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Canada Communications Media The Courts

Landmark Canadian Hyperlink Case Goes To Supreme Court 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the moose-sense dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Vancouver businessman Wayne Crookes is trying to reverse a decision by BC Supreme Court judge Stephen Kelleher that linking is not the same as publishing. He's been given permission to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada. If he wins, it could mean the end of the net in Canada and will reverberate around the world. 'The notion that someone might be considered a publisher merely by linking to someone else's content, I think could have a potentially huge chilling affect [sic] and, for that reason alone, is going to have a major impact on the shape of the Internet in Canada,' says Ottawa law professor Michael Geist. Hyperlinking is what the web is all about, says p2pnet founder Jon Newton. 'Without it, the Internet would become a drab and pale facsimile of the exciting news, data and information medium it is today. Instead, each item would be isolated from every other item, and online defamation lawsuits aimed at anyone and everyone with a Web site would instantly become commonplace.'"
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Landmark Canadian Hyperlink Case Goes To Supreme Court

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  • by goobermaster (1263770) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:28AM (#31723546)

    What gets me is not that this is going to the supreme court (where I'm sure it'll be tossed out regardless) but that it when it was dismissed from the BC Court of Appeals, there was a dissenting judge...

    Government _really_ needs to become better educated on technology and how the 'tubes' work. See - the same thing happens up here in Canada too!

    • It might seem obvious that linking is not publishing. But wait. Let's think about this more clearly for a second. Is the page you are looking at one monolithic published chunk of text? No, it's many auto-expanded links. Did the images show up as links to images or did your browser go and fetch those images and display them.

      Thus a person can create a set of links that display art works or copyrighted images from other sites simply by placing links in his documents.

      likewise one can have kinds of links or

      • by raftpeople (844215) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @12:35PM (#31725394)
        It all depends on your definition of publishing. Maybe there is an accepted legal definition of publishing, I don't know, but if not, trying to map current electronic activities into a print-based definition doesn't really make sense.
      • by inKubus (199753) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @12:37PM (#31725414) Homepage Journal

        "Publishing" is making some content available to the public. The question is really is advertising a public location for a given piece of content "publishing" that content. Further questions could also be asked, such as: Is owning the server that the content on make you the publisher? In this latter case, I think we need to draw parallels with the printing industry, because they have a lot of precedent that we wouldn't want to just throw away.

        1. Owning the server and network connection is like owning a printing press.
        2. Links are advertisements.
        3. Publishing is the act of making it available. In the case of public (free) publishing, that would be uploading the content to the web server.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by goombah99 (560566)

          I already anticipated your response in a post further down the page [slashdot.org]. Se there for more discussion. But to offer a quick example to show why the line between "linking" and "hosting" is not so clear consider the following.

          someone takes a copyright image and XORs it with random data taken from some publicly avalaible list of random numbers. If they host this image it's not violating any copyright. it's just a random piece of crap.

          now some third party links to both this image and to the random number key. I

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sjames (1099)

            That's not mere linking though. That's serving data. There would be a lot of legal hairs to split (probably based on intent) to determine which of the several actors there were publishing the content. In your case, the someone who published the XORed content with the intent that the XOR be reversed has published (the intent is what matters). OTOH, if you create a key that when applied to someone else's unrelated work in order to reproduce a copyrighted work, you are the publisher (since you were the one tha

          • someone takes a copyright image and XORs it with random data taken from some publicly avalaible list of random numbers. If they host this image it's not violating any copyright. it's just a random piece of crap.

            This premise is faulty. It is a derivative work - one with zero additional creative expression for that matter. Just because it isn't obviously a derivative work without the right context doesn't make it less so.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          The question is really is advertising a public location for a given piece of content "publishing" that content

          If so, every newspaper that contains a listing of what movies are showing in what theater is "publishing" the movies in question and TV Guide is publishing an awful lot of television content, week in and week out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by goombah99 (560566)

        Anticipating the comeback to my post above....
        one might try to argue "the linker to hosted material is not the publisher. the publisher is the person hosting the material".

        I'd agree in large measure but one can intentionally muddy this a bit. consider the following thought experiment.

