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Government The Internet

The European Commission Is Preparing a Frontal Attack On the Hyperlink ( 220

An anonymous reader writes: Julia Reda, a member of the European parliament, is sounding the alarm on new copyright legislation under development. She says the European Commission is considering copyright protection for hyperlinking. Reda says, "This idea flies in the face of both existing interpretation and spirit of the law as well as common sense. Each weblink would become a legal landmine and would allow press publishers to hold every single actor on the Internet liable." Under this scheme, simply linking to copyrighted material would be legally considered "providing access," and thus require explicit permission of the rightsholder. Reda warns that it could lead to legal expenses for anyone who shares links (read: everybody), and ultimately the fragmentation of the internet.
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The European Commission Is Preparing a Frontal Attack On the Hyperlink

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  • by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @02:45PM (#50884119)

    When you create a super-layer of petty bureaucrats to run your lives, you can't be overly surprised when they create a bunch of petty and stupid rules.

    • Government run amok again. Control and tax everything.

      • And in this case, the people involved willingly walked into it, basically, demanded that this sort of control be ceded to the faceless unelected bureaucrats. No one to blame but themselves.

        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          I feel I have to repeat myself:

          The commission is appointed by the democratic member states, a bit like how in many countries the government is appointed by the elected parliament.
          See, outside of the UK you don't need to be a member of parliament to get a seat in the government, get used to it, it works fine.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Any time you make an official's position further from an election (e.g. An election --> parliamentary body --> committee --> appointee) you increase likelihood of corruption with *every* additional step.

            • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

              Nonsense. Australia appoints its public law enforcement officials - police chiefs, judges, public prosecutors & defenders, etc - and it works with minimal levels of corruption.

              Election of such officials - WITHOUT mandatory voting - just results in interest groups getting their preferred puppet installed, and sets up conditions that encourage corruption. When your continued employment depends on popularity instead of merit, you find ways legal and otherwise to maintain your popularity.

              • Election of such officials can also result in the position becoming very over-politicised - you end up with public prosecutors being elected because they promise they will turn a blind eye to certain crimes, or pledge to do whatever it takes to bring down a certain organisation regardless of guilt. Low-level officials end up trying to make policy* rather than simply enforce it.

                America is a good example of how this can end, because their government has more layers than most. It's quite common to see the gove

    • When you create a super-layer of petty bureaucrats to run your lives, you can't be overly surprised when they create a bunch of petty and stupid rules.

      The problem is, the only known alternative is "whoever has the biggest stick rules", which is even worse.

  • Ignorants (Score:5, Interesting)

    by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @02:46PM (#50884123)

    As usual, the people in charge of the law have no idea how technology works.

    To make a car analogy... well, this thing is so mind-bogglingly stupid that I can't think of any analogy.

    Fight for your bitcoins! []

    • by bswarm ( 2540294 )
      How's this analogy... You are allowed to drive your car, but before you turn on to any street, you must get permission from every person who owns or resides on that street.
      • Re:Ignorants (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:18PM (#50884315)

        Lemme take a shot at this one:

        Maps are illegal - they provide access to the locations of private land. We should ask every landowner if they want to appear on a map.

        e.g. I can't tell you where the coffee shop is, because that would be providing access. Lemme ask the owner of the shop first. I'm sure he'll be okay with you knowing but I should check.

        We're no longer allowed to talk about things that are illegal? This is the censorship of knowledge.

        • I'm pretty sure it's worse than that. Writing somebody's address down could be a copyright violation.Advertisements in a phone book are now illegal to copy onto a piece of paper. That is the car analogy to this law.
      • Worse, you have to have a signed permit for each house you want to drive by, and each time you do so.
    • Re: Ignorants (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MasterOfGoingFaster ( 922862 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @02:52PM (#50884167) Homepage

      Car analogy? Ok - I'll give it a shot.

      This is like claiming you are trespassing on my land, because some windblown dirt landed on the highway and you drove across it.

      • Re: Ignorants (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TWX ( 665546 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @10:21PM (#50885989)

        Car analogy? Ok - I'll give it a shot.

