×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hyperlinking Is Not Copyright Infringement, EU Court Rules

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the just-to-be-safe-please-type-the-link-yourself dept.

The Courts 97

Freshly Exhumed writes "Does publishing a hyperlink to freely available content amount to an illegal communication to the public and therefore a breach of creator's copyrights under European law? After examining a case referred to it by Sweden's Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled today that no, it does not. The Court found that 'In the circumstances of this case, it must be observed that making available the works concerned by means of a clickable link, such as that in the main proceedings, does not lead to the works in question being communicated to a new public.'" Reader Bart Smit points to the court's ruling.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

97 comments

Internet 101 (1)

kroby (1391819) | about 2 months ago | (#46241939)

The internet before search depended on hyperlinking.

Re: (3, Insightful)

Jake Sylvestre (3536917) | about 2 months ago | (#46242039)

Search is hyperlinking..

Re: (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46242163)

So any search result that doesn't hotlink the results isn't a search?

Re: (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 months ago | (#46243773)

Is publishing an URL (or QR or equivalent) legally the same as rendering a HTML <a href="..."> hyperlink?

Re: (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 months ago | (#46246427)

I don't see why not. I guess it's not mandatory that the search engine publishes any kind of link to the original content whatsoever. But I think they lose fair use status if they publish more than a small percentage of the original, so I'm not sure what utility such a search engine would have.

Map Analogy (1)

Elixon (832904) | about 2 months ago | (#46248659)

Sure. I understand portals and hyperlinks as Yellow Pages irl. Nobody is going to sue Yellow Pages or other newspapers because they published an address of some fraudulent business or shop with "original" goods.

Re:Internet 101 (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#46242057)

The internet before search depended on hyperlinking.

Even that aside, 'hyperlinking' is pretty much an improved flavor of citation. If you are going to ban 'hyperlinks to illegal material' you are this close to just banning the mere mention of illegal material; except easier to sell because there are scary computer words involved.

Whether you see this as ironic, or as a continuation of copyright's original purpose, it is simply a matter of fact that the defenders of this sort of 'property' are learning that doing what they want requires rolling back all sorts of long-held rights. Worse, they seem OK with this.

Re:Internet 101 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242107)

I know of a website that is eliminating a lot of links that people use to understand the history and context of the community. Eliminating links to posts not only stifles constructive argument and reference for future thought, it also allows the powers-to-be to disappear culture and ideas down the memory hole while allowing false revisionism and denial. It's the same technique the Jews use to portray timeless literary characters like Mercutio and Thor in movies as Black men.

Do you want to know which website I'm talking about? Slashdot Beta.

Re:Internet 101 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242133)

> this close to just banning the mere mention of illegal material

That is what the Republicans want. They've tried for decades to shut the Internet down. Here in Seattle, DSL is the only option for access in many parts of the city because of the conservatives that rule here. Because of that, many of us are stuck with 1.5 Mbps or slower Internet access at almost $70 per month. They hate the Internet and hate us people that use it. The do want to ban us.

Re:Internet 101 (1)

Papaspud (2562773) | about 2 months ago | (#46243955)

conservatives rule Seattle.... I say you are a liar.

Re:Internet 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#46279731)

Ha. You know nothing about Seattle. We have government-granted monopolies on Internet access that leave most neighborhoods with only a single option. That is fascist just like you CONservative like. We have no subway. CONservatives love cars and hate mass transit. We have a new billionaire tunnel. Again, you CONservatives love cars even when it costs the public billions of dollars just to be able to drive them from one side of downtown Seattle to the other. We have bridges that are extremely expensive in order to keep minorities and the poor off of the roads, just like you racists like it. We have ever increasing anti-transit oriented development rules to prevent efficient higher densities around the few mass transit options we have. Finally, most neighborhoods still have racial covenants that state you cannot sell houses or property to minorities, just like you CONservatives like. Seattle is a model city of fascist/conservative rule.

Re:Internet 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46281337)

Sounds like you don't understand just how screwed-up our city is. The CONservatives have destroyed us. For example, the Capitol Hill neighborhood used to be good before the CONservatives forced nearly all of the LGBT population out at gun point. Now, it's boring. Everything good about it is nearly gone. Everything. Anyone that disagrees is part of the problem. When the Republicans get their way and finish their hugely expensive light rail tunnel, the neighborhood will be further destroyed.

Also, the ruling CONservatives have placed all of the working people into debt for decades to build their sports stadiums. We didn't even pay off the King Dome before the CONservatives make us at gun point start making payments on more new stadiums. This is how those people destroy cities. They do so much corporate welfare to their construction friends that the poor can no longer afford to live.

Re:Internet 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46364805)

> conservatives rule Seattle.... I say you are a liar.