        I divide a movie into a million single pixel movies. Byt themselves none of these single pixel movies is an "image" it's just a time series of color. Now I host these on 1 million different web sites.

        I then create a page l

        • by sjames (1099)

          So, you wonder if you transcode the movie into an incredibly inefficient codec and then serve it to people, does that make you a publisher of that media? Of course it does, you served it up.

          Again, that is considerably more than merely linking.

          Otherwise, nobody is a publisher.

      • But is this linking or including? I mean, yes a link tells the browser where to find the information BUT the HTML/Javascript code does also include it into the page. If all that visible for the link is a button or link and a title then in what way does it constitute republishing the original content. The user must click on the link to access the original content.
        • by goombah99 (560566)

          But is this linking or including? I mean, yes a link tells the browser where to find the information BUT the HTML/Javascript code does also include it into the page. If all that visible for the link is a button or link and a title then in what way does it constitute republishing the original content. The user must click on the link to access the original content.

          On many browsers PDF used to be something that you had to download to view. Not any more. Likewise on some browsers you can mouse over a link and see a preview of the page. IN the very early days of hyperlinking (things akin to lynx) images were not embedded but were downloadable.

          As browsers move into the future more and more things that were "downloads" become embedds. this happens without the HTML changing. it's the browsers that are changing.

          thus you can't really draw the line you want to draw so cl

          • by jesset77 (759149)

            As browsers move into the future more and more things that were "downloads" become embedds. this happens without the HTML changing. it's the browsers that are changing.

            thus you can't really draw the line you want to draw so clearly.

            Poppycock. The act of "publishing" in this context is clearly the act of serving the data to the end user. Not the act of inducing the end user's browser to ask for the data.

            In all of your examples, a link points the way to an official server providing the data. You keep talking about greedy browsers pre-fetching the data. So? The server where it is hosted decides who the data goes to. The server is free to check URL referal codes to confirm the link came from them (many image hosting sites do precisely tha

      • by sjames (1099)

        SO If I created a browser plugin that transported a movie and displayed it would I have published that video?

        It's not actually that hard. The answer is no. The machines where the torrent grabs the video each published a small portion of it, but you just pointed to it.

        Otherwise, If I say to someone "Hey, you should really read this book, you can buy it in the store over there", I have published the book. I think we can agree that such a thing is patently absurd.

        As for the image case, there is not even a need to resort to law at all. Only a fool would link to an image on another site if the other site's owner doesn'

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Glad to see there's yet another Canadian who doesn't understand how our court system works. You'll note the sarcasm there. Believing that having non-tech-savvy judges is the reason behind this is being naive. Having a dissenting judge doesn't make a case invalid for the SCC either. It means that on some technical or rule of law argument there was a judge disagreeing with what the other two said(this happens a lot). In order to further clarify this disagreement and standardize the RoL it goes to the SCC

  • Here in the U.S. we routinely send important cases up to the Supreme Court for decision.

    • Yes. Everybody with sufficient money and time appeals to the US Supreme Court. Now, how many of those cases actually are accepted by the US Supreme Court? 1%? [from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedures_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States#Selection_of_cases [wikipedia.org]: "receives approximately 10,000 petitions for certiorari, of which approximately 100 are granted"]

      • by decoy256 (1335427) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @10:51AM (#31724518)

        Actually, money is not the deciding factor on what goes to the Supreme Court. In fact, there are countless cases where the appellant is indigent.

        The Supreme Court is most interested in cases where an important question of law is at issue. Not granting certiorari (i.e. not hearing a case -- usually just abbreviated "cert") just means that the Supreme Court feels that either the question isn't important and/or the appellate court got it right, so they don't want to waste time on it.

        • While the court itself doesn't care about the monetary value of the case, it takes a LOT of money for any given case to get there, and if you do get there, you definitely don't want to cheap out on preparation if you really want your case to be accepted.

          As for the number of cases they accept, think of it another way. The court historically handles under 100 cases every year [the wikipedia article mentioned they used to do around 150 in the '80s and '90s]. So is it just a fluke that every year only around

  • by frisket (149522)
    So WTF is Wayne Crookes anyway and what's his beef?
    • by Trepidity (597)

      Well I can say he's certainly not a crooke.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Trepidity (597)

        Upon some additional research, it appears that very pun, surely an obvious one, is one of the many things he's suing over: He alleges that it was libelous for some websites to refer to him and his associates as a "gang of Crookes".

