Embedding And Linking Deemed Infringing In The Netherlands; Downloading... Not So Much

from the odd-choices dept

Here are two copyright stories coming out of the Netherlands, one good and one bad. The first is that the Dutch government has rejected an effort to make downloading copyrighted works for personal use infringement. There is, of course, an existing "you must be a criminal" tax on blank media there, which is part of the reason why such downloads are considered okay. Of course, now we only have to wonder how long it will be until the Netherlands shows up on the US's Special 301 report for "naughty" countries who don't follow Hollywood's extreme maximalist positions.

Of course, the entertainment industry may be much happier about a different copyright issue in the Netherlands. A court ruling in The Hague found that "embedding or linking to radio-streams without a license constitutes a violation of copyright." This is particularly crazy because it includes linking to a station's own stream. Yes, you read that right. This isn't talking about pointing to infringing streams, but to legitimate ones. And the court still found it to be infringing.
‘Nederland.fm’ embeds radio-streams from other (official) radio websites, while ‘Op.fm’ offers hyperlinks to those streams. Buma/Stemra argued that the websites enable users to listen to the music offered on the streams, and that this should be constituted as a ‘publication’ of the music to the public. The court followed this reasoning, primarily based on the fact that ‘Nederland.nl’ and ‘Op.nl’ not only offer streams or links, but they capture the consumer on their page, by playing the music within their own environment and because this environment, including ads, stays visible after clicking the links and buttons of radio stations.
That makes no sense at all. Just because someone makes money in some other manner doesn't mean they automatically owe money to someone else when they were using their legal streams. Unfortunately, we keep seeing wacky rulings like this around the globe that just muddy the picture when it comes to creating sensible copyright policies.


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    Atkray (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    "Just because someone makes money in some other manner doesn't mean they automatically owe money to someone else"

    DING!!! We have a WINNAAR!

    This is the cornerstone of the maximalist.

    There is no rational thinking involved.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Just wondering...

    What will the US government do when the entire world is on the 301 list, and the US is the only country not on it?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:36am

      Re: Just wondering...

      ...Put itself on it, for completeness' sake?

       

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      MrWilson, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:58am

      Re: Just wondering...

      If we get to the point that we're the only country with unreasonable IP laws, we'll have been left behind by the rest of the world and our economy will already have been in the toilet, so it won't matter.

      But maybe we'll still have a few nukes around and we can become the new North Korea.

       

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Holland is weird, it's all that legal dope.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      Dope is not legal in netherlands. They just don't enforce the ban on "small quantities". Not much different from other countries where we are talking small fines for carrying below 2 grams!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    "Haves and have nots" comment in 3...2...1...

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Huh?

    Just because someone makes money in some other manner doesn't mean they automatically owe money to someone else when they were using their legal streams.

    In this case isn't it just free third party advertising? Usually companies pay others to advertise their wares...at least...that is how I always understood it.

     

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    blue skies (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    I am from the Netherlands, and this is entirely from the Buma/Stemra organization. The radio stations to whom the website links are actively cooperating in the apparent illegal linking, even up to the point to pro-actively sending out email notifications to all radio portals when the link to their stream changes. (or at least, that's what I understood from the verdict and the news surrounding it).

    We don't get it either. But out hopes are set for the appeal.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

      Re:

      So once again we have an extor- excuse me, 'collection' agency actively acting against the best interests of those it's supposed to be representing. Where have I heard this before...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    you think that's whackey? what about locking people up for linking in the UK when it hasn't yet, as far as i know, been changed from a legal activity to an illegal one. it seems as if the judges are changing the laws to please themselves and (mainly) the BPI. then you have private industries being allowed to prosecute people that even the UK police and the CPS leave alone for lack of evidence and no illegal behaviour. the UK has progressed from being just the Libel Case Capital of the World, adding the biased Copyright Capital to the list!!

     

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    Bas Grasmayer, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    You missed the part where 'blank media' has now been extended to cover smartphones and hard drives as well. :(

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    That makes no sense at all. Just because someone makes money in some other manner doesn't mean they automatically owe money to someone else when they were using their legal streams. Unfortunately, we keep seeing wacky rulings like this around the globe that just muddy the picture when it comes to creating sensible copyright policies.

    Seems simple to me. They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic. They're reaping where they have not sown. Just like your buddy Dotcom. It's strange how such basic notions of unfair competition that are fundamental are lost on you.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic. They're reaping where they have not sown.

      So ISPs should be paying money to Youtube, right? ISPs are making a profit on providing a link to content they didn't put any money into.

