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Intellectual Property and Commercial Court


2014 Xing Zhi Shang Yi Zi No. 93

Decision No. 2014 Xing Zhi Shang Yi Zi No. 93
Date December 31, 2014
Decision Highlight

1."Public transmission" means to make available or communicate to the public the content of a work through sounds or images by wire or wireless network, or through other means of communication, including enabling the public to receive the content of such work by any of the above means at a time or place individually chosen by them. This is expressly provided in Article 3 Paragraph 1 Subparagraph 10 of the 2010 Copyright Act. If one only adds a link on his or her website which links to a particular page on another website, the act of enabling others to reach a particular page via the link does not involve with “public transmission” of others’ copyrighted work. This in turn does not cause infringement on others’ right of public transmission.

2.Furthermore, if hyperlink technique is adopted, exerting the “embed” function of a site to link to other media websites, this does not involve with public transmission of a copyrighted work. Thus, the party who embedded the hyperlink and html of YouTube on his/her own site, providing people with the access to another’s copyrighted work via a click on the hyperlink, does not constitute public transmission under the Copyright Act. Besides, displaying clips of YouTube on one’s own site via the function of “embed” does not involve with public transmission or infringement on copyright, because no copy of the media is made on the site providing the link. That is, the hyperlink or “embed” function does not “make available or convey the content of a work to the public”. Instead, they lead users to a particular website, and let the website “make available or convey the content of a work to the public”. As a result, using hyperlink or the “embed” function does not constitute “public transmission”. However, if one is aware that the embedded content or the content of the link contains pirated and unlicensed files, and still knowingly directs users to such works via hyperlinks, he/she might be found to be a joint offender or accessory of others (who uploaded the pirated files ) for infringing upon copyright (public transmission).


Public Transmission, Hyperlink, Embed, Linking

Relevant statutes Article 3 Paragraph 1 Subparagraph 10, Article 92 of the 2010 Copyright Act
  • Release Date:2020-11-13
  • Update:2020-12-03