        This is like claiming you are trespassing on my land, because some windblown dirt landed on the highway and you drove across it.

        Why do you need an analogy?

        If you put something onto the Internet then you published it. A hyperlink to what you published is the other party citing you as a source. Not only historically has it not been bad to cite sources, it has been considered good to cite sources and has been considered good to inform others of work that the informer feels should be read.

        That anyone anywhere could get into trouble for hyperlinking to something on the Internet is absurd. If the creator of the work doesn't want others to read or reference it then they need to either not publish it for all to read, or they need to use mechanisms like authentication to prevent access to the content. Hell, they could even look at the referrer and if it's not one of their authorized domains, redirect to an entry-point page. Basically there are already ways of avoiding being linked-to if the publisher wants to avoid being linked-to.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          What's more, citing a source is a direct disclaimer that I do not own nor am the creator of the cited work. Here is where you can find the cited work and who is responsible for it. The hyperlink does this, by providing both location and origin of the work linked to. I.e. is the origin and work.htm is the location. Or it is a reference to a reference. If the EU wants to forbid hyperlinking without permission of the work creator, they need to ban citations as well. Good luck with that by the way,

    • Re:Ignorants (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:00PM (#50884223)

      A car analogy would be, if you are discussing how poor Bob's car got stolen, then you are arrested for stealing Bob's car, even though you've never seen nor touched it, let alone stole it.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      It's illegal to put fuel in your car without Ford's permission. And Ford charges $3 per gallon for permission.
    • Re:Ignorants (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:47PM (#50884423) Homepage

      Just remove all road signs for cities unless you get explicit written permission of all it's inhabitants.

    • Re:Ignorants (Score:5, Insightful)

      by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @05:46PM (#50884933)
      A library analogy works. Those big cabinets or computer lookup systems for places where you can find books? All copyright infringement.
  • India is years ahead (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 07, 2015 @02:47PM (#50884137) [] Some govt agencies in India adopted this practice way back in 2011
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd read TFA, but I didn't want to do anything illegal by clicking the link.

    • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @04:41PM (#50884699)

      It's called the law of the World Wide Web, and it comes down to us from the writings of the global prophet Tim.

      The actual wording of the law is too technical for mere mortals, being as it is written in ancient C code found on an artifact we think was called a hard drive dug up from the buried ruins of a cyclotron in what was once Switzerland.

      But the law can be paraphrased as:

      If you deposit your writings or your pictures on an HTTP or HTTPS server without access control
      - and thus allow your work to be served,
      (that is freely transferred by the standard world wide web protocols)
        to any of the computers attached to the great public Internet,
      - then you implicitly have created a holy URL by which your work can be accessed and copied,
      - and should you also allow the URL itself to be discovered over the Internet by the use of standard world wide web protocols,
      - THEN it is the law that:
      - any person or machine is allowed
      (as inherently enabled and implied by the fundamental nature of the technology as Tim intended it)
      - to republish that URL on any writings that they also cause to be served by the same standard protocols.
      - and to copy and read or view the writings or pictures that you made freely available by your action of publishing it on the World Wide Web.

      Thus is created the fundamental Web network nature of creation that we know as the World Wide Web.

      This is the first law of the Holy Interwebs. Bookmark it and do not lose it.

      • by ACE209 ( 1067276 )

        Bookmark it and do not lose it.

        But don't forget to get a permission before bookmarking. A bookmark is a link too.

    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      I wonder if this law is to counter Google News displaying links to news stories and eating e-newspaper's lunch.

      OTOH, since google search results is mainly links, won't it have to shut down because it can no longer display links related to your search? Without search, the internet is pretty much useless.

      They should do a compromise, and allow some links to be copyrighted while others should be linkable. Private, copyrighted links should be like "http://server/privatepage.html_priv"

      • by ACE209 ( 1067276 )

        They should do a compromise, and allow some links to be copyrighted while others should be linkable. Private, copyrighted links should be like "http://server/privatepage.html_priv"

        Or they shouldn't put their shit on the web when they don't want it linked.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @02:56PM (#50884187)

    I cannot use your services anymore. Hosting anything on your machines has become a liability and we have to discontinue doing business with you. Fortunately, on the internet it matters jack shit where I put my files, so as long as you have insane politicians, this will be NOT YOU.

