Sep 18, 2020

Inline Content Embedding Requires Copyright Holder Permission

EU Advocate General Szpunar has recently advised the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) that embedding a copyright work into a secondary website from another website requires the consent of the copyright owner. This is not a major concern for owners of websites who create their own content, however they may see a rise in requests to use this original online content elsewhere. Those more affected by this advice will be people or business who use already-published content on their websites. This can be seen on websites such as Reddit, Dailymotion, and any number of social media sites.

AG Szpunar did not disagree with the use of “framing” copyright content much like the previous ruling on embedding. In 2014, the ECJ held that by framing copyright content on a secondary website does not infringe copyright as long as the framing does not alter the work. Framing can be seen for example where a YouTube or Facebook video has been placed on a third-party website, however the content itself is still hosted by YouTube or Facebook.

In his opinion, AG Szpunar has explained that although inline content embedding should not be allowed, this does carry certain exceptions such as publishing a copyright work for caricature, parody or pastiche reasons. The opinion of AG Szpunar is not legally binding and the ECJ may take a different approach, but if its decision is aligned with AG Szpunar’s opinion, website sharing content may change dramatically.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law. on 0191 281 4000 or

in: Copyright, Digital/Tech, EU/International, News

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