Hey fuckhead, they do rule over us. Everything from who gets to live where to who is allowed fast Internet access is controlled by them. I'm still not allowed fast access and am stuck with dial-up because I do not live in one of the rich, Republican areas. Apparently you have no clue what goes on here or how much they control our every day lives. But, don't let facts get in the way of your typical conservative-lies. You people don't realize how bad we have it here. You are not helping by playing ostrich and sticking your head in the ground to ignore how they are ruining our lives.

Linking to beta should be a crime, though (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241983)

Luckily Dice.com will never have to worry about anyone infringing copyright by linking to beta. Because the beta site fucking sucks.

Fuck beta!

TPB legit? (5, Interesting)

xfizik (3491039) | about 2 months ago | (#46241987)

Does this mean The Pirate Bay is legit now?

Re:TPB legit? (4, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 months ago | (#46242003)

A Very interesting flow-on understanding.

As they technically don't host any infringing materials, they shouldn't be anything but legit - though I think they get hit with something along the lines of "conspiracy to enable infrigement" or some such muck - in which case, this might not actually have any bearing.

Re:TPB legit? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#46242075)

Hasn't TPB's legal status always been 'We can't actually find any laws that they violate; but they just look so damn uppity and illegal that we couldn't possibly let them walk!'?

Re:TPB legit? (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46242191)

That's the same as AllOfMP3. They were 100% legal, but shut down on pressure from the US to shut them down. No arrests. No charges. Just threats until they were shut down. The US believes in freedom of speech, unless they don't like it. hyperlinks are still illegal in the US, and taxpayer money was spent stiffling speech in other countries that didn't harm the US, but some businesses within the US asserted was harmful. Rights are available in the US only if you are rich enough to afford them.

Re:TPB legit? (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#46242841)

hyperlinks are still illegal in the US ... Rights are available in the US only if you are rich enough to afford them.

From the American Library Association

Hypertext Linking and Copyright Issues [ala.org]

As the cases above suggest, the law is not yet clear on what constitutes acceptable practice in linking to other people's Web sites. In most instances, however, it appears that linking in itself (whether deep linking or not) should not create legal problems unless there are extenuating circumstances. Setting up links to someone else's website is not the same thing as republishing information (the linking site does not actually store the linked site's information--it just directs the user to that information). Therefore, it seems unlikely that linking can reasonably be seen as copyright infringement absent those extenuating circumstances.

Re:TPB legit? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46242935)

That's an optimistic assessment by the librarians, who also assert that enticing infringement is legal. Have you seen the number of copy machines in libraries? I haven't ever seen a library without one, but then I didn't go to libraries until the late '70s early '80s.

Re:TPB legit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243403)

Copy machines aren't illegal. Making copies is not illegal. Distributing copies is illegal. Learn your copyright law.

captcha: deluding - oddly appropriate

Re:TPB legit? (1)

Devoidoid (1207090) | about 2 months ago | (#46245781)

Copy machines in libraries tend to be out of sight of the librarian's station. This is so the librarian can't see if you're violating someone's copyright by copying entire works rather than a few fair-use pages. There will probably be a warning against copyright infringement posted on or near the machine itself. This way, the liability is yours as the copier, and not the librarian's/library's, as the "facilitator" of the copying. A lame solution to a lame problem, but the alternative is no copiers, which would lead to an unending stream of complaints that there are no copiers.

Re:TPB legit? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46248343)

Not where I've gone. To prevent vandalism of the most expensive item in the building, they are generally placed within sight of the librarian's station, at least in the libraries I've been to. The Reference desk even has its own set of copiers because the reference books can't be checked out, so they presume an increase in copy activity (but still by the librarian's station, just the secondary station, in libraries so equipped).

Re:TPB legit? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242233)

Hasn't TPB's legal status always been 'We can't actually find any laws that they violate; but they just look so damn uppity and illegal that we couldn't possibly let them walk!'?

Well. More or less.

The prosecutor Hakan Roswall [wikipedia.org] did some research a couple of month before the raid and wrote a report were he came to the conclusion that what TPB did was legal.
Then the minister of justice Thosmas Bodstrom [wikipedia.org] got a mail from the US government saying that they wanted TPB to get shut down so he called the prosecutor to his office and had a talk with him. (This is by the way illegal in Sweden, a minister isn't allowed to directly dictate what should happen. Regulations should be done through laws to make sure that they are enforced equally.)
Then the police investigated the whole thing. After this another interesting thing happened. The officer Jim Keyse who was leading the investigation took a vacation. During this vacation he was on Warner Brothers payroll.

I guess the reason the TPB-guys went to jail was more in the lines of coercion and bribes.

Re:TPB legit? (4, Informative)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 months ago | (#46242149)

While they don't host any infringing materials, a core assumption of the ruling is that "the thing being pointed to" is in fact authorized (in this case, news stories). The ruling states that creating the link is a communication to the public, and as such if the thing linked to is infringing, such a communication could be itself infringing or at least contributory. I don't think this helps them.