      Taxi companies need to pay to deliver customers to storefronts, too, right? They're profiting off delivering people to the stores.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re:

        We are close to a point where the taxi driver would get a small bounty for attracting customers like that. It is where things are going. They call it viral marketing!

        Photo models, known fascion people and people with a lot of followers on twitter get all their clothes from companies for free if they namedrop once in a while there. Banks get money from namedropping insurance companies, moving companies get money for referring customers to storage companies etc. So Google could be argued to be obligated to pay ISPs for allowing people access to the internet and therefore Firefox and Chrome.

        It is all very morally suspicious behavior when people we trust are being made into a living commercial. We are feeling the corporatism above nationalism and personal integrity here.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      "Seems simple to me. They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic. They're reaping where they have not sown. Just like your buddy Dotcom. It's strange how such basic notions of unfair competition that are fundamental are lost on you."

      I find it interesting that this "seems simple to you", yet multiple people had to point out the hypocrisy in DOJ/movie studio IP addresses sharing copyrighted material and you STILL didn't get it.

      Willful ignorance at it's finest, ladies and gentlemen. I present to you average_joe.

       

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        average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, Mike is pretending like this makes no sense even though it's simple, and there he was pretending like it was simple even though it made no sense. How does that make me willfully ignorant?

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are two parts.

          It is extremely simple: The stream is legal. It makes no difference how someone gets to it, or who points them to it. Its all legal.

          The 'it makes no sense' part is how anyone with two brain cells could possibly fall for such a twisted argument that some website that points someone to a perfectly legal stream is somehow infringing.

          I'm not strictly familiar with how this radio station or the other website operate, but most music streams use one of a few common setups. All of these operate in standard ways, and as such, can be used by multiple web browsers and other applications - all you need is the specific URL of the stream. Given that, I'll list a few examples, and if it so simple, you should be easily able to tell me which are infringing.

          1) Alice opens radio station website in standard web browser to listen to music stream. Is Alice infringing?
          2a) Alice gives link to 1 to Bob. Is Alice infringing?
          2b) Bob opens link from 2a. Is Bob infringing?
          3a) Bob opens link to stream in music player app (Windows Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes, etc). Is end user infringing?
          3b) Is maker of music player app infringing from 3a?
          4) Alice tells Bob how to directly open stream in music player app. Is Alice infringing?
          5) Alice build website (no ads) that links to radio station website. Is Alice infringing?
          6) Alice builds website with ads that links to radio station website. Is Alice infringing?
          7) Alice builds website (no ads) that embeds radio station stream. Is Alice infringing?
          8) Alice build website with ads that embeds radio station stream. Is Alice infringing?
          9) Alice build music player app that can link to stream, but also displays ads within the app. Is Alice infringing?

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re:

        average_joe is a gimmick

        unfortunately for us and other free thinkers, the average joe is no gimmick...

         

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      Richard (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      Seems simple to me. They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic.

      Err - just like a newspaper "What's On" listing then.

      Sorry, you don't have to pay to do that kind of thing in the real would so there is absolutely no reason why you should when online.

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re: @ "Richard" - "just like a newspaper"

        NO, crucial difference is that content provider is OUT MONEY for the bandwidth, and the rewards are diverted to someone who IS NOT PAYING.

         

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        average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re:

        But they're not just hyperlinking to that website and taking visitors there. They're inline linking and keeping the visitors on their site, benefiting from the traffic. It's not a newspaper listing where the patron still has to go to the theater to see the show. It brings the show to the patron while profiting from it at the expense of the theater.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ...That sounds like what HBO, Universal, Sony and 20th Century Fox should be offering.

          And yet, they aren't. Weird, that.

           

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          Richard (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But they're not just hyperlinking to that website and taking visitors there. They're inline linking and keeping the visitors on their site

          Sounds plausible - BUT - the differences do not exist anywhere except on the user's screen. All the activity that you seem to think is somehow infringing is performed by the user's browser. On that basis Ad-blocking software - and in fact any software that the user might user to view pages or streams that has the effect of isolating those pages or streams from the context provided by the original site should also be illegal.

          You are simply demonstrating the clumsy stupidity of the law when dealing with technical issues here. You are trying to create a fundamental difference based on superficial factors when no such difference is possible.

           

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            average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sounds plausible - BUT - the differences do not exist anywhere except on the user's screen.

            On the contrary, what happens under the hood is what courts tend to look at. I think that such focus is superficial and that courts should look at the user's experience.

            You are trying to create a fundamental difference based on superficial factors when no such difference is possible.

