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Man Arrested For Linking To Online Videos 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-they-were-rickrolls-i-can-understand dept.
SonicSpike writes "In a case against a New York website owner, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime. DHS, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seized Brian McCarthy's domain, channelsurfing.net, in late January. The site has now been replaced with a government warning: 'This domain has been seized by ICE — Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent in Charge, New York Office.' The advocacy group Demand Progress has claimed that McCarthy never reproduced copyrighted material, and that his website simply linked to other sites. A criminal complaint obtained by the group seems to acknowledge that agents knew that McCarthy was running a 'linking website.' While the criminal complaint alleges that McCarthy did engage in the 'reproduction and distribution' of copyrighted material, it is never clear that he actually reproduced any of the specified broadcasts." McCarthy was arrested last week. Relatedly, TorrentFreak has posted a list of reasons why these domain name seizures are unconstitutional.
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Man Arrested For Linking To Online Videos

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  • I didn't know that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:25AM (#35470368)

    The DHS has a mission, to protect the riches of corporations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:35AM (#35470436)

    Is this the same mission that includes "touching the private parts of every human being?"

  • by Archtech (159117) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @09:25AM (#35470662)

    This is another instalment of the long-awaited crunch as the Web's refreshing informality and common sense collides with the institutionalized imbecility of the law. Tim Berners-Lee made his views unmistakably clear nearly 20 years ago: see http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkMyths.html [w3.org]. The basic principle is that, if you don't like the way the Web works, you should just ignore it. No one forces anyone to publish a Web site; but, if they do, it is an implicit invitation to anyone else anywhere to read it - and link to it.

    However, it was only a few years later (probably about 1998) that the vast mass of money-grubbing freeloaders (sorry, the "business community") discovered the huge untapped mother-lode represented by the Web. "Hey!" they cried jubilantly, "Just look at this immense opportunity to make stacks of money that some stupid sucker has just given us - completely free of charge, too". Those were the same guys who soon began complaining that the Web's design was not optimized to help them make as much money as possible with no effort.

    It was around 1998, too, that I stumbled across a law company's Web site somewhere in the USA that laid down strict legal principles for creating Web sites. One of these rules was that every single hyperlink required a separate legal agreement - negotiated by a reputable law firm, naturally.

    The worst of the matter is that the reptiles (sorry, lawyers and politicians) can always change the law in any way they like. It's their game and their ball, and they are apparently absolutely unaccountable to anyone sane or educated.

  • Re:DHS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 517714 (762276) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @09:50AM (#35470758)
    ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) which is part of DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is charged with intercepting counterfeiti products and protecting intellectual property rights . I think they have gone well beyond any reasonable charter since the "infringed" IP is not being imported. Treasury (Secret Service) is supposed to be in charge of computer related issues so DHS really doesn't belong in this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @10:13AM (#35470886)

    I don't think it's that simple. The article says channelsurfing.net was linking to copyright infringing websites. So if I link to this Lady Gaga video [youtube.com], that's OK because it was uploaded by the copyright holder. But if I link to this version of the same song [youtube.com] then apparently I'm breaking the law because it wasn't uploaded by the copyright holder.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @11:10AM (#35471328) Homepage

    Because Janet Napolitano has little interest in terrorism. She has been bought and paid for by Corporate America, to keep the sheeples in line with their vision of the future. Napolitano has prostituted herself and her agency to Big Business.

    You're right, she has little interest in terrorism except where it empowers her department. It has nothing to do with "selling out to corporate America." If you knew anything about Customs, which you obviously don't, you'd know that Customs/ICE brings in a few dozen dollars to the treasury for every dollar it receives in base funding. Customs, not the IRS, was the original revenue-generating service of the federal government.

    The reason that DHS is pursuing this is that corporate America's interests coincide with Customs/ICE's revenue-generating ability. If Customs didn't stand to make oodles of money for the treasury, they would be pursuing other work because their revenue-generating potential is simply too important to the federal government to waste on something that some lackeys in the DoJ could handle.

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