Judged: Embedded Tweet violates copyright

A judge in New York has reached the startling conclusion, startling because it upends years of precedent, that an embedded image of a social media tweet in a news article can violate copyright laws.

The issue involves a candid image of Tom Brady taken by photographer Justin Goldman, who posted it on Snapchat, from which someone grabbed it and posted in on Twitter.

Several publications then embedded that Twitter code in their news stories, so that even though they never downloaded the image itself, it appeared in the reports.

The judge noted that Goldman claimed he never publicly released or licensed his image and sued the defendants.

“This court concludes … that when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right; the fact that the image was hosted on a server owned and operated by an unrelated third party

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