Dutch Court Says Just Publishing Links To A Movie Is Illegal And Must Be Blocked

from the technically-clueless dept

It’s still amazing that any court thinks that just publishing links to something should be illegal, but it seems to happen again and again. Over in the Netherlands, usenet community FTD, has lost a case filed by a movie studio, because some of its users pointed out links where you could download a certain movie. FTD didn’t host the movie. It didn’t store the movie. The movie never touched its servers. FTD didn’t offer a torrent of the movie. All it did was let users post where the files existed. And the court found that to be illegal and barred. One of these days, maybe we can expect judges to understand basic technology concepts, but it seems like that day is still a long way off.

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Comments on “Dutch Court Says Just Publishing Links To A Movie Is Illegal And Must Be Blocked”

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96 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: WTF? That's like locking people up because they tell you which house on the block is the crack house.

Since you was the one ranting about how only lawyers and other people who have diplomas in the area are the ones that can give any useful assessment, then how is that you are saying things about the law? do you have a degree?

You can say anything about the law, you are not a lawyers, you are not a judge and doing so makes you dumb.

At least according to what you wrote.

Personally I think you are just an idiot, that keeps pulling things out of your ass, but that is just me, you don’t add anything to the discussion, I don’t see the interesting parts or any valid concerns not that there are any, there may be some is just that on your vitriolic ramblings I just don’t pay that much attention LoL

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: then only artists should comment on the arts.

“then only artists should comment on the arts. “

Well now that you mention it …. it ain’t a bad idea.

As the saying goes in Art : “nobody likes a critic.”

And as a mater of fact in “Formal Literary review”, like the NYTimes . book section , and the NY Review of Books , (- two very stuffy , nose in the air publications if you ask me **),

most articles of review, the majority even ,, ARE written by other professional writers,, other novelists ,, not just journalists.

( *** http://www.nybooks.com/)
—–
As well with music ,, this is also often true. Musicians nowadays are often the ones hired to write reviews of music,

Related to this,,

this is why Bob Dylan , Tom Petty , and other musicians , have now their own satellite radio DJ programs.

Because many folks , do not like non-Artist as .critics,

and satellite radio , gives Dylan and Petty a chance to present the music from a Musicians viewpoint.
——————-

“If only lawyers can comment on the law ,,then only artists should comment on the arts. “

Intelligent comments on law , come for people educated in law.

Real Wold comments on law are call COURTS.

Courts , critic laws. Their critic is real-world impact.

Everyone’s non-legal minded comments here about law is meaningless in that context.

====================

Main Entry: crit·ic

Pronunciation: ˈkri-tik

Function: noun

Etymology: Latin criticus, from Greek kritikos, from kritikos able to discern or judge, from krinein

Date: 1588

1 a : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique

b : one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances

2 : one given to harsh or captious judgment
————-
———————-
Lobbyist for the most are Lawyers.

So yes, “only lawyers can comment on the law” , in the formation of public policy in legislative is mostly true.

In the Courts . legal decisions _- the only commentary that really counts !!!- are written , by Judges.
Judges are lawyers.

————————-

So yes : Being ONLY lawyers comment ‘Formally” and “Realistically” with real world effect on the law…..

…. then only artists should have FORMAL comment on the arts.

A lot of people DO feel this way.

And remember paid Critics are 1] professional writers and/or 2] professional broadcast journalists.
———————————————-

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: then only artists should comment on the arts.

As an artist I make copies, copies, copies. Copying is cool, if you’re an artist. Who doesn’t love making copies, especially of artistic work?

The more copies of art there are the more art there is and more art is a good thing. Who would dare say different?

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: It's still amazing that any court thinks that just publishing links to something should be illegal,

TechnoPolitical …

“First Up Against The Wall When The Revolution Comes” is a quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. My own personal belief is people like you will become “The first in line at the soup kitchen”. Because of an emerging trend that was spotted a couple years back. The trend is that community based creation of standards causes social change. This includes acceptable behavior, understandable rules of use, and rules for conflict resolution. In a two words the whole concept can be described as “competitive cooperation”.

Competitive cooperation is the similar yet opposite the CEO of Visa’s Chaordic (pronounced Kay-Or-Dic) systems. It similar in that it uses competition to produce a result. It is opposite in that it uses competition to result in a common goal. The difference between the two is that one collaborates to find a solution the other competes to win.

