The Court of Appeals of Rome has decided, regarding the KissTube case, that linking videos or images from other sites, if these are usable by everyone, is not a crime
Copyright laws and the Internet are two topics often in conflict, even if for now there is no real winner. To establish with precision what is licit and what is illicit on the Net is complicated. In the meantime, the Court of Appeal of Rome has established that embedding does not violate copyright.
The KissTube case and the Italian decision.
The Court of Appeal of Rome has overturned the decision, taken last month, against the Italian site KissTube. The portal had been obscured for copyright infringement. The case includes 152 other websites blocked for similar reasons. But for now only KissTube has had its block removed. The site had been reported and then challenged for having reported in full several videos on YouTube. On KissTube these videos were embedded and divided into categories to facilitate the user's navigation. The site does not present any original content but is entirely linked to YouTube.
The Italian court and the Court of Justice of the European Union
The Italian decision reflects the dictates of the Court of Justice of the European Union. This one has established, in fact, that the embedding or shooting of videos and images present in other sites are not to be considered as a copyright infringement. Obviously if these are accessible, without rights and without subscriptions, to all web users. The same reproduction of pirated copies or images for a fee is lawful if it is done without the knowledge that these are not available to everyone. And, above all, without profit. As far as KissTube is concerned, it has been acquitted because YouTube itself had never reported the site or the embedded videos on the Italian portal.
New EU copyright rules
The KissTube case is good news for all the sites doing the same job but it does not represent a turning point. At European level there is, in fact, a big battle, obviously sponsored by copyright industries, against linking and full reproduction on other sites than the original. According to the Union copyright rules, this kind of activity on the Net still represents an infringement.