    If you don't enjoy losing business, get some politicians that think before they act.

    Former customer

    • Dear Former customer, Our Russian and Chinese comrades will welcome you with open arms and a gun to your head, as will countries with piss poor hosting speeds, and countries which will be tapping your cables and feeding all your data back to the NSA borg.

      We hope you enjoy your new business partners and look forward to jacking up the price when you come crawling back to us.

      The lesser of evils.

    • I hope you didn't e-mail them this. If hyperlinks become covered by copyright and only able to be linked to with the explicit consent of the site owner, then how long until e-mails are copyrighted and you can only type THEM out with the permission of the e-mail owner? (Yes, this sound like it'd reduce spam, but do you really think spammers are going to care about copyright law?)

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @02:57PM (#50884205)
    ::Hyperlink deleted due to violation of EU link sharing regulation::
  • Is this a euromyth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:02PM (#50884229)

    Living in the UK I experience a constant trickle of Euromyth nonsense, straight bananas, covering up barmaids breasts, bombay mix, the eurosausage etc etc etc. So maybe this will become a real thing and the eurosceptics will have successfully cried wolf enough time for people to not notice the tiger in the living room. But I doubt it.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      Yeah, this smells like some crazy thing someone brought up in committee and will go nowhere. You get these kinds of stories from the US all the time too. State legislature votes to declare Pi to be exactly 3! But really it was one stupid thing one person said and went nowhere.
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        The original story was a lot more amusing than that. The bill actually got entered into the legislative calendar, but nobody could understand it, so they referred it to the committee on swamps, where it died. (And it started when an author(?) of a math textbook offered to donate his royalties to the state if they would just adopt this bill [and, IIRC, make his book the state's official math text].)

        I'm sure there was more to the story, but that's all I ever heard the details on. There may even have been a

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          there's a place in the Bible where the value of pi *is* stated to be 3

          Only when you intentionally ignore parts of what it says there.

          1 Kings 7:23:

          Then he made the Sea (or "reservoir") of cast metal. It was circular in shape, 10 cubits (445 cm) from brim to brim and 5 cubits (222.5 cm) high, and it took a measuring line 30 cubits (1335 cm) long to encircle it.

          On first glance, that looks like "pi is exactly 3!", but first glances are nearly always wrong. This is no different. There are two details to consider

        • I'm sure there was more to the story, but that's all I ever heard the details on.

          Indeed. The bill in question was NOT intended to define pi to be 3.0, the math in the bill actually defined pi to be 9.0. Which is probably why noone understood it....

        • There may even have been a religious angle

          Something about "squaring the circle" and an argument between Christians and ancient Greeks, it's been around for centuries. Oddly general relativity dictates a circle drawn around a deep gravity well will significantly reduce the value of Pi, the value for Earth's gravity well makes the circumference of a circular orbit around it about an inch less than expected using Pi.

        • No religious angle in this one.

          The pi=3 in the bible thing is half-true. There is a circular vessel described in those ratios, but this was a vessel made with ancient techniques, not precision manufacturing. It was just a little misshapen, or the measurements not performed with perfect accuracy.

  • Is someone bored? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mark Tillison ( 4324433 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:02PM (#50884231) Homepage
    Of all of the things on a very long list in Europe and beyond, have these politicians really nothing better to do than this? I can't help but refer back to an old friend of mine who wisely said, "if it doesn't make sense, the answer is money".
    • Re:Is someone bored? (Score:5, Informative)

      by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:10PM (#50884269)

      Of all of the things on a very long list in Europe and beyond, have these politicians really nothing better to do than this?

      This doesn't originate with politicians, it comes from corporate lobbyists for publishers, newspapers, etc. Those corporations hold a lot of power in Europe and they are seeing their business models and fortunes destroyed by the Internet. And since politicians in Europe are highly dependent on the goodwill of these publishers (not having a lot of other channels for reaching voters), they respond to this kind of pressure.