Re:TPB legit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244113)

Actually, this is what the ruling says:

Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, must be interpreted as meaning that the provision on a website of clickable links to works freely available on another website *does not constitute an ‘act of communication to the public’*, as referred to in that provision.

Creating a link is *not* an act of communication to the public if "works" are freely available somewhere else, which is why this ruling is important.

(yes, posting as AC as not on my turf)

Re:TPB legit? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 months ago | (#46245103)

TBP doesn't even link to them! All they provide is a number (presented as an alphanumeric string) and a few links to public content-neutral trackers.

Re:TPB legit? (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 months ago | (#46258521)

Actually, I think you should probably have highlighted "as referred to in that provision". The paragraph two before the one you quoted said "That additional circumstance in no way alters the conclusion that the provision on a site of a clickable link to a protected work published and freely accessible on another site has the effect of making that work available to users of the first site and that it therefore constitutes a communication to the public. However, since there is no new public, the authorisation of the copyright holders is in any event not required for such a communication to the public." Therefore the link is a communication to the public, it's just that the provision doesn't apply.

However, both of us noted that the provision's inapplicability is based on the material being already available to everyone who can follow the link, so the important part we agree on.

Re:TPB legit? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#46242861)

They don't even link to infringing material. They link to material that links to infringing material.

Re:TPB legit? (2)

fred911 (83970) | about 2 months ago | (#46242939)

No they don't, they link to information that contains an infohash or to a file containing swarm and file information to a group that may or may not be sharing copy-written data, dependent upon the users location and fair use rights.

Lots of maybes there..

Re:TPB legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46247311)

The term isn't "copy-written" since we're not talking about copy writers. The term you're looking for is "copyrighted". Righted, not written. It's copyright, not copywrite. Also, you cannot copyright data. You can only copyright what you say with those data, and anyone can take that data you presented and present it in his own way, anc he can copyright that.

Hey bigmouth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243185)

Like calling folks idiots? Like this from you troll http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Prove me wrong dumbass http://games.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

It works, & gives folks what they want here (no beta site redirect foisted on them without asking, which is WHY I put it up... they did it to me 1 or 2 times, that beat it, & I gave folks what they wanted).

You're also FREE to *try* to disprove 17 points of FACT that use of custom hosts files gives users more speed, security, reliability, & even added anonymity that I list here where you can download it, free -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Only thing is, on the latter, that FAR more skilled trolls than you have TRIED to, only to get shot down in flames each time, by yours truly)

APK

P.S.=> Come on big talker - go for it: I'll eat you ALIVE here publicly just to laugh @ your DUMB ass even more...apk

Re:TPB legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242011)

It never violated Swedish law in the first place. Why would further proof of that change anything?

Re:TPB legit? (1)

xfizik (3491039) | about 2 months ago | (#46242065)

In this case it matters whether they are legit in the eyes of the judicial system. TPB may not have violated the law, but they've been repeatedly prosecuted and legitimately (in the sense that it was sanctioned by a judge) blocked.

No, this case is linking to the rightful owner (2, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#46243161)

No, it's not similar. In this case, the plaintiff complained that someone linked to them, apparently within a iframe or something. Nobody linked to unlawful or "pirated" material. The (silly) claim was that linking to Slashdot would violate Slashdot's copy rights.

TBP llinks to unlawful material, and exists primarily for the purpose of assisting in the unlawful distribution of material. They are therefore committing "contributory infringement" - they are contributing to a direct infringement. In the instant case, there is no direct infringement for anyone to contribute to.

Answer a question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243233)

"If I down-modded comment has "hosts file" in the subject line, I know why it's down-modded and hidden - it's not something anyone wants to read, and I'm not going to read it." - by raymorris (2726007) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:24PM (#46180661)

FROM http://meta.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

Question: WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?

APK

P.S.=> Depending on how you answer, we'll go from there - ONLY THING IS, you've AVOIDED IT, @ least a DOZEN times now... apk

Re:Answer a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243345)

Checked his post history. That chicken shit's running from you apk.

Imagine that (the great gov't. coder) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243497)

He must've done the Obamacare site http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] LOL!

APK

P.S.=> Yes, I am going to rip him a new one for what he said, & I will use the 100's of users here that use hosts, and 50 or so upmodded hosts files posts I have here to do it (might as well telegraph it to him), then, facts on hosts will do the rest... apk

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244017)

Piratebay links to files that link to several users who might or might not have the legal right to distribute the material they are distributing. There is plenty of legal distribution there. Some countries have different laws regarding copyright you see,

knock knock, anyone home? It's PIRATE bay (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#46252795)

It's PIRATE bay, not PromoteYourFreeSoftwareBay.
It's for pirating (aka unlawfully taking my work while telling my baby to go fuck herself, she doesn't need to eat because you're a selfish dick who chose to trade in your integrity rather than fork over the $25 for my work that you want to have so badly.

raymorris "the great gov't. coder" (not) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244475)

Did you program the Obamacare site? Must be: Since all you had was downmods vs. honest questions here http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] and then here even when I "telegraphed" what I was going to use vs. what YOU said about hosts files that I quoted from you (but that YOU can't validly back up) -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] espeically since I can literally show roughly 100 people here that use them, and 50++ upmods of posts of mine on hosts also.

