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Man Arrested For Linking To Online Videos 308

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,, 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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  • DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by denshao2 ( 1515775 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:20AM (#35470352) Homepage Journal
    Why is copyright infringement an issue of homeland security?
  • Re:DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:24AM (#35470362)

    Why is copyright infringement an issue of homeland security?

    Because posting a link is terorism!

  • Re:DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Securityemo ( 1407943 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:24AM (#35470364) Journal
    When all you have is a hammer...
  • by Unka Willbur ( 1771596 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:33AM (#35470420)
    Looks like TorrentFreak is making the same bad assumption that most US citizens continue to make. That is, assuming that "constitutional" matters one whit anymore to the US government or the people who run it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:34AM (#35470426)

    The annual deficit is $1,400,000,000,000. and they are wasting money on crap like this?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:35AM (#35470428)

    Domain name seizures cause damage. We should be able to route around it. Frankly, I don't want to care whether it's unconstitutional or not, I want it to be technically infeasible.

  • by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:41AM (#35470458) Journal

    This is it folks.

    Notice that the summary talks about "linking to videos". However, as we now know, both words and pics of any kind are copyrighted from the moment someone creates them. Reply with Quote? Look! It's a copy! Hotlinking pics? Linking!

    For the third time I'll float my "subset" theory. They started small with "SomeGuy" (subset of everyone) and "SomeCategory" (videos, subset of all copyrighted items). This has the effect of keeping people looking at trees and not forests, and posts which deal with the grand plan get downmodded.

    Linking to copyrighted works? If they can convince the Supreme Court to let this stick, there's the Ice Cannon they want to use againt the entire web. We're beyond copies now. If you can't link to anyone at all, ever, (because it's not you, and all items are copyrighted instantly), then forget Net Neutrality, that is the end of the net.

  • by metalmaster ( 1005171 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:59AM (#35470552)

    Thats a fairly broad stick. Everyone links to copyrighted materials everyday.

    By the looks of Slashdot's (c) blurb i could be linking to materials owned by a dozen people by posting a single link. I link to a few stories throughout the day. Looks like i better stop before I see an ICE badge. "All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by Poster. The rest © 1997–2011 "

    btw....i might be taking this way off topic, but itsnt it bad form for ICE to use an image of their shield? I think it might have been a slashdot story, but i vaguely remember an article talking about how horribly illegal it was for someone to reproduce the FBI shield and, in fact, the FBI doesnt do it or allow it.

  • by Cockatrice_hunter ( 1777856 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @09:04AM (#35470580) Homepage

    Doesn't this make linking to practically any website in the world illegal? If you look at the bottom of most web pages you see the copyright sign. If linking to copyrighted material constitutes infringement does this mean the end of hyperlinking for the internet?

  • Re:unplusgood (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @09:18AM (#35470636) Homepage Journal

    They know you read this article, so its too late anyway. And remember, just having knowledge is now considered intent.

  • Re:DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @09:53AM (#35470768) Homepage Journal

    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. She, and Big Business got around the constitution by claiming that pirated music and software are "counterfeit" music and software. Somehow, in their perversion of the concept of justice, the counterfeiting of music is on a par with counterfeiting United States currency.

    I once thought that all this nonsense was the brainchild of the neoconservatives - but today's "liberal" party keeps right on with the rape of the United States constitution. Wait til the final version of ACTA comes out. It will most likely give ICE the authority to exterminate entire family trees based on a suspicion that members of the family have counterfeited a music track.

  • by ladoga ( 931420 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @10:07AM (#35470836)

    the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime.

    Google is in trouble. Unless the law is different for those who have wealth and power. ;)

  • by Jason69 ( 661789 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @10:43AM (#35471116)
    Regardless if it's $90,000 or $900,000 or $0 doesn't change a thing. I know by word of mouth there are hookers down on Robinson. If I said "hey, I'll give you $90 if you tell me where the hookers are." doesn't make it any less legal for who I am asking to tell me. The hookers are breaking the law, not the guy who knows where they operate. This case doesn't involve a single reproduction or copy of copyright material. It is simply a link, directions how to get there.
  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @11:25AM (#35471444) Homepage Journal

    Well - we differ on our view of government, I suppose. Have you looked at how ACTA is being handled by the US government? Until recently, even the existence of the discussions was secret, and the content of those discussions top secret. Who is discussing, anyway? RIAA, MPAA, and other alphabet soup people - not people, or civil liberties organizations, or even constitutional lawyers, or lawyers of any other type. (sure, there are lots of lawyers involved, each representing the interests of one corporation, or group of corporations or another) There aren't even any lawyers from academia involved. It's all corporate run.

    But, you bring up a way of looking at things that I had neglected. The government has been pretty nearly insolvent for most of my life (over 5 decades now) so they need SOME way of making money. Doesn't matter how wrong and immoral the methods might be - they need to make money to avoid bankruptcy.

    Well, I'm prepared to do my part. I'll get in line, right behind the Baby Boomers to get my euthanasia shot, so that the Social Security pyramid scheme doesn't have to pay me anything. Where's that line again?

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @01:27PM (#35472490) Homepage Journal

    Embedding is still linking. The copyrighted material doesn't come from your own server when you embed.

  • Re:DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Technician ( 215283 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @01:39PM (#35472630)

    Why isn't Google, MSN, Yahoo, and anyone else who has a search engine functioning under arrest? Almost all content they list in their results is copyrighted.

    I think someone has applied a very narrow filter to copyrighted content.

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @02:09PM (#35472894) Journal
    If this sort of activity were truly illegal, then every single search engine on the internet (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) would also have to be seized and their employees arrested. It's bullshit and it needs to STOP, NOW.
  • Re:DHS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colde ( 307840 ) * <slashdot&lokedupont,info> on Sunday March 13, 2011 @07:13PM (#35474988) Homepage

    Secret Service hasn't been a part of the Treasury since march 2003. Now it is also a part of DHS.

egrep -n '^[a-z].*\(' $ | sort -t':' +2.0