Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that embedding videos in your blog or website is not a copyright infringement. As long as that video hasn’t been copied from the original source, the owner’s copyright has not been violated.

People who watch embedded videos are not infringing on the owner’s copyright either. Mashable quoted the following from the ruling to offer some clarity:

“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.”

For online publishers, think of it this way — if a video has been uploaded online with embed code available, you’re not violating copyright laws by embedding that video into your blog or website. The story might be different for the person who originally uploaded the video if that video was copied from another source.

This is great news for online publishers, particularly given the ever-growing consumption of online video content. YouTube reported last week that the site is now streaming 4 billion hours of video each month. According to Blog Herald, “Four billion hours is the equivalent of 456,000 years worth of video viewing in a single one month time period. Two months ago YouTube executives revealed 3 billion hours of monthly viewing, an increase of 1 billion hours in under 60 days.”

Blog Herald also shared the following stats revealed by YouTube executive Kyncel:

  • 2 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube every month
  • 500 years of YouTube video are watched each day on Facebook
  • 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute (that’s up from 500 last month)

If online video isn’t already a part of your publishing strategy, consider adding it. Whether you create your own videos or curate and embed relevant videos that are useful to your audience, video can enhance your content and help grow your audience.

Image: Spencer E. Holtaway