, an image hosted by a third-party server. The copyright holder could still seek relief from that server. In no way has the holder “surrender[ed] control over how, when, and by whom their work is subsequently shown.” To guard against infringement, the holder could take down the image or employ restrictions such as paywalls. Similarly, the holder could utilize “metadata tagging or visible digital watermarks to provide better protection.” (…)( In sum, Trunk Archive has not persuaded the court to ignore the “server” test. Without more, the court cannot find that CBM Defendants are barred from asserting the “embedding” defense. The court denies in part Trunk Archive’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings.>>

Inoltre, viene negato il safe harbour in oggetto, perchè non ricorre il caso del mero storage su server proprio di materiali altrui, previsto ex lege. Infatti l’embedding era stato creato dai convenuti , prendendo i materiali da server altrui: quindi non ricorreva la passività ma l’attività , detto in breve

(notizia e link alla sentenza dal blog del prof Eric Goldman)