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(Some Guy)   Court says that hyperlinks to copyrighted material are a copyright infringement   (futureofcopyright.com) divider line 67
    More: Stupid  
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7467 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Sep 2012 at 11:20 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-14 08:41:58 AM  
Well, Fark.
 
2012-09-14 09:03:35 AM  
columns.dg.nl

I can see why her pictures were so appealing.
 
2012-09-14 09:22:56 AM  
I can see their point.

Instead of loading the copyrighted material to their own server, the violating party loaded it to File Factory and linked to it there, then kept loading it to other locker sites after File Factory responded to a take-down order, forcing the copyright owner to keep tracking the content down and writing take-down claims. Let's face it, the violating party was responsible both for loading the pictures to the internet and for linking to them, so it was essentially just the same as hosting them.
 
2012-09-14 09:25:53 AM  
My dissent:

lh4.ggpht.com

Hotlinked copyright symbol. Take that, you farks!
 
2012-09-14 11:22:12 AM  
The Dutch?
Yeah, right.
 
2012-09-14 11:24:17 AM  
What do you expect from a bunch of dike lovers?
 
gja [TotalFark]
2012-09-14 11:25:59 AM  
Good farkin luck trying to enforce that.

/stupid law is stupid
 
2012-09-14 11:27:01 AM  
Now how am I supposed to masturbate? Jeesumcrow.
 
2012-09-14 11:27:25 AM  
In other news, my window is my living room.
 
2012-09-14 11:27:44 AM  
Is this news?
 
2012-09-14 11:28:13 AM  
For all the issues we have with the Internet in the U.S., europe really seems to be having a more difficult time getting their arms around all of the problems the new information age poses.
 
2012-09-14 11:28:40 AM  
I rudder be on this side of the pond.
 
2012-09-14 11:29:11 AM  
President Fark (aka Drew), you are linking to copyrighted material and that's illegal
SHUT. EVERYTHING. DOWN.
 
2012-09-14 11:29:28 AM  

Boudica's War Tampon: Now how am I supposed to masturbate? Jeesumcrow.


Porn producers are loving the changing copyright laws.

Go porn!
 
2012-09-14 11:29:30 AM  
"It's a pioneering decision..."

"C'Mon, boys, it's just a volcano! Do you want to live forever? We're pioneers!"
 
2012-09-14 11:30:52 AM  

tomasso: I can see their point.

Instead of loading the copyrighted material to their own server, the violating party loaded it to File Factory and linked to it there, then kept loading it to other locker sites after File Factory responded to a take-down order, forcing the copyright owner to keep tracking the content down and writing take-down claims. Let's face it, the violating party was responsible both for loading the pictures to the internet and for linking to them, so it was essentially just the same as hosting them.


I think the proper way to look at it is that what should be illegal is uploading the stolen content to the hosting services in the first place. The actual hyperlinking shouldn't be what is illegal; uploading it to the cloud service should be. The fact that the hyperlinks were not guessable should not change this fact, BUT it could provide evidence that they were the ones who committed the illegal act of uploading the content to the public servers. Since they knew the "unguessable" URL, and all that. But the actual linking should not be illegal, and courts that look at it that way are wrong in their understanding of the Internet.

Not an expert on Dutch law, but that's my take on how the law should work on this sort of thing.
 
2012-09-14 11:35:02 AM  

miss diminutive: My dissent:

[lh4.ggpht.com image 280x280]

Hotlinked copyright symbol. Take that, you farks!


That image isn't original enough to qualify for copyright protection, but nice try.
 
2012-09-14 11:36:21 AM  
I would click the link to the story, but I'm afraid that I would be infringing on the copyright, or something.
 
2012-09-14 11:36:37 AM  
What about links to torrents of copyrighted material? How many steps removed do we have to be?
 
2012-09-14 11:39:40 AM  
Those Dutch bastards! 

i47.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-14 11:40:21 AM  

notmtwain: [columns.dg.nl image 600x600]

I can see why her pictures were so appealing.


She has a face?
 
2012-09-14 11:40:41 AM  
Court says that hyperlinks to copyrighted material are a copyright infringement decides to break the internet by knowing nothing about how the internet functions.
 
2012-09-14 11:41:15 AM  
"openbaarmaking'? For real? Is Dutch just some sort of silly language some guy from Cleveland made up? I swear I speak not a lick of Dutch, but I can read and comprehend nearly anything written in it. Wut met der singen en dansin undallderest?!
 
2012-09-14 11:47:51 AM  

Endive Wombat: Court says that hyperlinks to copyrighted material are a copyright infringement decides to break the internet by knowing nothing about how the internet functions.