APK

P.S.=> Long & Short of it raymorris? You're a blowhard that fits the old saying "Close Enough for GOVERNMENT WORK" (ala the Obamacare website, lol)....

... apk

raymorris: the 'great gov't coder' (lol, not) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46245099)

Did you program the Obamacare site? Must be: Since all you had was downmods vs. honest questions here http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] and then here even when I "telegraphed" what I was going to use vs. what YOU said about hosts files that I quoted from you (but that YOU can't validly back up) -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] espeically since I can literally show roughly 100 people here that use them, and 50++ upmods of posts of mine on hosts also.

APK

P.S.=> Long & Short of it raymorris? You're a blowhard that fits the old saying "Close Enough for GOVERNMENT WORK" (ala the Obamacare website, lol)....

... apk

Re:TPB legit? (2)

3247 (161794) | about 2 months ago | (#46243933)

IMO, you can argue either way:

  • The Pirate Bay does not host any content but just links to content hosted elsewhere. It does not make the content available to a new public.
  • The content hosted elsewhere is not readily accessible to the public without the torrents (or "deep" links). By hosting torrents (or "deep" links), the Pirate Bay enables the public to access the content. Thus, the Pirate Bay does make the content available to a new public.
  • The Pirate Bay helps seeders to make the content available to the public. They are an accessory to the copyright infringement of others.

An accessory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244597)

The air you breathe is an accessory to the copyright infringement, since without breathing air you would not exist in a form capable of infringing copyright.

The Sun is also an accessory since without it, no life on Earth, thus no you, thus no copyright infringement either.

See how stupid this "accessory to copyright infringement" sounds?

Wisdom follows, pay attention! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244085)

> Does this mean The Pirate Bay is legit now?

Private property is sancto-sanct. Intellectual property is a kind of private property. Doing anything to someone else's private property, without the owner's permission, is not legal, because it violates the sanctity of private property. The government can allow that in law, but then it must pay full, immediate and adequate compensation to the owners. No amount of handwaving or fairness mumbo-jumbo talk can work around those basic tenets of constitutional capitalism. Capitalism cannot exist without the sanctity of private property. Democracy cannot exist without capitalism, because collectivism, also known as socialism and communism, can only be maintained via dictatorship, as the human nature is genetically intolerant of forced equalization.

Therefore file sharers, music and movie pirates owe restitution to the copyright holders, who created the works of literature and media, which remains their private property. In other words, there is no right to free speech when it endangers or enroaches on someone else's lawfully obtained and possessed private property. The government can grant that right in a law, but then it must pay full, immediate and adequate compensation to the affected property owners.

Tolerating file sharing is a secret plot to eliminate the concept of sacred private property from the minds of the post-1990 born populace. If intellectual property can be taken for free and our modern society is more and more focused on the use of intellectual goods, the now growing-up generation will think phyisical property can also be taken. That leads to capitalism's collapse and collectivism will arrive with the already well-known consequences (soviet-russian gulags and chinese re-education camps with over 100 million dead). There will be brutal oppression and you won't even be able to read what literature you buy in stores, as the only allowed book will be the party's red book.

Re:Wisdom follows, pay attention! (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 2 months ago | (#46251703)

Where your'e wrong is two places:

1. All these concepts you speak of (private property, democracy) are just aspirations which are only effective if they can be enforced by direct force or by established and successfully maintained social structure and mechanisms of social pressure to conform to rules and norms. There is no "God-given" anything (such as "right to private property), because it is a given that there is no God (except, again, as a socially constructed collectively maintained concept: a meme if you will). So your word "sacrosanct" here, again, is just a wish, or a word used to invoke fear that there will be social consequences for violating it.

2. There is no fundamentally important dichotomy between the private and the collective, so long as the collective is acting to some degree as a super-organism, which most if not all collectives with surprising longevity must be doing. Again, individuals versus organized groups of individuals are more alike (in how they interact with their own parts and with their environment) than they are fundamentally different.
What we have is a continuum of self-interested environment-sensing and acting agents, from our individual cells and organs, to us as "individual" humans, through tightknit resource-sharing, inter-supportive family groups, to corporations and associations, to various levels of governed groups like cities, states, nations, and federations. All can "claim to have and act as if they have" private property:
- cell 1 to cell 2: this is my blood sugar, I'm taking it inside, you can't have it
- person1 to person 2 or to nation 3: This is my house and possessions with walls and doors and you can't have it or live in it:
    oh and this is my gun and I'm gripping it tightly and pointing it at you and you can't have it, or the other stuff I mentioned.
- nation 1 to nation 2: this is my fertile valley near an ocean port. I'm invading it and building a wall and an army around it, and you can't have it.
- nation 1 to person 2: Get over yourself. If I want your stuff I will incarcerate you or eliminate you, and take your stuff.