We are seeing more competitive cooperation from open source software, standards for all things internet, online rules of conduct emerging from elementary school children, k-12 and college educational material, social media sites, etc.

The trend is just beginning, only 5 percent of people use it on a daily basis. Like most disruptive scenarios it is starting with the younger generation and will work its way up in age.

The reason I point this out to you is simple. There are 6 billion of us and only about 50,000 on your side. So long and I hope you enjoy the soup.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 So long and thank someone for all the fish soup. It's still amazing that any court thinks that just publishing links to something should be illegal,Robots will make artists obsolete.

“Robots will make artists obsolete.”

“Commander Data” from Star Trek would disagree.

He cannot laugh , or whistle. He lacks a soul.

So do you apparently.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 So long and thank someone for all the fish soup. It's still amazing that any court thinks that just publishing links to something should be illegal,Robots will make artists obsolete.

Incorrect after the start of the movies. Plus, no-one has ruled him as having no soul – in fact, I seem to remember a older episode that effectively ruled him an actual being with rights, “souls” being irrelevant in Star Trek.

Anonymous Coward says:

“One of these days, maybe we can expect judges to understand basic technology concepts, but it seems like that day is still a long way off.” – actually, the judge got it right, because he was able to see what the intention was. in a digital world, actively seeking out illegal downloads and pointing to them has nearly the same net effect as hosting them. think of it another way, it is a simple criminal conspiracy: one site hosts the files, then another sites points to them. it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction. i know many of the loyal techdirt readers will hate this sort of ruling, but more and more it is clear that these groups work together to share illegally, and that is enough to merit court action.

Ryan says:

Re: Re:

in a digital world, actively seeking out illegal downloads and pointing to them has nearly the same net effect as hosting them.

They neither sought it out nor pointed it out.

And only an imbecile could believe hosting content and posting a link to it is the same thing. That’s like saying talking about child molesters and molesting children is the same thing.

think of it another way, it is a simple criminal conspiracy: one site hosts the files, then another sites points to them

Except that there’s no collusion whatsoever, which believe it or not is a necessary component of a conspiracy.

it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction.

I believe that’s completely legal, and it is a completely different situation.

more and more it is clear that these groups work together to share illegally, and that is enough to merit court action.

Yes, the entire internet is illegal. /s

Your post was stupid and asinine.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction. I believe that's completely legal, and it is a completely different situation.

Q:: it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction.

YOUR ANS : I believe that’s completely legal, and it is a completely different situation.

MY ANS and the Law’s ANS:

It is illegal. It is called “aiding and abetting” or “pimping” in street talk.

The more you Pirates post. the more you arguments close in on you , and crush your viewpoints based on your Pirate Logic legal falsehoods

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, the entire internet is illegal. /s

Actually, the way it is now it probably is. Little by little it is going to have to be turned into something more like cable TV, where individuals can “consume”, but they can’t “distribute”. It was just a fluke that it was ever allowed to be created the way it is in the first place, and now the courts are having to go around fixing it.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Or the internet will stay the same because, like in Real Life(tm), some people choose to do illegal things. Some people choose to sneak into a theater to watch a movie with out paying for it, some people choose to watch that same movie online without paying for it.

Does this mean that /all/ people do these things? No.

Is this behavior exclusive to the internet? No.

Why would we change the internet to a broadcast medium? It was /built/ on user created content? Because /some/ people watch movies and don’t pay for them? Just like some people sneak into a movie theater to see that same film without paying for it.

We are living in a time of change, established ways of doing business are changing. Old business models that have been prevalent for the last century are changing because technology is making them obsolete.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

don’t feed the troll…

great, while we’re at it we should file suits against IANA for giving them an IP, ISC for making bind so you could browse to the site by name, the OEM for selling the hardware, and every software engineer ever for writing the OS, browser, and media player. then when that’s done you should go after their parents for “facilitating” the infringement.
/rant

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:Little by little it is going to have to be turned into something more like cable TV

You’re happy that the internet, which is a communication network that enables a many-to-many model, will be turned into cable television, which is a broadcast network that enables a one-to-many model?

That’s not how the internet works.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction. I believe that's completely legal, and it is a completely different situation.

an AC :

” it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction.”