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apparently he's a former official of the Canadian Green Party who is butthurt that people say mean things about him on the internet.

      I just hope this lawsuit provides enough cover for him to get the horses and the Thai ladyboys out of the country before the press finds out.

  • Gasp! Well, no actually.
    This stupid case was tossed out in the first instance, and will certainly lose in the second...

    Enough with the sensationalist headlines already.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:40AM (#31723630)

      This stupid case was tossed out in the first instance, and will certainly lose in the second...

      Never underestimate the the ignorance of technology of governments and their courts.

      • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:06AM (#31723786)

        Actually, I think that the courts pretty much demonstrated good understanding of technology in the first judgement.
        It's normal that the plaintiff should have a right of appeal - that does not mean he'll win, or that the appeal court does not 'get' the Web.

        This case hinges on whether or not linking is publishing, which - under the admittedly fairly bonkers rules of English-based defamation laws, (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation [wikipedia.org]), determines whether or not someone has been libellous, (since we're talking about the written, rather than the spoken word).

        In the initial judgement, the Court reasoned, "...hyperlinks...are analogous to footnotes, rather than constituting a 'republication.' "

        In other words, he did not repeat the libel, so no case.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wrecked (681366)
        Neither should you underestimate the technological sophistication of the Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC"). This is the same court that recently, in R. v. Morelli [canlii.org], overturned a warrant for child pornography [slashdot.org] on the basis that the contents of an internet browser cache does not constitute possession.

        This court also, 4 months ago, decided in Grant v. Torstar Corp. [canlii.org] to create a new defence against defamation of "responsible communication on matters of public interest". This new defence allows citizens (includin
  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:32AM (#31723582)
    Hello Mr. rich person. As you appear to be dead set on having your own way contrary to the received opinion of most of Western Society, we will allow you to cure yourself of this tendency by transferring large sums of money from your account to those of various lawyers. You might call it a tax on arrogance. Quem dii vult perdere, dementat prius (if you lose the gods your Prius accelerates mysteriously)
  • Really, I think the whole sturm and drang of the doom of the internet is so much a red herring. This would hurt content aggregators, of course. They would ultimately have to pony up for links to interesting sites, rather than the benefit of a no-follow link. But, between google bombing, link farms and all the other useless link content on the internet, I would not mind a sweeping away of sites that really offer no value at all. Far from being this rich and beautiful thing, most of today's internet is just an over-advertised waste of time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by anarche (1525323)

      Ironic considering your sig. I giggled, but throw in some advertising and your site may fall into the latter category.

      Not trying to flamebait, but...

      • by tjstork (137384)

        Ironic considering your sig. I giggled, but throw in some advertising and your site may fall into the latter category.

        You've got a point. Perhaps I should make my site's motto - "An underadvertised waste of time."

  • by popo (107611) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:36AM (#31723602) Homepage

    > " Instead, each item would be isolated from every other item, and online defamation lawsuits aimed at anyone and everyone with a Web site would instantly become commonplace."

    Actually, what would happen is everyone would host their websites offshore in nations with looser copyright laws, and the Internet would become increasingly decentralized as larger, "legitimate" players are isolated, and independent, "less legitimate" players circumvent legislation and continue to link.

    Ironically, this will *hurt* big media.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      nations with looser copyright laws

      This is one place where the standard spelling error seen on SlashDot would completely reverse the meaning. Glad you spelled it correctly.

    • Granted, I'm not Canadian, nor a lawyer, but I've been accused of having a Canadian accent and I know-it-all, so I'll feel free to comment anyway. It appears this case isn't really about copyright (directly) but instead just about libel. Copyright would be silly, of course, since nothing is copied, but defamation is at least slightly more murky (though only slightly). What the plaintiff wants to know if whether by linking to potentially defamatory material, is the defendant effectively spreading the materia

    • by schon (31600)

      what would happen is everyone would host their websites offshore in nations with looser copyright laws

      No. Even if you're using an offshore host, you'd still be breaking the law.

