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
    Weird Harold, 23 Feb 2009 @ 2:50pm

    It all comes down to intent

    There is an important point here: If you know something is stolen, and you help the person who stole it to resell it, then you broke the law. Linking to something that would specifically violate copyright (say like a movie recorded with a camcorder, or a stolen copy of an unreleased album) is a pretty clear indication of intent.

    More so, if the blog in question has advertising on it, and profits from it's traffic (and perhaps a traffic increase because of the links to stolen content) then they are doing so for financial gain.

    It's the point everyone forgets about places like Pirate Bay: they all sing kumbaya and claim it's all about making everyone equal, in the meanwhile the owners are stuffing millions of euros into private offshore accounts. Don't fall for the hype, someone is making money off the stolen content.

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