Good news for us website owners! You can embed any YouTube Video and not worry about violating anyone else’s copyrights!  This is good for us, because that means we can go to YouTube, or any other video sharing site, and find a video to add to our blog/website, and not have to stress about if we have the rights to use it or not! I first learned this from Mashable that on August 2, 2012 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a site that embeds copyrighted videos from another site is not committing copyright infringement. It did not focus on YouTube specifically, but all video sharing sites.  I am focusing on YouTube since it’s the largest and most popular one.

It all started with The Flava Works, Inc. v. Gunter case started when Flava Works (a video production company) learned that the users of myVidster (a video bookmarking website) were embedding Flava videos on myVidster site. They believed that their copyright was being infringed, and that myVidster was liable for that. So the focus of this case came to this: Does embedding a copyrighted video constitute copyright infringement? The court ruling says, “no.” “Embedding” is different from “copying.” If you copy a copyrighted video and upload it to a website, that would touch the copyright law, but “embedding” is different. The judge gave this example to illustrate his point:

“…As long as the visitor makes no copy of the copyrighted video that he is watching, he is not violating the copyright owner’s exclusive right … His bypassing Flava’s pay wall by viewing the uploaded copy is equivalent to stealing a copyrighted book from a bookstore and reading it. That is a bad thing to do (in either case) but it is not copyright infringement.”

(To learn more about the details of this ruling from legal perspectives, read this great article on So what this means is that you can now freely find a  video on YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, or any other video sharing site, embed that video into your WordPress website, and not have to worry about the copyright issue. As always, you DO need to be concerned about any video that YOU upload to your OWN YouTube account. Make sure you are complying with copyright laws in that case. (If you are ever unclear on this or any copyright issue, obtain legal advice) Happy Posting! * * * UPDATE August 15, 2012 * * * Please note: This ruling only applies in the Seventh Circuit districts which include:

  • Central District of Illinois
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Southern District of Illinois
  • Northern District of Indiana
  • Southern District of Indiana
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Western District of Wisconsin

Although I am now speculating that this ruling could carry over to other States/districts and that it would apply to everyone, please seek advice from legal professionals if you are unsure. (My friend Daniel Hall brought this important point to my attention. Thank you, Daniel!)

Now if you want to learn how to embed a YouTube video read this article

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