      You'd have to move yourself offshore, not just your content.

  • [blockquote]Hyperlinking is what the web is all about, says p2pnet founder Jon Newton. 'Without it, the Internet would become a drab and pale facsimile of the exciting news, data and information medium it is today. [/blockquote]

    Um, without hyperlinking it wouldn't be much of a "web" at all, would it? Why is the defendent so clueless about his own case? This isn't a matter of something interesting becoming drab, it's a matter of whether Canada chooses to exclude itself from the civilized world.

    • As you can plainly see, web standards are very important to me!

    • by DrVxD (184537)

      Why is the defendent so clueless about his own case? This isn't a matter of something interesting becoming drab, it's a matter of whether Canada chooses to exclude itself from the civilized world.

      I haven't RTFA (this is slashdot) - but it strikes me that it's the plaintiff (and not the defendant) - that's clueless. This is confirmed by the fact that he doesn't like people saying nasty things about him - but went into politics anyway.

      • I haven't RTFA (this is slashdot) - but it strikes me that it's the plaintiff (and not the defendant) - that's clueless. This is confirmed by the fact that he doesn't like people saying nasty things about him - but went into politics anyway.

        They're both clueless, then. The defendent is claiming that removing hyperlinking will make the web less interesting, when in fact hyperlinking is the only thing defining it as a web!

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:46AM (#31723660) Journal
    What constitutes a site? If I hyperlink to one page, am I 'publishing' everything hosted on that domain? Everything linked to from that page? Everything connected via the transitive closure of links from that page (which, in some cases, might include the entire Internet)? If I'm only publishing the directly-linked page, then the law is irrelevant and pointless, you can just link to something that redirects to the real destination (and waste a lot of bandwidth for people in Canada). If it includes the entire site, then this means that linking to an Ubuntu iso download page (for example) on a torrent site also makes you liable for everything that's hosted on that site. If it's anything linked even indirectly, then linking to Slashdot makes you responsible for Goatse. There is no possible interpretation of this concept which isn't stupid.
    • by anarche (1525323)

      What? You've published the entire Internet!?!

      So you'd be guilty of copyright, liable, and bad spelling?

      Can I get a copy of your Internet off you? Limewire perhaps? /stupid2amme

  • Next he will want us believing that talking about his site is the same as showing it on TV.

      If he doesn't want anyone linking to his site, then there are two solutions:
        - Don't have a web site
        - If there is a 'referrer' header, kick people to site that would appreciate the traffic

    Either way, if this doesn't get thrown out, then we will need Geist to and knock some sense into those judges.

  • by Palestrina (715471) * on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:50AM (#31723680) Homepage

    The cases that worry me more are the ones that concern linking (especially deep linking) and copyright.

    This case is about defamation, apprently the written kind which is called libel.

    From what I can see (and I am not a lawyer or Canadian), the following has been held:

    The gist of the torts of libel and slander is the publication of matter (usually words) conveying a defamatory imputation. A defamatory imputation is one to a man's discredit, or which tends to lower him in the estimation of others, or to expose him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to injure his reputation in his office, trade or profession, or to injure his financial credit. The standard of opinion is that of right-thinking persons generally. To be defamatory an imputation need have no actual effect on a person's reputation; the law looks only to its tendency. A true imputation may still be defamatory, although its truth may be a defence to an action brought on it; conversely untruth alone does not render an imputation defamatory.

    Thomas v CBC 1981 4 WWR 289

    I would be surprised if this case was decided on technical analysis of the exact nature of a hyperlink in HTML. (Of course I am often surprised) I think they might decide based on the effect of publishing the hyperlink. If it has the effect of slander, then it is slander.

    • by russotto (537200)

      If it has the effect of slander, then it is slander.