 

Re:TPB legit? (1)

zzyzyx (1382375) | about 2 months ago | (#46244253)

No, according to the decision hyperlinking is allowed as long as it does not communicate the work to a new public. Linking to protected work in a way that would make it available to a new public (torrent files make stuff available to people that is not otherwise available to them) would not be concerned by this decision.

And the truth shall set you free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242009)

Pirate Bay is now legal!

DO NOTE (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 months ago | (#46242027)

This ruling only applies to copyrighted content that is legally and publicly available. Linking to content that is behind e.g. a paywall would constitute a copyright-infringement. Similarly, it doesn't rule that linking to publicly available, but unauthorized content would be legal, that is an entirely different matter.

Why is this ruling important, then? Well, it could be used as a stepping-stone for more in-depth ruling about linking to content, like e.g. the aforementioned unauthorized content. Similarly, many journalists, newspapers and whatnot have been sued in the recent past for copyright-infringement simply for linking to an article on another newspapers' website. Some companies are even trying to extort money from Google and other search-engines for the same thing, so now they could possibly use this ruling as a defense. Search-engines aren't journalists, that's true, but a new ruling could be based on this one and grant search-engines the same rights in hyperlinking.

Re:DO NOTE (2)

zotz (3951) | about 2 months ago | (#46242121)

This ruling only applies to copyrighted content that is legally and publicly available. Linking to content that is behind e.g. a paywall would constitute a copyright-infringement.

Wait, how can it be a problem to link to content *behind* a paywall. Either the person clicking the link will not be able to get to the link as the content is behind a paywall and they haven't paid, or, they have paid, have rights to the content, and can get to it by following the link. Is there some other possibility?

all the best,

drew

Re:DO NOTE (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 months ago | (#46242179)

Well, it's not publicly-available material if it's behind a paywall or some other restrictions. You're changing the content's audience by introducing it to people that wouldn't have accessed it, and that's the part that constitutes copyright-infringement in this ruling, the changing the content's audience. On a similar note, there are plenty of sites with poorly-implemented paywalls that do grant access to the material even when it's supposed to be paywalled. The intent is important here; the court ignores implementation-specific failures, but recognizes intent.

Re:DO NOTE (-1, Troll)

mSparks43 (757109) | about 2 months ago | (#46243695)

NO COURT OF ANY LAND HAS ANY JURISDICTION OVER THE INTERNET WHICH DOES NOT EXIST IN ANYTHING BUT THE MANIFESTATION OF AN ABSTRACT CONCEPT OF BITS AND BYTES AS ELECTRONS.

THE CONCEPT OF MAKING NUMBERS ILLEGAL IS MORALLY, SOCIALLY, AND ETHICALLY CORRUPT.

Therefore, any court that thinks it has the right to make numbers illegal is morally, socially and ethically corupt, and should not have the support of the people of the world.

The internet is not land, you cannot regulate it like land, go fuck yourselfs.

How the hell.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244027)

..Should someone know if some material is supposed to be behing a paywall if their webserver just gives it our every time someone asks? Please. If you put in online and it's accessible it's mean tto be read. I mean, information might not want to be free, but in that case someone set it free anyways.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 months ago | (#46242195)

If the paywall is designed such that authorization info gets carried along in the URL (as parameters, for example) and the link includes authorization info, it could get you to content that you couldn't reach directly (because you don't have the username/password to get the paywall to add the authorization info). It's not the smartest way to design an authentication system, but I've seen it in use in the past and I wouldn't bet money that nobody's using it now.

Re:DO NOTE (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46242197)

Many sites are using the law to enforce their poor security practices.

Re:DO NOTE (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#46243601)

In the same way you'd use the law if someone was in your house because you forgot to lock the door? The whole "Oh gee, I didn't realize I wasn't in public space anymore because nothing stopped me from going here so I'm totally innocent." doesn't work in real life, honestly why do you expect it to work online? Particularly when there's good reason to believe the person knew he was behind the front door that was supposed to keep him out and he's busy cleaning the place out of valuables.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#46243899)

I'd use the law if someone is stealing my valuables, but the crime would be theft (or trespass with intention to steal). If someone walked into my house and read some of my books, then it wouldn't be illegal and I'd have to ask them (politely) to leave.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 months ago | (#46252401)

Not me. If I come home from work and find someone I don't know sitting on my couch reading, they're going to jail. Period. Even if the door is unlocked it's breaking and entering and a violation of my rights. You don't just walk into someone's house and read their books, especially since those books are free at the library.

Hey, you, get offa my cloud!

Re:DO NOTE (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#46253663)

Here in the UK, just entering someone's property isn't a crime. You'd have to show "intent to steal" or damaging the door to get entry is considered breaking and entering.

