from the linking-=-crime dept
After the US lobbyists complained about Kino.to, an online site that linked to (but did not store, copy, reproduce, transmit, etc.) infringing works, apparently European law enforcement decided to "do something." Working off of a Dresden-based warrant, police raided homes in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands and arrested 13 people, with a 14th still being sought. The site was apparently quite popular in Germany, and with other German-speaking people around the globe. What I'm having trouble understanding is why this is a criminal operation, rather than a civil operation. Anyone who felt they were wronged by the site could have filed a civil suit. Furthermore, despite a number of similar operations, it's still immensely troubling to see people arrested for linking, rather than for violating any of the specific rights prescribed to copyright holders. I recognize, of course, that copyright holders are upset about sites that link to unauthorized versions of their works, but shouldn't the targets be those who actually are uploading the works, rather than those who are linking?