YOU : I believe that’s completely legal, and it is a completely different situation.

ME : WRONG it is not legal. It is aiding and abetting , and if it is for the sale of Crack ,, or pimping prostitution ,, you got to jail.

Again my point : Leave legal commentary to people trained in law !!
=============================

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 it is like a street runner telling you which door to knock to get crack. they are involved in the transaction. I believe that's completely legal, and it is a completely different situation.

Ladies and Gentleman ,, A Pirate, speaks,
——

good time again to take a break ,, and watch a little George Harrison and Monty Python view on this matter,, after the whole My sweet Lord lawsuit stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGbRHxM4X2g
George Harrison’s — “The Pirate Song”

Momus says:

Re: Re: Re:

You should add also, that downloading of ‘illegal content’, like downloading a movie, is NOT illegal in the Netherlands. Upoading is illegal, downloading is not.,
So, posting/writing about something NOT illegal is illegal according to the judge.
o make things more into perspective: It has been found out at this moment the judge in this case is also a business partner of Time Kuik, one of the Netherlands’ most known ‘ pirate hunters’ , who is advocating making downloading illegal as well…
this is no joke..

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Ruling

> actually, the judge got it right

No, he didn’t. Telling someone on the internet where a file is located is no different than if someone asked you where the street vendors sell the knock-offs in New York City. If you told him, “Times Square” and even provided directions how to get there, no one could prosecute you. But somehow the moment the same thing happens with the internet, all the rules go out the window.

There seems to be a peculiar phenomenon which has emerged in the last five years or so where everyone, from the government, to business, to the general public, seems to lose their minds over behavior on the internet which, when done offline in the real world, is perfectly acceptable.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: in a digital world, actively seeking out illegal downloads and pointing to them has nearly the same net effect as hosting them. think of it another way, it is a simple criminal conspiracy:

“in a digital world, actively seeking out illegal downloads and pointing to them has nearly the same net effect as hosting them. think of it another way, it is a simple criminal conspiracy:”

ME : EXACTLY right.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: in a digital world, actively seeking out illegal downloads and pointing to them has nearly the same net effect as hosting them. think of it another way, it is a simple criminal conspiracy:

Civil is still illegal and wrong. If you fail to comply with civil court orders , you can go to jail if you piss off the judge.

ThePirateOne says:

Who cares?

I don’t, there is such a thing as DHT(Distributed Hash Tables) that make the ruling irrelevant, maybe amusing, but certainly not useful, practical or even meaningful.

Besides I wish the best of luck to courts trying to enforce that thinking on, IM(Instant Messaging), tweets(or other social medium) that may or may not have links to material that has been legal and are not anymore, or try to make a gazillion people stop passing links to one another through mail, email, sms, barcodes, sound frequencies, light transmissions, light painting, incidental infringement like some one is filming his baby dance and captures a link on the screen that points to infringing material or the link was legal at some point but at a whim the owner changed his mind and now it is illegal.

I can see how they will suceed(in making themselves look like fools)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Who cares?

your comments are the standard “take a 1% issue and apply it to the other 99% that isnt related”, aka bizarre absolutes. understand that this is case of usenet group(s) who are specifically spotting and helping people to find illegal content. this is what they do. it isnt something that may happen occassionally by a bad person, it is the focus and point of the group. all of your examples would be incidental to the uses of those products, not the focus.

reading your comments proves that you are likely both american and not yet the holder of any diploma.

The Pirate. says:

Re: Re: Who cares?

So you are saying I’m dumb and that what the court did have no repercussions in other instances where people post links or comment about or point to?

Those things the judge said will only apply to usenet groups?

Ok, I’m dumb, and have no critical thinking capabilities, you are right, how could I not see it before, it will only be applied to that small subset of actions only if it involves usnet groups that specifically spots and help people find illegal content and they do that by posting links and commenting.

So if it is outside usenet newsgroups and it is done with no intent to “specifically” spot or help people find illegal content then it is permissable and the law will say nothing?

Yeah I’m dumb.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Ok, I'm dumb, and have no critical thinking capabilities,Who cares?

“Ok, I’m dumb, and have no critical thinking capabilities,”

For most pro-pirate & anti-copyright posters here,
yes that is true.