      It has to be the "publication of matter conveying a defamatory imputation". The hyperlink might "convey a defamatory imputation" if (and only if) someone clicks on it to reach the libelous material, but unless publication of the hyperlink itself is what conveys the defamatory imputation, it shouldn't be covered. Since the lower court already decided that way and there's a real-world analog in footnotes (where publishing a footnote which refers to a defam

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Look at German web sites. Many have a disclaimer about the links on the site (translation follows): "Mit Urteil vom 12. Mai 1998 hat das Landgericht Hamburg entschieden, daß man durch die Ausbringung eines Links die Inhalte der gelinkten Seiten sich zu eigen macht. Dies kann nur dadurch verhindert werden, dass man sich ausdrücklich von diesem Inhalt distanziert. Für alle Links gilt: Ich distanziere ich mich hiermit ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten auf meiner Homepag

    • by cpghost (719344)
      The infamous Hamburg District Court is known for routinely churning out some very dubious verdicts, void of common sense. As long as nobody takes them up to higher courts, including the Supreme Court, they'll continue doing so and being the venue of choice for all kinds of plaintiffs... like this one [astcweb.org] in the US.
  • by Shag (3737) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:57AM (#31723720) Homepage

    Would that be the <EH HREF...> ... </EH> tags?

    • Maybe this should be a part of the standard. HTML5 anyone? It's usage would be instant and 100% saturated in the market (mainly because you are banned from using it). You then describe in the standard that is the canadian linking which the law refers to. Then you redefine as being some synonym of "link." Problem solved, eh?

  • Context (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @08:57AM (#31723726)

    If you read the previous articles about this yahoo's quixotic quest, you'll find that he's not attacking the general notion of hyperlinking per se, but whether linking to allegedly defamatory content is, in and of itself, an act of defamation. To me, that's like saying that if a print newspaper publishes something libelous or defamatory, then anyone advertising, selling, or telling you where you can buy that newspaper is also guilty of defamation. The previous ruling seems to establish a test of context -- a mere link to the material is not actionable, but a link actively promoted in the context of implying that the content is true might be.

    But in any case, hyperlinking is not "publishing," and a blanket ruling to that effect would be incredibly ignorant. There are ways to deal with the specific parameters of this case without causing collateral damage to the Net and undermining the very basic concepts that make it what it is.

  • Not much of a stretch now to say that footnotes also constitute publishing.
  • Make new web site: ascii.org

    URLs map ascii codes to web pages that return characters. So http://ascii.org/65 [ascii.org] returns a page with the character 'A'.

    I can then send any possible libelous message entirely using hyperlinks, without actually publishing the message on my website.

    Hmmm... I think this is less about the technology and more about the intent. If I link to an article, I can do it in a neutral way, in a critical way, or in a supportive way. I can use it to bolster my argument or just as a refe

  • Wayne will lose (Score:3, Insightful)

    by myrikhan (1136505) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:04AM (#31723770)
    So, Wayne wants the courts to agree hyperlinking an article is "publishing" and that anyone who links to defamatory content is guilty of defamation themselves. He's already lost twice in courts.
    Speaking as a Canadian, I think the snowball has a better chance in our supreme courts. My prediction is that 8 or 9 of the supreme court justices will rule against him.
    Believe it or not, I think our supreme court is pretty good. They're smart people and they make sane decisions.
  • We created the net and we own it. If they make laws that are unreasonable we shall program around it. As we have always done. Make hosting a web page illegal? Well then we can go undernet or do a new one and do a bit-torrent style distributed content for web pages. Lets see them try and bust encrypted distributed web pages! All we would have to do is download them, not see them real-time. The net has never been regulated! Just the seething masses that inhabit it. The net IS the sum total of its parts, and t
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:09AM (#31723804) Journal
    If this decision were reversed, it would also be illegal to publish bibliographies or references within *IN PRINT* works, since one is publishing a reference to the source material and that would be considered the same as publishing the material itself.

    The BC court had it exactly right.... links are analogous to footnotes, and *NOT* the same thing as publishing the other material.

    • The BC court had it exactly right.... links are analogous to footnotes ...

      It's an apt analogy, but I expect laws regarding hyperlinks will evolve in such a way so as to consider instances where hyperlinks are not considered analogous to footnotes. Or don't you see the problem with a bibliography consisting entirely of such things as child pornography, Windows ISOs, or something that could be construed to provide material or support for terrorist organisations?

