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The most significant legal fact about inline linking, relative to copyright law considerations, is that the inline linker does not place a copy of the image file on its own Internet server. Rather, the inline linker places a pointer on its Internet server that points to the server on which the proprietor of the image has placed the image file. This pointer causes a user's browser to jump to the proprietor's server and fetch the image file to the user's computer. US courts have considered this a decisive fact in copyright analysis.
Thus, in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explained why inline linking did not violate US copyright law: [read the article for more...]