I this techdirt , had a formal academic review syem for posts, that would be clear.

ME and the other AC , both of us clearly more educated in law,

One here understood “aiding and abetting” as a legal concept.

And it is FACT , that with crack houses and whorehouses , “aiders and abettors” are arrested and convicted often.

So like I said to Mike, folks ,,

Go to law school or shut up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ok, I'm dumb, and have no critical thinking capabilities,Who cares?

“I this techdirt , had a formal academic review syem for posts, that would be clear.”

Then how would you manage to get any posts posted?

“ME and the other AC , both of us clearly more educated in law,”

Yeah…clearly…

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ok, I'm dumb, and have no critical thinking capabilities,Who cares?

IF we followed the daft “only lawyers can comment on the law” this would be an awfully empty and boring site. Especially given that the purpose of this site is apparently to disseminate information and have a LIVELY DISCUSSION. So that would be a really dumb rule – which funnily enough, *does not* exist on Techdirt. This is not an academic site, it’s not a ‘news’ site, it’s not a ‘planning-law’ site. It’s an opinion site.

I used to actually bother to read your posts, but now I see that your opinion is a waste of my time. So I’m now mentally filing you with with all the TAM/Weird Harold clones.

ThePirateOne says:

Stop emailing now.

Stop emails from linking to infringing material now.

Remember copyright owners have absolute control(or so they think) so they can change the status of materials on the fly, that means that any link today can be a violation tomorrow.

How not to infringe ever?
Do not patronise artists that use copyright, it is that simple.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Do not patronise artists that use copyright, it is that simple.

“Do not patronise artists that use copyright, it is that simple.”

PLEASE DO THAT !!!

Stop illegally downloaded copy righted work.

Do not pay for it either , if you are offended by copyright.

PLEASE DO !!!!!!

However ,, the majority of the human race , lawyers & Judges too,, DO support Copyright laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Do not patronise artists that use copyright, it is that simple.

“The majority of the human race”

So that’s why hundreds of millions of people infringe on copyright everyday? And the rest of the human race doesn’t even care about copyright law or know anything about it.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And the rest of the human race doesn't even care about copyright law or know anything about it.

“And the rest of the human race doesn’t even care about copyright law or know anything about it.”

EXACTLY .. That why the Police carry guns and Handcuffs.

Lack of knowledge of the law is no excuse. That is Law everywhere.

But you never learned that is school ,, you freaking Pirate.

You where probably , out braking into people lockers,, or stealing lunch $$ from the lower grade kids

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And the rest of the human race doesn't even care about copyright law or know anything about it.

“EXACTLY .. That why the Police carry guns and Handcuffs.”

So it is to force people to do what they are told?
Nice, people are cattle now.

About the old “lack of knowledge of the law is no excuse” people should treat carefully there, because law is in part appearances too, if they are seem as not being fair there are consequences to that. Besides the principal objective of the law is to harmonize society if that doesn’t happen then the law is no more.

The Pirate says:

Re: Re: I sound simple and it is simple anyone trying to use copyright should be regarded as the devil.

Please don’t hope make it happen, I’m telling you I’m a pirate, I’m pirating and you didn’t do shit yet?

It will take 2 years to find me?
BTW I have hacked things since I was 12, I cracked a lot of games to play, pirated the radio stations, copied the TV without shame and know I rip CD/DVD/Bluray’s and you only hope I go to jail?

Effe you, moronic bastard, come and get me if you can and have the balls.

Rekrul says:

One of these days, maybe we can expect judges to understand basic technology concepts, but it seems like that day is still a long way off.

They understand it well enough, they just don’t care. The entertainment industry is big business, so they automatically get special consideration. The normal rules don’t apply to them. Or haven’t you learned that yet?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Can't wait for filesharing to be leagalized. That's going to be so funny!

Holly flying pig look at that pinky thing on the sky shaped like a pig LoL

I am telling everyone to pirate and don’t be ashamed of it, I don’t care if I’m inducing, come and get me then and see if I care.

I’m ripping some DVD’s right now that I’m going to give to my friends at work and they in turn will give me some more, after that is more ripping, who is going to stop us?

You? congress(LoL)?
The police?

You have music online? I’m not ripping that because probably is shit anyway and who would care? not me for sure.