      I'd agree that it's best to leave the web as it

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        No, that's not necessary. The judge didn't rule that all hyperlinks are always OK no matter what. He ruled only that in this particular instance, the link was not libelous. In particular, he made clear that if you post a link to a defamatory web-page, with any sort of comment indicating agreement, or that the website in question is accurate, then it would be libelous. Much in the same way as if, in a book, you cited a defamatory article, not just with "This is interesting" but "Read this book for the tr
  • If linking is publishing, then addressing should be ownership.

    I must own the bank down the street, as I've just written down its address.

    Finally Phase 3 is here! -- Profit!

  • So far it was 'just' by the BC court, now it'll be the Federal court.

    But it's still 'only' a Canadian court and it's quite a stretch to immediately assume international repercussions.

    Canada has signed international treaties and it'll more likely have to abide by the world's views instead of forcing it's own on the world.

  • What does the law say about direct quoting? In Canada (or the US) if I were to write "Mr. Rat Dog has claimed that Cowboy Neal engages in illegal acts with nefarious porpoises" and it is in fact the case that such an allegation has been made, am I engaging in libel merely by stating that fact? Granting for argument that a footnote does not have the same immediacy (and thus the same potency) as a hyperlink (it takes a far more trouble to follow it up), neither has the immediacy of simply stating the fact tha

  • History books a hundred years from now will likely read:

    "And the great social and information experiment known as the Internet was brought down by the lawyers and copyright laws. The companies that ran it essentially made it strangle itself to death."

    (An aside comment by myself:)
    I hate to see what the lawyers will turn our world into in another 30 or 40 years. I think maybe China's idea of doing away with it all might not be so awful after all. I guess only time will tell which way of dealing with it is

  • The article, nicely linked :), in the Montreal Gazette says that the challenge is not attempting to overturn the concept that links are akin to footnotes. Rather, that when it was pointed out to the poster that the link pointed to defamatory material, that the link wasn't taken down---and so, the poster's inaction is what is at issue.

    If the poster had converted the link to a mere textual footnote, then no one would be able to assert that the poster was acting as a publisher. But, by facilitating access to

  • Restrictions on hyperlinking would probably crush Google's business model. Not much else there other than links.

  • Well yeah... that's the idea. The gatekeepers are in grave danger (is there any other kind?) of losing their power.

  • What if you use tinyurl or the like? You're not linking to the site then, you're linking to a link.
  • Hi Tom. I'm looking for a book, "Catcher in the Rye".
    Hey Ralph. That's amazing, I was looking for that just last week. I made a list of where you can get it.

    1. Library on 6th street. Serious restrictions on use, must return, no notes in margins.
    2. Bookstore on East Main. Good place but a bit pricey. On the plus side you will have a copy with full control on how YOU use it.
    3. Used bookstore on 8th and Wine. Great prices but it's a nasty neighborhood. Lot of crime recorded in the area. One might even

  • By placing your content on the open Internet, making it available upon request using the hypertext transfer protocol, and not hiding it behind a login-only session or encryption, you have implicitly consented to that content being linked to without restriction.

    Tim Berners-Lee ought to make that clear to everyone.

    If you want to restrict linking to your content, you need to host it on a different distribution network, other than the WorldWide Web. whose founding, essential, sine qua non assumption and princip

  • If he wins, it could mean the end of the net in Canada and will reverberate around the world.

    Uh, good thing we're not getting all hysterical here....
  • People in Denmark have been punished by the courts for having links to mp3 files on their webpages (links to other peoples pages)

    The corporate greed runs to deep i bet.

  • If you can forbid linking to your content, and forbid Google et al from crawling and archiving your content, and you can control what your own site's search engine returns in the way of queries, then you can make content that would be a liability if the public were able to, say, compare what you said then to what you say now...go away.

    I would image that there is at least one media or news corporation that would like to have that ability.

  • I see a hyperlink as a reference. I draw the parallel for a library, where the index card contains the isbn number, the stacks location of the document, and some other relevant information (author, year, etc). So this result from the judge was applying common sense.
  • This is insane, of course. If I link to your website, I'm just telling people where to find it. To say that one cannot link to your address would be to say that you're allowed to restrict people's speech. It would be like having a secret street address which cannot be said out loud. Absurd! Batshit insane!

  • So, if I tell you about a good book, am I in violation of the author's copyright? How do such absurd things manage to advance so far in the legal system?

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