            It's the difference between linking to hbo.com, sending you there to buy their content, or giving you their content for free on my website while making money off of the ads that I make you watch. This is a huge distinction.

             

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              Rikuo (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Try again at being "technical". Unlike you, I understand (and have built) computers.

              Your HBO analogy would only make sense if the content you were offering for free was content that was on your server(s), such that if I was to get the content from you, I would have no contact at all with HBO computers.

              In this article's case, that isn't true. What's happening is that a radio station's own stream is being listened to. It's not a copy of the stream that someone else recorded and is then streaming from their own hardware. The websites in question here are just saying to your web browser "go here to listen to this fully legal piece of content".

              If there are legal issues about the blocking of ads (which I sincerely HOPE NOT!) then that is not a copyright issue. If there were, then it would be illegal for me to use Adblock Plus with my browser.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How can you the controller of the content not be able to point to yourself via ads inside your own stream controlled content?

              Even Youtube do it, why can't others?

               

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              Richard (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's the difference between linking to hbo.com, sending you there to buy their content, or giving you their content for free on my website

              BUT - the content always comes from HBO's servers.

              The user experience you refer to is under the user's control and provided by the user's own hardware and software - and that is how it should be.

              The site that you accuse of somehow infringing is actually just sending some instructions to the user's browser to assemble the overall experience.

              Trying to use the law in this context makes as much sense as saying I can't watch an HBO programme with flowery wallpaper behind the TV.

               

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      Richard (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      Seems simple to me. They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic.

      Which you have also done many times in the comments here (ie every time you included a link).

      Have you been paying then???

       

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      MrWilson, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      Take a look at Blue Skies' post above. He says that the radio stations were participating in the linking by giving a heads-up to the portals to let them know when the stream changed. It doesn't sound like the radio stations had a problem with it even. This is just IP maximalist organizations using lawsuits as a business model.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

      Re:

      They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic.


      If by "using", you mean "pointing to", then I suppose you have a point. We should also get rid of all search engines, phone books, periodical indices, etc.

      The thing is, this isn't remotely close to piracy. It's also something that websites can easily prevent by properly configuring their webserver.

      Making stupid, overly broad laws is the more expensive way to solve what amounts to a really trivial problem.

       

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        average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Knowingly inline linking to copyrighted content hosted elsewhere in order to facilitate infringement is not the same thing as what "search engines, phone books, periodical indices, etc." do. Such inline linking can be contributory infringement under the Perfect 10 v. Amazon.com holding, and rightfully so.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Knowingly inline linking to copyrighted content hosted elsewhere in order to facilitate infringement is not the same thing as what "search engines, phone books, periodical indices, etc." do.


          It's not? What's the difference?

          Such inline linking can be contributory infringement under the Perfect 10 v. Amazon.com holding


          Perhaps so, I don't know. I'm arguing ethics and common sense, not legality.

           

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Such inline linking can be contributory infringement under the Perfect 10 v. Amazon.com holding, and rightfully so.

          If you analysis is correct, then Google image search is infringement.

          Oh, look. You're wrong:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_10,_Inc._v._Amazon.com,_Inc.
          "The court held that Google's framing and hyperlinking as part of an image search engine constituted a fair use of Perfect 10's images because the use was highly transformative, overturning most of the district court's decision."

           

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

      Re:

      Seems simple to me.

      I think that says more about you.

      They're using the content they didn't pay for to get eyes to their website so they can profit from the traffic.

      Lots of businesses use content they didn't pay for to get attention to profit. That's everything that any news media operation does. When NBC reports on the Newtown massacre, did they pay the people they're reporting on? Of course not. Because NBC's ability to profit from that story, is because they're providing a service, reporting the news, and that's what the profit comes from.

      The sites talked about here are providing a service to users as well, and that's what they profit from. Not from "the content."

      And, you seem to ignore that the content here is being given away willingly.

      They're reaping where they have not sown.

      No, actually, they're not.

      It's strange how such basic notions of unfair competition that are fundamental are lost on you.

      The only thing strange is your willful misunderstanding of reality.

       

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        average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re:

        Lots of businesses use content they didn't pay for to get attention to profit. That's everything that any news media operation does. When NBC reports on the Newtown massacre, did they pay the people they're reporting on? Of course not. Because NBC's ability to profit from that story, is because they're providing a service, reporting the news, and that's what the profit comes from.

        Yes, some people talk to the news for free. Other people get paid to tell their stories. That doesn't explain why a site should be allowed to inline link to valuable content at the expense of the party who invested in the content's creation.