Ole Husgaard (user link) says:

Biased judge

The judge in this case has an extra job teaching immaterial property. And as usual, he also has a boss on that job.

His boss? The lawyer on the plaintiff side!

http://twitpic.com/1tb50b
http://www.geenstijl.nl/mt/archieven/2010/06/rechter_in_zaak_ftd_vriendje_v.html

IMHO the judge should have refused to take this case because of this obvious conflict of interest. And a judge who takes such a case despite such an obvious conflict of interest – without even informing the defense – should never be allowed to work as a judge again.

Samir Allioui (user link) says:

The Truth is worse than the headline.

“Dutch Court Says Just Publishing Links To A Movie Is Illegal And Must Be Blocked”

The truth is worse.

The Judge ruled that “facilitating” equals “publishing”.

He now rules, that talking about links equals facilitating, thus talking is publishing now.

Facilitating is illegal, downloading is legal.
This case made ( talking about ) downloading illegal, without the parliaments concent.

The Pirate says:

Re: Re:

Every male probably knows where the whorehouse is, should they be held responsible for prostitution?

A lot of criminals there.

Should anybody talk about some crime, should they be held responsible for those crimes too?

It is this responsibility to say what and who is a criminal best served by a court? If so why do we have a congress?

Who is deciding who is criminal or not and why is responsibility being placed on people talking about but not acting on it?

More importantly why such reasoning is being applied when it has no impact on the outcome what so ever?

Is making impossible to enforce laws a priority now? Is ignoring reality better for policy?

I have many questions about those things, because I don’t see it working and being just a waste of time and eroding civil rights, affecting free speech, possible criminalizing natural behaviour that will be applied selectively to curtail opposition and so on.

Terah says:

Re: Re:

Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2010 @ 7:59pm
makes sense, you tell someone where illegal acts take place, why shouldn’t you be held just as responsible

Wow, that was sarcasm, right?
Calling the police because you know your neighbours aren’t home yet there are suspicious noises makes me, the caller, a burglar as well? Or at least complicit in the crime?

If that’s the case, I have to agree with the general opinion regarding your both your schooling and emotional maturity..

Brendan (profile) says:

How is this different than NewzBin?

This is the opinion I expected you to hold in the NewzBin case.

Same setup (just bout as close as you can get). Same misplaced blame. Yet NewzBin is somehow guilty, and FTD is not?

Secondary liability / inducement is just wrong all around. I wish you’d be consistent on that.

NewzBin post (however brief): http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100331/0152258801.shtml

M.Brandenburg (profile) says:

The fact that the judge is ruling against dutch law. It is legal to download movies and music. Specially for this reason there is a copy tax on all recording media. So a blank dvd or cd contains a tax. This tax is used to be redistributed amongst artists because of the fact it is legal to download.

However it is only legal for own use. Not for commercial bussineses. It is not allowed to reproduce for others. The same as it is illigal to share with other. This also includes uploading.

So because of the legal part of downloading it cannot be illigal to refer to links where you can download.

Also it is very strange case it is allowed that a judge had got a relation to one of the parties. In this case a realtion with the instituut Brein that is against downlaoding. Also the judge is working with institutes that fight against piracy.

How can you talk about justice when the one that has to peak law is involved up to his elbows with one party!

Sup says:

FTD is a program that for probably 99% holds links and descriptions to illegal warez, movies, music. The only reason it exists is to be a guide for people on where to find and download illegal copyrighted materials. Why would this not be illegal?

For all those jumping in defense, what if there was exactly the same type of program or site, that posted links to child porn downloads? Would you think that should be allowed too? They would not host the child porn, they would only provide very easy access and download locations.

Dont get me wrong, Im a FTD user myself, and I love it, but I do understand how it would be illegal, should be illegal.

Robert says:

Re: Re:

The problem is that discussing things should not be illegal, whether or not these things you are discussing are legal. Publishing .torrent files has been proven not to be illegal and now talking about the existence of these torrents is illegal?

That’s a clear freedom of speech issue.

and if this new ruling will be the base for a new law, there’s a lot of liability issues for legal sites as well. they will have to prove without a doubt that the (second hand) stuff people sell through their sites is legal and it will slow down progress of these sites.

Constantly stretching the meaning of liability will not solve the issue.

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