I wondered where all the old farts that still have their secretary check their email went...apparently they become judges in Holland.
 
2012-09-14 11:49:21 AM  
Oh, oh, the Target web site is copyrighted, I better remove my ad links!
 
2012-09-14 11:53:09 AM  
Was nice knowing you.
 
2012-09-14 11:55:44 AM  
Um: "publishing hyperlinks to copyrighted content is, under certain circumstances, a copyright infringement"

The particular case involves pictures, dumbmitter. Pictures that belonged to somebody. It doesn't involve every link to everything, ever, though I expect most responses will react as if it does, because people are stupid.
 
2012-09-14 11:56:29 AM  
www.orrvfd.com
 
2012-09-14 12:07:04 PM  
The Dutch court must have dug very hard to find their moral rudder in making this decision.
 
2012-09-14 12:08:00 PM  
This is why we enforce conspiracy laws. This is clearly a conspiracy to violate copyright. Don't make stupid, unenforceable laws. Just fair cop them on conspiracy. Let judge/jury decide if it gets that far. Cripple a couple of these FARKers, and pretty soon this crap will stop.

It is a little like Napster. Sure, you thought it was totally fine to send copies of your stuff to people.
 
2012-09-14 12:08:23 PM  
What a rub.
 
2012-09-14 12:09:20 PM  

Mnemia: The actual hyperlinking shouldn't be what is illegal; uploading it to the cloud service should be.


I don't think I agree with you. Let's assume that your hard drive possesses copyrighted images or software which you have obtained legally. (Everyone's does.) There's nothing illegal about that, but it would be illegal to give out an FTP address which other people could use to download them illegally. Similarly, let's assume you back up those legally obtained images on your personal; account at a locker site. Still legal, I think, as long as you are the only one with access to them. But once you provide someone else with access to them, you've crossed the line. I'm pretty sure that it's the link and not the loading which makes it a copyright violation.

I would think, however, that you would have to commit BOTH acts to be responsible. If Egotastic, for example, posts copyrighted images without permission and your blog links to their article, I think you're safe. There's no way for you to know whether they own the copyright and/or have permission to use the pictures.

The Dutch Courts used somewhat different criteria in issuing their decision, but I find their points reasonable.
 
2012-09-14 12:10:07 PM  
a href="blowme.html"
 
2012-09-14 12:11:46 PM  
Seems to me the solution would be to make a bit.ly link to a text file hosted on filefront which contains a link to a white imageshack image that, in its jpeg comment field, contains the URL of a geocities page which only has pictures of funny cats but in the underlying html has a link to a flash game hosted in South Africa, which, once beaten, displays the IP address of a virtual machine run on a 386 Unix box in rural Kentucky which hosts a multi-part .rar file containing said images.

By the time a prosecutor explains all of that to a judge, he'll either throw the case out or make the entire internet illegal. I think that's a chance I'm willing to take.
 
2012-09-14 12:14:38 PM  
Didn't a newspaper recently (within the last year or so) successfully sue Google for copyright infringement because Google News linked to one of their articles? So Google removed links to said newspaper's articles from the search results and they then cried foul because their web traffic fell off a cliff...
 
2012-09-14 12:15:08 PM  

numbone: [www.orrvfd.com image 425x283]


You are ordered to cease and desist! I have copyright to that block of black!
 
2012-09-14 12:17:05 PM  
 
2012-09-14 12:23:27 PM  

tomasso: Mnemia: The actual hyperlinking shouldn't be what is illegal; uploading it to the cloud service should be.

I don't think I agree with you. Let's assume that your hard drive possesses copyrighted images or software which you have obtained legally. (Everyone's does.) There's nothing illegal about that, but it would be illegal to give out an FTP address which other people could use to download them illegally. Similarly, let's assume you back up those legally obtained images on your personal; account at a locker site. Still legal, I think, as long as you are the only one with access to them. But once you provide someone else with access to them, you've crossed the line. I'm pretty sure that it's the link and not the loading which makes it a copyright violation.

I would think, however, that you would have to commit BOTH acts to be responsible. If Egotastic, for example, posts copyrighted images without permission and your blog links to their article, I think you're safe. There's no way for you to know whether they own the copyright and/or have permission to use the pictures.

The Dutch Courts used somewhat different criteria in issuing their decision, but I find their points reasonable.