        The sites talked about here are providing a service to users as well, and that's what they profit from. Not from "the content."

        The content (in part) makes the services valuable. No one would use a media site without any media. It worries me that you argue this nonsense.

        And, you seem to ignore that the content here is being given away willingly.

        They give it away to people who are using their website and looking at the ads that they make money from. These third parties are taking away that ad revenue without having to pay for the content that brings in the ad revenue in the first place. It's amazing to me that you play so dumb about this stuff. I know you know better.

        No, actually, they're not.

        They take content that others paid money to create and give it away for free at the expense of the creator who paid money to create the valuable content. It's not hard. Pretend that Techdirt had an inline link to a live feed of HBO surrounded by ads. Would that not be you reaping where you had not sown when you got tons of traffic and profited from it? Of course it would be. Don't play dumb.

        The only thing strange is your willful misunderstanding of reality.

        LMAO!

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "They give it away to people who are using their website and looking at the ads that they make money from. These third parties are taking away that ad revenue without having to pay for the content that brings in the ad revenue in the first place. It's amazing to me that you play so dumb about this stuff. I know you know better."

          Basically, this can be condensed down to "They are using a legitimate, legal copy of the stream...but by using this inline linking stuff, they're interfering with the business model of the radio station" which according to the likes of you is a heinous crime punishable by death.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The sites talked about here are providing a service to users as well, and that's what they profit from. Not from "the content."

          The content (in part) makes the services valuable. No one would use a media site without any media. It worries me that you argue this nonsense."

          This argument is a completely non-sequitor unless you claim Google is infringing for indexing without the siteowners approval. It is perfectly in line with the belgium newspapers case for linking to specific articles, but it doesn't actually make sense if you look outside legal argumentation.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, some people talk to the news for free. Other people get paid to tell their stories. That doesn't explain why a site should be allowed to inline link to valuable content at the expense of the party who invested in the content's creation.

          So you agree, that NBC should not be allowed to report on someone's life story without paying for them first?

          The content (in part) makes the services valuable. No one would use a media site without any media. It worries me that you argue this nonsense.

          And someone's life story wouldn't be interesting without their life. So, clearly, NBC cannot and should not report on anyone's life story without first paying them.

          Good to know.

          They give it away to people who are using their website and looking at the ads that they make money from.

          Same with someone's life's story. They expect to make money from it. Someone else telling it... why that's PIRACY!

          These third parties are taking away that ad revenue without having to pay for the content that brings in the ad revenue in the first place. It's amazing to me that you play so dumb about this stuff. I know you know better.

          Those news stations are taking away that "life rights" revenue without having to pay for the story that would bring in that revenue in the first place. It's amazing to me that you play so dumb about this stuff.

          Though, in your case, I'm not convinced you know better.

          They take content that others paid money to create and give it away for free at the expense of the creator who paid money to create the valuable content.

          That's not true, actually. Linking to content is not "giving it away." Nice try, though. Totally misrepresenting reality.

          It's not hard.

          Given your statements, it appears that it is for you.

          Pretend that Techdirt had an inline link to a live feed of HBO surrounded by ads.

          HBO does not provide such a live feed for me to embed. So kinda meaningless and unrelated.

          Would that not be you reaping where you had not sown when you got tons of traffic and profited from it? Of course it would be. Don't play dumb.

          You used a completely different example that is unrelated. Who's playing dumb?

           

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            average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So you agree, that NBC should not be allowed to report on someone's life story without paying for them first?

            Of course I don't agree. Like you have argued many times in the past, facts aren't copyrightable and no one has a monopoly on the news of the day.

            And someone's life story wouldn't be interesting without their life. So, clearly, NBC cannot and should not report on anyone's life story without first paying them.

            Good to know.


            You're pretending like the news of the day and the facts of the world are the same thing as a copyrighted work that costs time, money, and energy to create.

            Same with someone's life's story. They expect to make money from it. Someone else telling it... why that's PIRACY!

            And yet you argue all the time that facts can't be property. You aren't making much sense with this, and you surely haven't explained why you should be allowed to inline link to valuable content at the expense of the party that paid for and created it.

            Those news stations are taking away that "life rights" revenue without having to pay for the story that would bring in that revenue in the first place. It's amazing to me that you play so dumb about this stuff.

            Though, in your case, I'm not convinced you know better.