      • I view a hyperlink as a form of citation. If European periodical publishers don't want their articles to be cited in other works, let them live with a decrease in their impact factor [].

      • by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @06:34PM (#50885165)
        " Those corporations hold a lot of power in Europe"...actually, they hold LESS power in the EU than they do in the US, were in some aspects they are considered on the same level (and above) than actual citizens. Corporations in the USA also have "free speech", and are allowed to spend money in political campaigns as much as they want. They also have religious beliefs, like how the Hobby Lobby corporation successfully argued it's "closely held beliefs" said certain birth control is actually an abortion even though medical science proves otherwise. Corporations can kill thousands of people, destroy ecosystems, yet there is no "death penalty" for corps that's been used since the trust busts. And in other countries, corps have more power than the local government including their own armed forces.
        • Corporations in the USA also have "free speech", and are allowed to spend money in political campaigns as much as they want. They also have religious beliefs

          "Corporations" have those rights in the US because individuals have them. That is, I don't lose my right to free speech or campaign contributions or conduct my business according to my religion just because I choose to run my business as a corporation. In Europe, corporations don't have those rights because individuals don't have those rights either; th

          • Individuals do have those rights in the EU. The European Convention on Human Rights is just as legally binding as the American Bill of Rights.

            It's just as annoying for the governments too - here in the UK the government has spent over a decade dragging their feet over giving voting rights to prisoners, something required under European law but strongly opposed by most in the UK. The EU doesn't actually have much in the way of enforcement powers, so the UK has been able to defy the court ruling simply by agr

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              Back home, in the State of Maine, they actively have a sort of voting drive for prisoners. They register to vote, if not already registered, and vote in the town vote where they legally resided before being incarcerated. They vote via absentee ballot. Quite a number of prisoners vote. The prisoners vote at a higher percentage rate than the free citizens vote. I imagine the rate is higher because they're bored but that's conjecture. I don't imagine that anyone has done a study on it.

              Anyhow, the vote in local

  • Europeans and *much* too progressively intelligent to pull a stunt this stupid. (At least that's what Europeans keep saying about themselves when America does something stupid.)

  • I don't mind the creation of walled gardens up to a point. The death of AOL taught us that people will migrate to free networks when they're available. What I'm worried about is that a walled garden will be created that has the infrastructure for total coercive control over speech but generally does not exercise it. In practical terms this will almost be free speech and will be used at first to control only the least popular (legal) speech. Piracy, rape porn, Doxxing. People will say "nothing of value was l
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      I don't mind the creation of walled gardens up to a point. The death of AOL taught us that people will migrate to free networks when they're available.

      Not always, as people who play video games still tend to buy consoles more often than building a gaming PC for the living room. And as far as I can tell, they buy a Nintendo 3DS rather than a MOGA clip-on gamepad for an existing Android phone. What makes walled gardens so much more acceptable for games than otherwise?

  • by eyebits ( 649032 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:19PM (#50884319)
    I make a legal and permitted link to some content. Then, the content at that URI is changed to something I am no longer legally allowed to link to. Am I committing a crime? I don't control what a URI points to. The owner of the server does.
    • I make a legal and permitted link to some content.

      Say no more! GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!

    • Not that uncommon a situation if the link is to an image and the server admin grows annoyed.

      I've used that once - I posted a link to a humorous cartoon on Digg, back before the great exodus. A while later I found some Gaia Online profile that looked like a relic of the nineties had hotlinked to it. So I replaced the image with another image of a moderately offensive nature - nothing illegal, but enough to rather embarrass the profile owner.

      If I'd been feeling *really* evil, I'd have gone to the trouble of m

  • Sometimes they make a lot of sense, and sometimes they dont
  • We need a robots.txt like file in the root which grants linking permission. Then in firefox have an option which flags unlinkable destination, and by default block such sites. Have the option in the first run dialog. Then actively campaign against sites whose copyright is not in the spirit of the open web, gpl style. Have an open web general license which permits only open web general sites to link to it. Word the license carefully. That is my thought.

