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Dutch Court Rules Hyperlinks Can Constitute Infringement 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-what-you-link dept.
Ubi_NL writes "In yesterday's ruling of Playboy (via publisher Sanoma) vs Dutch blog Geenstijl, the court ruled that hyperlinking to copyrighted material was itself infringement of copyright. The court ordered the blog to remove all links to the infringing links (court ruling in Dutch). How this ruling fits into the supreme court ruling that hyperlinks cannot by themselves infringe copyright is still to be discussed, possibly in an appeal."
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Dutch Court Rules Hyperlinks Can Constitute Infringement

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:13AM (#41332565)

    So Dutch courts protect Security by Obscurity?

    No surprises here. Judges have as much of a clue of those things as the sec department in my company. Oh, wait...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:25AM (#41332607)

    The point is that a query like "britt dekker nude pictures" would not (at that time) return the links that they published.

    When it would be legal to post links like that, everyone could get around copyright issues by putting their material at some filesharing host and linking it on the main site.
    The judge considered that to be unacceptable.

  • by Znork (31774) on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:25AM (#41332611)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem that new, there's also the judge Chris Hensen who happened to be running a commercial anti-piracy together with the council for the plaintif while deciding that links to TPB should be blocked.

    Frankly I suspect it's rare with members of the various parts of the judicial system in the field of IP who do not have significant financial interest in enforcing IP. Whether it's revolving door interest or more blatant abuses the field of government granted monopolies has always been lucrative for those on the inside, which probably makes the field very attractive for those with slightly lower ideals than what could be expected in a judiciary.

  • That's how it works (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:36AM (#41332653)
    Lawyers totally depend on security through obscurity. Laws are deliberately made made vague and obscure, thus providing job security for lawyers.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday September 14, 2012 @06:04AM (#41332747)

    Wrong. As some other posters have already shown, google happily indexes and searches FileFactory.

    No it doesn't. FF blocks indexing. See http://www.filefactory.com/robots.txt [filefactory.com]

    Google indexes links to FF it finds on other sites. You can't just get a file listing of uploads to FF from FF (well, maybe with a court order).

  • by Erik Hensema (12898) on Friday September 14, 2012 @06:10AM (#41332767) Homepage

    Copyright law protects Security By Obscurity. So the judge was correct in this case.

    In order in infringe on copyright law, you'll have to make a copied work public. So, as long as you don't publish a copied work (i.e. keeping it obscure), it's not an infringement. This, for instance, allows you to make a private copy of a copyrighted work without infringing on copyright law.

    In this case, a private copy was made. Nobody knew where to find the copy, except for the person who placed the copy online. So, while the copy was on the internet, it wasn't public. Geenstijl made the copy public by making the URL known to the general public. Therefore Geenstijl infringed on dutch copyright law.

  • by mumblestheclown (569987) on Friday September 14, 2012 @07:37AM (#41333079)

    I think your wild, conspiratorial accusations are completely out of line.

    Slashdot and its biases theories aside, there are a lot of grown ups out in the world who have looked at IP law in general and, while perhaps accepting that there are occasional absurdities and oddities around the edges that do need to be worked out, have concluded that it is fundamentally good. They (we) have looked for this from multiple angles, including econonomic theory, economic REALITY (we now have excellent examples of rates of development vs strength of IP regulation - and guess what - IPR does seem to matter quite a bit), and ethics. You may disagree - you may have your own arguments against IPR - fine, fair enough - but for you to immediately proclaim " I suspect it's rare with members of the various parts of the judicial system in the field of IP who do not have significant financial interest in enforcing IP. Whether it's revolving door interest or more blatant abuses the field of government granted monopolies has always been lucrative for those on the inside, which probably makes the field very attractive for those with slightly lower ideals than what could be expected in a judiciary." is irresponsible and juvenile.

  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Friday September 14, 2012 @08:04AM (#41333185) Journal

    there are a lot of grown ups out in the world who have looked at IP law in general and, while perhaps accepting that there are occasional absurdities and oddities around the edges that do need to be worked out, have concluded that it is fundamentally good.

    Isn't that the very problem the parent was describing? The judiciary should not be concluding that particular laws are fundamentally good, but applying them indifferently.

    If nothing else, more law guarantees more work, so an impartial judiciary would not even celebrate the existence of some body of law.

  • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Friday September 14, 2012 @08:32AM (#41333361)
    Since you dont know what to think, I will tell you. This is clearly an infingement, but probably not in the way the summary says. (I can read Dutch, but do not understand what I have read :-)

    The link is NOT the infringement. The infringement lies in the description explaining what the link is. The person who put that description there aided and abetted the infringement, which was committed by the person that uploaded it to the file sharing site. The site host is not guilty unless perhaps of incitement by actively encouraging this kind of posting (if they did so).

    The LINK ITSELF is not an infringement. If you carry a stolen phone in a brown paper bag, then the brown paper bag (and its supplier) are not guilty. If you do not know the contents are stolen, and have no reason to suspect it might be then you are innocent. The person that told you the brown paper bag contained a bar of chocolate for his sick mother is very guilty indeed. However, if you advertise "I deliver stolen mobile phones in brown paper bags"! expect a guilty verdict.

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