I'd have to admit it would be strange to get back home and find someone there reading a book. I'd prefer it to having all my stuff gone - if the intruder said "I saw your door was left open, so I came in to stop anyone from stealing your stuff and while I was waiting I read this book - hope you don't mind" then I doubt that I'd call the police.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46243939)

No more like getting the government involved to enforce "slander" laws for chilling effects (especially if it wasn't slander in the first place).

Re:DO NOTE (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 months ago | (#46246909)

This situation is more similar to you living in a house that is 50% open to the public. You then forget to lock the dividing door and are shocked when people wonder into the part where they are not supposed to be - even when it is not marked that THIS part of the house is not meant for the public.

Re:DO NOTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242123)

Yeah but should link farms that serve only to post ads and links to apps/videos/games/e-books/etc be allowed to operate with impunity? (Not saying this is what you are implying, just asking)

Personally, I don't think linking is copyright infringement in and of itself. But intent to contribute to infringement on a mass scale should be. This is why we have juries and courts. There should be some leeway to interpret that a journalist linking to something is not infringement but a link-farm with thousands of links to mega.co.whatever and spamming ads most certainly is infringement. To me, intent matters.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

strstr (539330) | about 2 months ago | (#46242735)

Then again, . . Who cares about copyright infringement, because its fucking censorship and prevents others from improving on or making use of information and knowledge. Similiarly, fuck patents and trademarks, too

Re:DO NOTE (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 months ago | (#46252537)

You seem to completely misunderstand copyright. You cannot copyright information or knowledge, all you can copyright is your communication of that information and knowledge. You can write a book about communication protocols, and I can read your book and write my own based on what I learned from yours, and there's nothing you can do about it. I have not infringed your copyright, I have not copied your work, I have created a new work and possibly, if I've learned from others as well or discovered something in my studies, I can use that for improving on your information. And your assertion that I can't use the information is brain-dead stupid -- you think that people who check a book about how to win a game out of the library, read it, and use that new knowledge to win are infringing copyright???

Without copyright, any rich bastard could sell as many copies of my book as he wanted, he has marketing bucks and I don't. I would get nothing for my work, the publisher would reap the rewards.

That said, copyright lengths are absurd. There is no way Jimi Hendrix will ever be talked into recording any more records.

As to patents, there should be a patent system but ours is screwed for many different reasons.

Trademarks? You think it should be OK for me to open a McDonald's restaraunt down to the golden arches?

Re:DO NOTE (1)

strstr (539330) | about 2 months ago | (#46255831)

I do not confuse copyright. I literally think it's used to control information, give people ability to censor and take information down, and make it hard to get by either not selling it or by requiring payment first.

An example of copyright being used for censorship is the videos on YouTube. People made recordings of videogames, usually their own gameplay, because who doesn't like to keep videos and show the world what it's like when they play it? OR some people made reviews and/or put it together in a "podcast"/online little show they did. But copyright came into play, and despite that this may in fact be a fair use at least, YouTube was taking down gobs and gobs of videos, and even I myself got a threatening copyright notice for a video I recorded of myself playing "Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing": http://www.gamespot.com/articl... [gamespot.com]

Purely retarded shit, and some people say the copyright infringement notices were sent out because the videos may have even showed the game in poor light and made people not want to buy it, like a bad review. But who gives a fuck because that's the way the ball rolls, even if it were true.

The deal is, I sort of think all information should be free, and copyright should be extremely limited, maybe to the original product only and only for 10 years. I believe in content archival, people not owning information (even a book or video or software is knowledge and information). I believe all content if it exists should be open and available for people to experience, without stupid laws that prevent it (which is what copyright is). It also conflicts with personal liberty, because it gives the copyright holder the right to tell the individual what they can and cannot do .. which I am totally against. ...

Re:DO NOTE (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 months ago | (#46259323)

The deal is, I sort of think all information should be free, and copyright should be extremely limited, maybe to the original product only and only for 10 years. I believe in content archival, people not owning information (even a book or video or software is knowledge and information). I believe all content if it exists should be open and available for people to experience, without stupid laws that prevent it (which is what copyright is). It also conflicts with personal liberty, because it gives the copyright holder the right to tell the individual what they can and cannot do .. which I am totally against.

I certainly agree with that paragraph. I also think it should only apply to works "affixed to a tangible medium", which to my mind should rule out copyright on digital works and should only apply to commerce. Sharing files should be legal, selling physical copies of someone's work should not until the copyright expires, and it should expire far faster than it does.

Note my sig, I hold registered copyright on a book and two obsolete computer programs (they stopped making the computers the programs ran on thirty years ago).

Ten years should be plenty long for any computer program and maybe too long. But if copyright on literature were only ten years, Asimov wouldn't have made a dime on the Foundation trilogy; its original publisher had poor marketing. But half a century is way too long. Any creative effort, like science and engineering, is built on what came before. Imagine how technology would stagnate if patents lasted as long as copyrights, that's how culture is stagnating under ridiculously long copyright lengths.

