Can A Link, By Itself, Be Copyright Infringement?

from the someone-please-explain dept

A report in Billboard Magazine mentions that the IFPI and the MPA (the global versions of the RIAA and the MPAA respectively) have successfully been able to get ISPs in Mexico to take down 35 blogs which they say contributed to music and movie piracy. Specifically, they charge that the blogs had thousands of "infringing links." Of course, that leads to a rather obvious question: what the hell is an "infringing link"? Is it a link to infringing content? If so, then Google and pretty much any search engine is equally guilty. Simply linking to something, by itself, is not and should not be considered infringement.
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Filed Under: blogs, copyright infringement, links, mexico
Companies: ifpi, mpa, mpaa, riaa


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  1. identicon
    Nick, 23 Feb 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Old news

    Us courts have ruled that links can be infringing under the DMCA. See Universal v. Reimerdes:
    Given the peculiar characteristics of computer programs for circumventing encryption and other access control measures, the DMCA as applied to posting and linking here does not contravene the First Amendment.
    The case was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, attracting a large number of amicus curiae briefs on both sides. After a hearing on May 1, 2001 a three judge panel (Judges Newman, Cabranes and Thompson) upheld Judge Kaplan on November 28. In particular the Second Circuit ruled that linking on the Internet happened so fast that it could be restrained in ways that might not be constitutional for traditional media. The defendants chose not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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