But it ISN'T the hyperlink (FTP, HTTP, or otherwise) that gives access to the content. It's the act of uploading it to a server that is set up and enabled to serve the content out that enables that. You wouldn't necessarily need a hyperlink at all: you could just use an IP address for a computer with no DNS entry if you wanted to be extra sneaky. A hyperlink is just like a shareable bookmark. It's not sharing anything at all to create a hyperlink, and a hyperlink isn't even necessarily connected to any sort of content.

Maybe this sounds like splitting hairs, but I think it's an important distinction. The WWW is built on the foundation that hyperlinks can be shared freely, so limiting the right to share hyperlinks is the absolutely wrong way to go about addressing the problem, legally (it's also totally futile, from a pragmatic perspective). The hyperlink does not do anything to enable access to the content, technically. What does that is the act of setting up a server that links that hyperlink to the content. THAT is what should be illegal for illegal or stolen content.
 
2012-09-14 12:27:23 PM  
Also, another reason that it's a horrible idea to try to go after the act of sharing hyperlinks to illegal content is that the content linked to by a hyperlink can CHANGE, and the person who published the hyperlink doesn't have any control over that unless they also control the server. You could upload a lolcat macro to Photobucket, and share the link on Fark. That link would stay on Fark. Should you then become liable for the hyperlink if someone hacked your photobucket account and replaced the image with child pron? Of course not, but that's what this kind of legal reasoning presumes.
 
2012-09-14 12:28:49 PM  

Cthulhu11: Those Dutch bastards! 

[i47.photobucket.com image 682x510]


Belgians are bastards. All they eat is waffles

Everyone just hates the Dutch with their education system, reliable transportation system, universal healthcare marijuana, wooden shoes, windmills, stupid teeth and dutch ovens.
 
2012-09-14 12:41:23 PM  
I think the issue could be better categorized as "Knowingly linking to material that is in violation of copyright." In this same way a site linking to a place you can 'download the latest version of photoshop' would also be in violation.
 
2012-09-14 12:46:50 PM  
But to be clear, the court goes out of its way to point out that the links that the company was publishing were NOT publicly available. It was very clear that the company was the one putting up these files on various hosting sites and then publishing the links, not just linking to something they found.
 
2012-09-14 12:46:53 PM  

Mnemia: THAT is what should be illegal for illegal or stolen content.


Ah, but there's the problem. The word "illegal."

If you have not stolen the content yourself, copyrighted content is not illegal when you upload it to a file locker. It only becomes illegal when you share it. Assume you are a member of Playboy.com, and download a ton of stuff. I don't think there's anything wrong with uploading that content to FileFactory to be your back-up in case of a hard drive failure. It's not illegal content at that point. But as soon as you give other people access to it, via e-mail, hyperlink, FTP address, whatever, then your action becomes illegal, right? The link itself causes the crime.

"The WWW is built on the foundation that hyperlinks can be shared freely."

I don't think that is an absolute, nor should it be. In essence, there is (as far as I can see) no difference between linking to content on your own server and linking to the same content which you have personally uploaded to FileFactory. I don't think any court anywhere would rule that you can use File Factory as a get-out-of-jail-free card to avoid your legal responsibility for sharing somebody else's intellectual property. In such a condition, File Factory is simply an extension of your own server.
 
2012-09-14 12:47:18 PM  

Fecacacophany: "openbaarmaking'? For real? Is Dutch just some sort of silly language some guy from Cleveland made up? I swear I speak not a lick of Dutch, but I can read and comprehend nearly anything written in it. Wut met der singen en dansin undallderest?!


Like that? Then you'll love Frisia.
 
2012-09-14 01:03:29 PM  
Just goes to show that once an image, any image hits the net and goes viral there is no getting rid of it.

as for the court finding, i suppose in certain situation it could be infringement.
 
2012-09-14 01:04:56 PM  

tomasso: Mnemia: THAT is what should be illegal for illegal or stolen content.

Ah, but there's the problem. The word "illegal."

If you have not stolen the content yourself, copyrighted content is not illegal when you upload it to a file locker. It only becomes illegal when you share it. Assume you are a member of Playboy.com, and download a ton of stuff. I don't think there's anything wrong with uploading that content to FileFactory to be your back-up in case of a hard drive failure. It's not illegal content at that point. But as soon as you give other people access to it, via e-mail, hyperlink, FTP address, whatever, then your action becomes illegal, right? The link itself causes the crime.

"The WWW is built on the foundation that hyperlinks can be shared freely."

I don't think that is an absolute, nor should it be. In essence, there is (as far as I can see) no difference between linking to content on your own server and linking to the same content which you have personally uploaded to FileFactory. I don't think any court anywhere would rule that you can use File Factory as a get-out-of-jail-free card to avoid your legal responsibility for sharing somebody else's intellectual property. In such a condition, File Factory is simply an extension of your own server.