    • I appreciate the spirit of your suggestion, but I feel very strongly that it would be a terrible mistake to give a single inch in the face of this horrible, iniquitous, and unbelievably ignorant proposal.

      Permission to follow links to a Web page is clearly implied by the decision to put up a Web page, and to allow access from the World Wide Web. Access to Web pages on a private intranet is forbidden by the same laws that forbid access to everything else on such a private network.

      • The best defense is to make the law look stupid, and likewise those trying to take advantage of it. If Stallman refused to deal with copyright law and thus draft the gpl, much of the free software movement will not have happened. The idea of diagonalisation goes back a long way. When faced with silly laws, diagonalise them, as gpl and copyleft diagonalise copyright. I am just suggesting preparing to do likewise. If many immediately prepare such a diagonal response, maybe that will make it clear such a law i

  • by grahammm ( 9083 ) <> on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:46PM (#50884417)

    The law should treat hyperlinks as being equivalent to bibliographical references and citations in printed works. After all, that is all a hyperlink is. That browsers automate the retrieval and display of the referenced work, rather than having to search the stacks or ask the librarian to fetch the book/journal, should not affect the status of the hyperlink. As for banning them, I personally think that most web pages do not take enough advantage of hyperlinks within the body of the pages.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @03:58PM (#50884485)

    The World Wide Web has existed for about 25 years - quarter of a century. When it was first created, Tim Berners-Lee and his collaborators made a careful and considered decision to give the specifications away free (as in speech and as in beer). Not only was that the right thing, the ethical thing to do; it was in the spirit of the (then infant) FOSS movement; and last but not least, it was the best way to give the new-born Web wings and enable it to spread rapidly until it became truly worldwide.

    Today the Web has, at the very least, 47 billion pages (based on Google statistics). How many links do you think the average page has? This proposed legislation would destroy all possible confidence in using any one of those links. It would be the Internet equivalent of magically removing the foundations of every building in New York City. The effect on the Web would be similar to the effect of 9/11 on the World Trade Center - except that it would affect over a billion people and virtually every business and government in the world.

    If anyone does not wish to have people view his Web pages through links from other pages, he has a simple remedy: DON'T PUT UP A WEB SITE. If you do choose to gain the benefits of putting up a Web site, then DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE WAY IT WORKS.

    Here is TBL's considered view of the status of links, posted in 1997: []

    TBL wrote: "The ability to refer to a document (or a person or any thing else) is in general a fundamental right of free speech to the same extent that speech is free. Making the reference with a hypertext link is more efficient but changes nothing else... Users and information providers and lawyers have to share this convention. If they do not, people will be frightened to make links for fear of legal implications. I received a mail message asking for "permission" to link to our site. I refused as I insisted that permission was not needed".

    And here is his conclusion:

    "There are some fundamental principles about links on which the Web is based. These are principles allow the world of distributed hypertext to work. Lawyers, users and technology and content providers must all agree to respect these principles which have been outlined.

    "It is difficult to emphasize how important these issues are for society. The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for example, addresses the right to speak. The right to make reference to something is inherent in that right. On the web, to make reference without making a link is possible but ineffective - like speaking but with a paper bag over your head".

  • The only logical conclusion one can come to is this:

    It's time to abolish the European Union. It has done untold harm, and very little good (if any). When a government body proposes such sheer, raving insanity, it is signing its own suicide note.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      That big rock you've lived under for the past 50-60 years must have damaged your brain.
  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @04:16PM (#50884571)

    I see from Julia Reda's article that she believes the main pressure for this cretinous measure is coming from publishers. They think, she says, that their income from advertising is shrinking too quickly.

    It is immediately obvious that publishers, as a group, would be perfectly delighted if the Web were to vanish tomorrow. They are under continuous severe pressure from Amazon and Google - Amazon sells their books at far lower prices than they would wish, and has established something close to a monopsony where it is the only wholesale purchaser and therefore can set its own terms. Meanwhile, Google Books is exposing vast amounts of what publishers consider their property (they don't have a high opinion of writers) to public scrutiny, without charge. Worst of all, a whole generation has grown up in the earnest belief that books and magazines, as such, are unnecessary; everything worth knowing can (they think) be found, free of charge, on the Web. Of course this isn't true, or even nearly true, but - as they say in business circles - "perception is all".

