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Copyright Disputes over Video Browsing on YOUTUBE



Nowadays, it is common for people to browse videos on YOUTUBE. However, disputes frequently arise as to whether such browsing involves infringement of economic rights. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office ("IPO") recently explained, "Pure video browsing on YOUTUBE does not involve the reproduction or public transmission of works, so there would be no infringement of economic rights of a work. However, when the public uploads infringing or pirate videos to YOUTUBE, as such act involves reproduction or public transmission, it would likely commit infringement in absence of authorization or consent of the owner of economic rights of the works. Under the circumstances, the one who uploading the infringing or pirate videos to YOUTUBE is held responsible for relevant civil and criminal liabilities."
 
Further, the production of a playlist by use of services provide by YOUTUBE differs from video browsing or uploading on YOUTUBE. In terms of nature, a playlist is to provide audio and video files on YOUTUBE by a hyperlink, which does not involve the reproduction or public transmission of the audio and video works. Infringement of the right of public transmission will likely occur only if the producer of a playlist knows that the videos of the playlist commit infringement but still communicates the same to the public via a hyperlink. YOUTUBE presets the playlist to the public. Nevertheless, because most producers of general playlists make the playlists for their own use rather than for making available to the public, it can hardly be said that the producers have any intention to communicate the works to the public.


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