I don't think you're understanding what I'm saying fully. The hyperlink is NOT what provides public access to the files on FileFactory or whatever. What provides public access to the files is the access control SETTINGS on the file locker account. I'm not suggesting that file lockers should be illegal, or that they should be a get-out-of-jail-free card if you use one to distribute content you don't own illegally. What I'm saying is that the illegal act should be setting up your file locked account to share content you don't own, not distributing a hyperlink after you did that.

The court here wrongly blurred the line between hyperlinks and access control, and they are NOT the same thing. Hyperlinks do not inherently provide access to anything, nor are they at all permanently tied to a specific piece of content that gets served out...the server's access control settings do that. That's all I'm saying.
 
2012-09-14 01:05:29 PM  
That's an interesting concept... I suppose everybody who clicked the link here is going to be sued by the Publisher's Clearing House or something...

every one of your posts is copyrighted, this hyperlink now carries 45 charges of copyright infringement in Holland.
 
2012-09-14 01:06:04 PM  
46...

Not to mention the original Dutch news story on the web...
 
2012-09-14 01:07:01 PM  
And it may sound like I'm making silly hair-splitting distinctions, but I really am not. The idea that hyperlink = access is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Internet, and of who controls what data.
 
2012-09-14 01:08:35 PM  
 
2012-09-14 01:13:07 PM  

Fecacacophany: "openbaarmaking'? For real? Is Dutch just some sort of silly language some guy from Cleveland made up? I swear I speak not a lick of Dutch, but I can read and comprehend nearly anything written in it. Wut met der singen en dansin undallderest?!


'openbaarmaking' sounds like it deserves the Hero, Awesome and Cool tags all at once. Make me one too, while you're at it!
 
2012-09-14 01:20:06 PM  
No, again I disagree, and I think you;re grasping at straws.

Your access settings are completely irrelevant UNTIL you link to the content. Content on File Factory with a "no share" setting and the same content with an "anybody share" setting are precisely identical and equally legal, if there are no hyperlinks (or other forms of access) to the content.

In that process of loading-setting-linking, it is in fact the actual hyperlink which creates the illegality.

I understand that the entire internet may be based on a denial of that, but that isn't a basis for law.
 
2012-09-14 01:22:43 PM  
Meh.  I think some people are going a bit "slippery slope" here.  I read the judgement as hyperlinking as part of the process of a crime (which involved other things like actually putting the content up on a public site) can be illegal.
 
Its like if someone was convicted of burglarizing a house... and everyone started screaming "now opening doors is illegal!"
 
2012-09-14 01:46:23 PM  
I described a movie scene to a friend yesterday. Should I be worried?

/IRL hyperlinks FTW
 
2012-09-14 01:53:36 PM  
farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2012-09-14 02:16:07 PM  

tomasso: I can see their point.

Instead of loading the copyrighted material to their own server, the violating party loaded it to File Factory and linked to it there, then kept loading it to other locker sites after File Factory responded to a take-down order, forcing the copyright owner to keep tracking the content down and writing take-down claims. Let's face it, the violating party was responsible both for loading the pictures to the internet and for linking to them, so it was essentially just the same as hosting them.


Yes, greentilj.nl got the link to the pictures somehow, then published that link with the specific intent to draw traffic (the profit portion) to their website. then when the copyright holder asked filefactory to remove the pictures (which they did), greenstilj.nl posted another link to different file/image hosting site. Then when that site removed the pics in questions, greenstilj.nl again posted a link to a different site hosting the pictures.

This seem like a pretty standard definition of commercial copyright infringement, and I agree, in part, with the Dutch court on this case. As much as it may seem like just posting a hyperlink it was not in that greenstilj.nl seemed to be facilitating the moves of the content for the specific purpose of distributing the content.

Now, at its heart posting the link itself is still not copyright infringement, and what got greenstilj.nl in trouble was the fact that the links kept reappearing. A poor analogy would be showing a movie in one location, advertising that fact somewhere, then when told to stop, moving the location, advertising that fact and so on.

Other than this specific case, just posting a hyperlink to some content somewhere is still not copyright infringement.
 
2012-09-14 02:25:30 PM  

downstairs: Meh.  I think some people are going a bit "slippery slope" here.  I read the judgement as hyperlinking as part of the process of a crime (which involved other things like actually putting the content up on a public site) can be illegal.
 