Re:DO NOTE (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 2 months ago | (#46242849)

But intent to contribute to infringement on a mass scale should be

I disagree. Intent in and of itself should never be against the law. I could say, "Please everyone go out and download games and films and music and commit as much copyright infringement as possible." Maybe some people will be persuaded to do just that, but I have no direct control over such people. They are responsible for their own actions and decisions.

I could also tell people to consume illegal drugs and tell them on what street corner they can find some. None of that should be illegal. It's all communication, all speech. The mere imparting of information should never be against the law.

It is never in a civilization's best interest to prohibit the free flow of information. Although it may be in some individual's financial interest to do so. It is precisely for the benefit of a few rich and greedy people that such laws are created in the first place.

Re:DO NOTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243027)

The difference in your example is you would not be profiteering off of the infringement, nor assisting (linking)

I consider those 3 things to be relevant:
- Profit motive
- assisting / linking / contributing
- intent

But if you are ideologically opposed to copyright, then none of these things matter. Personally I think you're not helping those of us who want to bring copyright back into the realm of sanity instead of the draconian penalties and laws that exist.

Also intent is a major part of law in most all countries. Intent and taking action to profit off of a crime is generally considered illegal.

Re:DO NOTE (1, Interesting)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 months ago | (#46242167)

Fun fact: linking to content that used to be freely available but is no longer is called out as constituting infringement. The Internet Archive may have a problem.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

MikeLip (797771) | about 2 months ago | (#46242655)

I guess I'm surprised that this had to be tried at all. If it's on the internet, on a publicly available web server and not locked down - say, behind some sort of security barrier that requires a username/password or similar - then no one should consider linking to it a problem. If that's not what you intend, then perhaps it should not be accessible in that way at all. After all, that's what the whole web thing is all about.

Re:DO NOTE (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#46242827)

If it's on the internet, on a publicly available web server and not locked down - say, behind some sort of security barrier that requires a username/password or similar - then no one should consider linking to it a problem.

I think it could reasonably be argued that a link to material that is then displayed in a frame that inappropriately attributes the material would be infringing. E.g., a page with links to images, which when clicked display in an enclosing frame that says "Hey look at the great image I made." And, unfortunately, I've had exactly that problem on a website I run where a TV station was using my images and missattributing them. The only solution I could come up with was adding a watermark.

The ruling is specific to say "in the context of this case", which was a simple link to someone else's content that was already publicly available on the applicant's website. It doesn't cover hidden (unpublished) links or inappropriate attribution.

Search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242139)

So does this mean the torrent links will be back? On a different point, It sucks that I cannot download Linux while at the hotel, using bittorrent

Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242151)

Hyperlinking is not copyright infringement and pointing out a drug dealer is not facilitating drug trafficking... kind of obvious if you think about it. I suppose that there is some substance to the claim that common sense has died if it is necessary to go to court to establish simple facts like these.

I'm confused (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46242173)

(but as my wife would say.... what else is new?)

Anyways... If the content is already freely available, then the content is already available to the public, isn't it? in what way would a hyperlink constitute an illegal communication to the public when the content itself is, in fact, already public?

Re:I'm confused (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 months ago | (#46242219)

To answer your question and to copypaste myself from above:

Well, it's not publicly-available material if it's behind a paywall or some other restrictions. You're changing the content's audience by introducing it to people that wouldn't have accessed it, and that's the part that constitutes copyright-infringement in this ruling, the changing the content's audience. On a similar note, there are plenty of sites with poorly-implemented paywalls that do grant access to the material even when it's supposed to be paywalled. The intent is important here; the court ignores implementation-specific failures, but recognizes intent.

Re:I'm confused (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46242287)

The summary specified "freely available", not merely "publicly available". Freely available connotes, by definition, being available for free, and not requiring any sort of payment. Just because something is open to the public doesn't mean that it's free.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#46243085)

And to add to mark-t's comment, the ruling also deals explicitly with the question of "would have" accessed it, saying that it is irrelevant whether people actually did directly access it or not, the fact was it was a publicly available link. "They wouldn't have accessed it" is moot. The audience was not being changed.

Re:I'm confused (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 months ago | (#46242657)

(but as my wife would say.... what else is new?)

Anyways... If the content is already freely available, then the content is already available to the public, isn't it? in what way would a hyperlink constitute an illegal communication to the public when the content itself is, in fact, already public?

"Public" doesn't necessarily imply "legally public".
To me, the ruling says: "No matter about the legality of a freely available piece on the Internet, whoever links to it is not guilty of breaking any law".

Re:I'm confused (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46243357)

It said "Freely available", not just "publicly available" If it's freely available, that means that it's available without restrictions, or without costs, which I'm pretty sure would also mean legally public.