            Your article is about radio broadcasts but you're pretending now that the focus is over "life rights." The two aren't exchangeable, and you're not making any sense. You yourself obviously believe that such facts cannot be owned. Remember the First Amendment? Or are you really so intellectually bankrupt that you're now arguing that people should have the exclusive rights to facts? Stop pretending like you're making sense. Copyrighted content that people spend time, energy, and money creating is not the same thing as the news of the day. One is protected by copyright law, one is protected by the First Amendment. Stop playing games. It's childish.

            That's not true, actually. Linking to content is not "giving it away." Nice try, though. Totally misrepresenting reality.

            I'm talking about inline linking, which in fact does give away the content that is linked to. Stop pretending like all links are the same. You know they are not. You know this is about inline linking and profiting from the page views at the expense of the creator.

            HBO does not provide such a live feed for me to embed. So kinda meaningless and unrelated.

            If a site provides you an embed link and gives you permission, express or implied, to use it, then that's different. Don't move the goalposts. We're talking about unauthorized embeds.

            You used a completely different example that is unrelated. Who's playing dumb?

            It's not unrelated. You don't have permission to embed HBO's content just like you don't to embed these plaintiff's content. What you have not answered, and what you cannot answer, is why it's OK to inline link to content without permission.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I find it amusing that people who try to stay legal no matter what they do if they touch the media companies crap it always becomes a shite storm.

              Inline linking is not a problem, there are technical solutions that are easy to apply to it, for one one could use metalinks that are temporal in nature meaning those metalinks expire after a few minutes, hours, days or weeks, so everyone would have to do a proper linking just like Youtube does or so many other websites do, even the porn websites use it.

              Further if you are in control of the stream how is that you are so incompetent as to not be able to put your own ads in it?

               

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Frak you can even turn that into a feature, everybody who can't or won't pay is suject to inline ads and people who do a deal can get a special link that has no ads in it, that of course will have verification features.

              So no, making linking any linking illegal is just crazy talk.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Of course I don't agree. Like you have argued many times in the past, facts aren't copyrightable and no one has a monopoly on the news of the day.

              But that's not what you said above. You argued that merely "reaping what you had not sown" was so obviously evil. Yet now you're changing your mind?

              You're pretending like the news of the day and the facts of the world are the same thing as a copyrighted work that costs time, money, and energy to create.

              You don't think that someone's life took time, money and energy? Really now?

              And yet you argue all the time that facts can't be property. You aren't making much sense with this, and you surely haven't explained why you should be allowed to inline link to valuable content at the expense of the party that paid for and created it.

              You were the one who turned this into a "reap what you sow" argument. Now you're admitting that you didn't really mean that. Huh.

              As for linking, as others have pointed out, what "right" under copyright law does that violate?

              Your article is about radio broadcasts but you're pretending now that the focus is over "life rights."

              No, I'm just debunking your idiotic "reap what you sow" argument. Which you've now closed out successfully by backing away from that argument. Lovely.

              Stop playing games. It's childish.

              This is especially rich from you.

              I'm talking about inline linking, which in fact does give away the content that is linked to.

              How do you "give away" content by pointing people to where it has already been given away? If I stand on the corner and tell you that Joe's Cafe is giving away free donuts, is that me "giving away" their donuts?

              It's not unrelated. You don't have permission to embed HBO's content just like you don't to embed these plaintiff's content. What you have not answered, and what you cannot answer, is why it's OK to inline link to content without permission.

              The content is already being given away by the original source. Linking to it doesn't do anything other than point people to that content.

               

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                average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                But that's not what you said above. You argued that merely "reaping what you had not sown" was so obviously evil. Yet now you're changing your mind?

                You're just playing silly games. It's the difference between facts and an original, copyrightable work. Are you arguing that the people should have exclusive rights to facts? Or are you arguing that people should not have exclusive rights to their works? Let's be clear which you're arguing.

                You don't think that someone's life took time, money and energy? Really now?

                Again, facts and copyrightable works are not the same. If you win the award for being the biggest asshole on the internet, and I tell someone that fact, you don't have any kind of property right that allows you to demand money from me for relaying that fact. Why? Because even though you no doubt spent time and energy being a complete asshole, you don't get the exclusive right to that fact as there are countervailing interests--like society's interests in the free exchange of facts. It's not as simple as what you're making it out to be, and you know damn well that the two are not identical even though you could say that on some level I'm reaping the fact that you're an asshole even though it was your effort that made you such a complete fucking asshole in the first place. This argument is really, really weak, and it's no surprise that you're not even being clear about which you're arguing.

                You were the one who turned this into a "reap what you sow" argument. Now you're admitting that you didn't really mean that. Huh.

                Yep, you don't get to reap all that you sow in being an asshole. