Is Just Talking About Infringing Content Infringing?

from the according-to-some... dept

There are people out there who believe that just talking about the fact that infringing content is out there is infringing itself, but that seems like a plainly ridiculous standard for judging infringing content. Yet, we see cases like this all the time. Recently, there was Twitter taking down a tweet for merely linking to a blog post that talked about a leaked album (but which didn’t link to the leak), and now TorrentFreak points out that the site RLSLOG has been totally taken offline (again) after Universal Music sent a takedown request. The only problem? RLSLOG doesn’t actually host any content or infringe on any copyrights. It’s a news site that talks about infringing content that’s available, but is that infringing itself? It’s difficult to see how anyone would properly judge that to be the case, but it didn’t stop the site’s host from taking them offline thanks to Universal Music’s legal threats.

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Comments on “Is Just Talking About Infringing Content Infringing?”

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RST101 (profile) says:

Aiding and abetting, assisting in?

Copyright is all my arse mate and has been twisted and manipulated beyond all recognition from what it was once intended. It doesn’t even protect the artist/content creator and is solely for the greed of “the industry”.

Why is it even called theft by those who manipulate when it clearly isn’t theft. It is a copy. Non have gone missing have they? In fact it’s on the contrary because there is now more and not less.

These animals need reining in.

Mpaa/riaa/bpi/ifpi ARE the enemy people.

alanbleiweiss (profile) says:

big brother is big corporations

the fact that big corporations have the power to pull the puppet-strings of ISPs in such foolish disregard for our constitutional rights just gets more nauseating all the time. And the way the Supreme court has been acting in recent decisions, it appears they’re now firmly entrenched in supporting the police state mentality of the corporatocracy we now live in.

When I first got involved in the Internet business fifteen years ago, I instantly saw this as the dawning of a new age of the free flow of information and ideas. Big brother has been doing more and more to show they don’t like that, even though they created it.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

DMCA: The Cultural Sniper Rifle

It a weapon the DMCA (and UK’s Digital Economy Act) have created, that I term a cultural sniper rifle’.

Don’t like a site? Issue a take-down.

Don’t like TechDirt questioning the cartels? Issue a take down.

No evidence required. No court required. No money required. The trigger is just an e-mail.

The only reason the weapon isn’t used more often is that unlike corporations and their attack lawyers, most people have a conscience.

Ralph-J (profile) says:

They're helping people find infringing content

If their sole purpose is helping people find infringing files to download, I can see how that could be construed into a point under current US law. They’re not just “talking” about, or reporting on infringement (like Techdirt), but providing direct download links to infringing files. It may not be part of the act of infringing itself, but they are, on some level, a willful accomplice to spreading the infringing files.

Rekrul says:

I happen to like RLSLOG personally, however there are a couple things that the article and the comments neglect to mention;

At the bottom of each post are links to a cyberlocker site where the content in question can be downloaded. Even if those are taken down, the comments to each post are almost exclusively sets of download links.

Like I said, I like the site myself, but they do a little more than just talk about infringing files.

Peet McKimmie (profile) says:

It's an American thing

A long time ago I was involved in the startup of a website rating website called “”. The idea was that peopl;e would take charge of a particular category or categories and publish reviews of and links to websites that were good examples of content within that category.

For the first eight months or so it was very good, then it was bought over by a big American company. They went through the database deleting sites willy-nilly because those sites said something that might “encourage illegal activity” in the US.

I eventually dropped all association with them after a gardening site, rated top for information on tomato growing, was dropped (there was no appeals process) because someone in the comments section had suggested that the site might be useful to cannabis growers. At about the same time they introduced a “verification process” for volunteers where we had to go down a list of 20 statements and check the ones that would lead to a site being rejected. If we got it wrong our submission privileges were suspended for a week and then we had to take the test again.

The problem was that only sites that might encourage activities that were illegal in America were being targeted. This started out as a multi-national web project, but the parochial views of the company that took it over just ruined it.

CRIA sucks dick says:


and btw
i am thinking of downloading a whole bunch a new music, maybe supernatural and tomorrow ill grab star gate universe and smallville and a few other eps i like ot watch

then i might grab a few movies and sit back and enjoy myself

im gonna hten burn 20 copies of everyhtng and give them away for free on NON Levied dvdrs

and hten have a whiney roast in honor of the CRIA pending list for not also paying anyone since 1980

WOOT that feels better
now will i or won’t i…..

Rekrul says:


I only saw the pilot 3-parter. It was “Hamish MacBeth in Space”, but with fewer laughs. I loved the original SG-1, and I just about tolerated “Atlantis”, but this was a step too far. :-/

There’s a lot I don’t like about it, but I figured I’d give it at least a season to see if they hit their stride.

Dummer than last time says:

RE: Daft

Re: Daft
by Anonymous Coward
…and by discussing it in a court room the court is now infringing. If the court is infringing the judge must be removed from the bench.

Try typing Infringment into google – then look out for the paddy wagon.

Yup… let it roll

Crap I just mentioned infringment again, I will go strap myself into the chair – if someone would kindly pull the lever for me.

taoareyou (profile) says:

What if:

I publish a paper listing the best prostitutes and where to find them?

Give directions to crack houses?

Have a website detailing all of the criminal services available in town and where to get them?

I am not directly involved in these activities, just reporting on them. What if I also sent this information to the police, doing my civic duty and such?

Obviously I’m not reporting on crime. My business model depends on it. If I make any money from my publications, does that make me an accessory?

I’m not a lawyer so I cannot answer my pondering, but I think our responses depend heavily on how we view the crimes involved.

If I published a list that detailed all the best places for you to go to abduct children (parks where the parents don’t seem to be as vigilant, school grounds with less security, etc) there would be outrage and people advocating criminal action against me.

Some feel just as strongly about intellectual property. Personally, I think IP laws have bloated far out of balance and need to be changed. This is why I would think a site like RLSLOG is not a problem.

I realize this is only my own moral point of view however. Others may vary.

Peet McKimmie (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I publish a paper listing the best prostitutes and where to find them?

That would be legal in the UK; we have a few websites rating prostitutes. As long as they are clearly independent sites doing the rating they’re breaking no laws. e.g.

Give directions to crack houses?

That would be great! Just as long as you were obliged to keep the info up-to-date. When they shut down the crack house in the flat upstairs from me I still had more than six months of their customers buzzing my door to be let in to the building. If they could have just checked a website it would have saved me a *ton* of hassle.

Have a website detailing all of the criminal services available in town and where to get them?

I’m sure the Police would like that.

Cristinella says:

Universal Music Legal Department

Where can I find more information about Universal Music’s Corporate Legal department and other idle threats that take up room in the US Legal System. This is the entertainment industry. Don’t get the Government involved. There are far more important issues in this world than who looked at who first, etcetera. However, if you have stolen my content and profited, or used my image and made a few bucks, send some over my way. I have about $20 left after paying my Comcast Bill, and that’s sans BRAVO or TLC. Capeish?

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