Re:I'm confused (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 2 months ago | (#46244827)

In no way. that is why the court ruled the way they did. These journalist were just looking to tax blogs that linked to them.

Re:I'm confused (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46246263)

These journalist were just looking to tax blogs that linked to them.

My point being that if they had ever had any legitimate right to do so, then by definition, the content would not have been "freely available".

BEEETTTTTAAAA (-1, Offtopic)

Infestedkudzu (2557914) | about 2 months ago | (#46242259)

FUCK BETA they fooled me i thought they gave up recently. I will fucking never come back if beta doesn't leave

Re:BEEETTTTTAAAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243477)

Yep. Something they left out in their apology must be that they were ordered to do the 25% redirect. So they are allowed to admit that beta is broken and needs LOTS of work, yet they don't admit that they have been ordered to redirect 25% of random (among the cookieless) visitors there. Nor did they stop the redirecting because they fear for their jobs. I hope somebody behind the scenes is documenting the train wreck blow-by-blow. It may be the only thing that salvages their reputations.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242303)

Common sense is finally winning some ground.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242413)

In other news, duh. No shit, Sherlock.

Wait a second... (1)

hymie! (95907) | about 2 months ago | (#46242853)

Didn't I read the opposite [slashdot.org] just yesterday?

Re:Wait a second... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243657)

Didn't I read the opposite [slashdot.org] just yesterday?

No, that case was different since he copied the files and shared them from an own server. Had he linked to the originals he would have been safe according to this ruling.

So TV Links guys should be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242977)

SurfTheChannel guy, Anton Vickerman. That case was one of the dodgiest I've ever seen in the UK court. Including testimony given in secret and what appears to be GCHQ surveillance data made available to the court.

But if linking is not infringement then Anton did not 'Conspire to defraud', it was always a terrible court case anyway twisting law and making legal assumptions that don't hold water.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120814/08323320046/surfthechannel-owner-anton-vickerman-sentenced-to-four-years-jail-conspiracy.shtml

Thanks for clearing up that minefield of unclarity (1)

mcfedr (1081629) | about 2 months ago | (#46243781)

must of been a really difficult decision, long live the pirate bay!

Maybe not so great (1)

malx (7723) | about 2 months ago | (#46244343)

There's an interesting analysis from copyright lawyer Innocenzo Genna [wordpress.com] that suggests this may not be such good news for the Internet as it seems at first glance.

The copyright-controlled activity that was under discussion was "communicating a copyright work to the public". The court decided that hyperlinking was communicating the work to the public, but ruled that it was still permitted by way of exception, because the work has already been communicated to the same public. According to Genna, this still brings hyperlinking within the sphere of copyright law, which is dangerous for the future. It would have been much better if the court had decided that linking is not "communicating the work", but just pointing to somewhere else where the work is communicated; this would have left much less scope for more restrictive rulings in other hyperlinking cases.

Who controls the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244915)

I think this is an important precedent in the US as well. A "court" opined on hyperlinking on the Internet. The Internet is not controlled by any one nation or state, therefore an International court ruled hyperlinking was legal. Therefore, websites like Watch32.com are legal unless the embedded hyperlink to the content was behind a firewall. And how would Joe Public know that anyway? Watch32 is a "public" website. Even though streaming may include downloading metadata, it is not the same as actively and knowingly downloading a pirated film torrent file then watching it. Or is it?

EU Court Opinion and US Applicability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46245031)

I believe that this ruling affects the US as well. The EU Court made this ruling while considering the WIPO Copyright Treaty. The US is a member state of WIPO. You can't support WIPO then say you won't following its rulings.

no, I get it.. (1)

strstr (539330) | about 2 months ago | (#46255801)

I do not confuse copyright. I literally think it's used to control information, give people ability to censor and take information down, and make it hard to get by either not selling it or by requiring payment first.

An example of copyright being used for censorship is the What You Play videos on YouTube. People made recordings of videogames, usually their own gameplay, because who doesn't like to keep videos and show the world what it's like when they play it? OR some people made reviews and/or put it together in a "podcast"/online little show they did. But copyright came into play, and despite that this may in fact be a fair use at least, YouTube was taking down gobs and gobs of videos, and even I myself got a threatening copyright notice for a video I recorded of myself playing "Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing".

Purely retarded shit, and some people say the copyright infringement notices were sent out because the videos may have even showed the game in poor light and made people not want to buy it, like a bad review. But who gives a fuck because that's the way the ball rolls, even if it were true.

The deal is, I sort of think all information should be free, and copyright should be extremely limited, maybe to the original product only and only for 10 years. I believe in content archival, people not owning information (even a book or video or software is knowledge and information). I believe all content if it exists should be open and available for people to experience, without stupid laws that prevent it (which is what copyright is). It also conflicts with personal liberty, because it gives the copyright holder the right to tell the individual what they can and cannot do .. which I am totally against.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...