Its like if someone was convicted of burglarizing a house... and everyone started screaming "now opening doors is illegal!"


Yeah, uploading and linking to it, and making money off of it were the real problems. And as TheGreenMonkey points out, even that just makes it the stupid petty sort of crime that they just terminate your account for and go away, it was repeatedly doing it everywhere they could that brought it to the point of a lawsuit. There's no way they'd sue over a single instance of infringement, it just costs too much.

FutureOfCopyright.com are the idiots that came up with the headline, rather than "Hyperlinks will be considered a factor in copyright infringement."
 
2012-09-14 02:28:34 PM  
Just like listing my address in the phonebook is tantamount to tresspassing.
 
2012-09-14 02:40:47 PM  

downstairs: Its like if someone was convicted of burglarizing a house... and everyone started screaming "now opening doors is illegal!"


More like giving out keys to the house of a person who did not authorise anyone to give other people access.

Fecacacophany: Wut met der singen en dansin undallderest?!


The correct spelling would be "Wat met het zingen en dansen en al de rest."

I don't speak Spanish, but with all the French, Dutch, German and English I know I could figure out 80% of what some billboard/menu/metro time table/random piece of text said.
 
2012-09-14 03:20:25 PM  
So by the same 'logic', telling someone where to find a book is copyright infringement.
 
2012-09-14 03:35:27 PM  

tomasso: No, again I disagree, and I think you;re grasping at straws.

Your access settings are completely irrelevant UNTIL you link to the content. Content on File Factory with a "no share" setting and the same content with an "anybody share" setting are precisely identical and equally legal, if there are no hyperlinks (or other forms of access) to the content.

In that process of loading-setting-linking, it is in fact the actual hyperlink which creates the illegality.

I understand that the entire internet may be based on a denial of that, but that isn't a basis for law.


But the hyperlink itself isn't illegal, or shouldn't be. What's illegal is making access to the materials available to people for copyright infringement. You don't need a hyperlink to do that, nor does publishing a hyperlink do that by itself. Criminalizing hyperlinks is criminalizing speech, rather than criminalizing the actual behavior of maintaining an archive of pirated materials. That's why I don't consider this a trivial issue, even if it does seem to be like semantics to you.

To be clear, I think that the guys in question here did quite a number of things that should be, and are, illegal. I'm ONLY taking issue with the idea that a hyperlink itself can be illegal. This is a common misunderstanding that many people have. A hyperlink is not an access mechanism for data....a web server is an access mechanism for data. They are not one and the same.

I DO think that repeatedly publishing updated hyperlinks could and should be used by the law as evidence of intent to infringe on copyright. And maybe that's all this case is saying. But it's not the hyperlinks themselves that should be illegal...it's publishing the copyrighted data. I think this case would be MUCH harder to make if the person publishing the hyperlinks was a third party.
 
2012-09-14 03:36:01 PM  
Link everything through Google searches.

Problem solved.
 
2012-09-14 03:49:51 PM  
Is this all that much different from the 2600 DeCSS case?

Link

CNET: July 3, 2002 3:20 PM PDT

Hacker publication 2600 magazine won't appeal a ruling prohibiting it from linking to code that can crack copy protections on DVDs, bringing a closely watched digital copyright fight with Hollywood to an end Wednesday.

The case, one of the first major tests of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), handed copyright holders a significant victory last year when a federal appeals court upheld a decision to ban the links.

The major movies studios sued 2600 in 1999 as part of a broad legal effort to stop the distribution of code that can be used to playback DVDs on computers, known as DeCSS. Developed by open-source programmers, DeCSS quickly spread online and eventually morphed into gestures of protest against Hollywood's legal attacks to restrain it, appearing in poems, songs, T-shirts and ties.

In suing 2600, the studios charged that posting and linking to DeCSS violated provisions of the DMCA, including its ban on "trafficking" in tools that can circumvent copy-protection technology. Defendants argued that hyperlinks are a key element of the Web and that the links to DeCSS from the 2600 site should qualify for free-speech protections under the First Amendment.
 
2012-09-14 06:08:53 PM  
If there are 2 things I can't stand its people who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch,
 
2012-09-14 07:10:30 PM  
A hyperlink is an address. Nothing more. Knowing where you can go in town to get some drugs or whores shouldn't be illegal, only the act of actually soliciting and pricing the go ods should be illegal.
 
2012-09-14 08:10:51 PM  
Dewey Decimal wanted for questioning?
 
2012-09-15 01:34:17 AM  
It seems like there was a law that was going to get past just like this, but then everyone got REALLY pissed off....
 
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