    The publishing industry is certainly going through hard times, and facing very difficult decisions. But taking the Web down with it is certainly not the answer. Everyone who is in a position to do so should let the EU know, in no uncertain terms, how frightful a proposal this is and just what its consequences would be, if implemented.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @04:31PM (#50884665)
    The content industry has this enormous misconception about how the Internet works. They think it's like a street you drive down, the websites are like stores you pass by, and if you see an interesting store you stop by to visit. They opposed Google News aggregating snippets from news sites because they felt it was like Google was putting a big Google sign in front of their store.

    That's not how the Internet works. There is no independent road. The hyperlinks are the road. That is, you do not travel down a road passing by stores. You travel from store to store via hyperlinks. That entire network of hyperlinks connecting the stores is the Internet.

    If this law passes, the content industry thinks they can assert copyright over a hyperlink to their site, and the linking site will have to pay them a small copyright fee. In reality what will happen is the linking site will simply delete the hyperlink. The end result will be what happened when they tried to prevent Google News from linking their articles, times a million. Any site exercising copyright control over hyperlinks will be cutting themselves off from the Internet. First their Google Pagerank will plummet since it's based partly on how many other sites link to your site, and they'll disappear from the search engines. Eventually there will no longer be any way to navigate from the Internet at large to those sites, because all the hyperlinks to them have been deleted per their request. Exercising copyright over hyperlinks will be electronic suicide, and the only remaining sites will be ones which include a legal waiver that it is completely legal to link to their site.

    Please please please let this law pass!
    • I was going to post exactly this, anyone who enforces this will simply vanish from the Internet. In fact EU content providers should be fighting this as even the existence of such a law could diminish external linking.
    • Actually I think the effect of an ill-conceived law like this would be even worse: Since it's links, then all search engines wouldn't be allowed to list their sites; they would essentially disappear from the Internet almost immediately. You'd already have to know about the site in question, and be able to type it in from the keyboard from memory, as it sounds like even emailing a link to someone would be considered a violation. The effect would be almost comical, if it wasn't so sad: You'd have thousands, m
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I work in the content industry for a major news provider. We understand how the internet works very, very well. Most of the experts work for us, never forget that.

      What people like you don't understand is that the content industry would be quite happy to see the internet implode. Our CEOs remember when they made big, big money selling copy (look up the Hearst estate some time). Our editors remember when they were king makers; they used to be called the fourth branch of government. The internet ended that.


  • And other closed gardens.

    Then again, that might not be a bad idea for some things.

  • I was tempted to cite something interesting, but I realised I didn't have enough money to pay a lawyer to see whether it was legal to do so or whether I could get a license to do so.

    In reality I would appreciate a list of the bill's sponsors and then just blacklist them, so we don't accidentally make their content linkable.

  • by a whoabot ( 706122 ) on Saturday November 07, 2015 @06:14PM (#50885055)

    The person who puts the <a></a> tags around it? Or the person who chooses to interpret (or chooses to use an interpreter that interprets) those tags as a hyperlink?

  • To make something like this happening you need to rewrite all the existing copyright law, Bern Convention etc.
    So: this is never going to happen.
    Anyone who had a clue knew: either the story is completely made up or the initiative is doomed to fail because it comes from a wacko.

  • People who put their work up on the Internet for the world to see don't like people linking to their work for all the world to see?

    Makes perfect sense, got it.

  • So if you would need explicit permission to post links would this link [] be a copyright violation since Slashdot hasn't given me permission? And would Slashdot be inducing infringement by allowing me to infringe on their copyright (without giving me explicit permission)?

  • That's just fucking stupid - a link is a reference, not a copy.

    If you can't reference copyrighted works, nobody can legally say "I read **CENSORED** the other day, it was great". Similarly, movie reviews would be banned. and telling people about newspaper or magazine articles they read. and lots of other everyday fair-use references to copyrighted works.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.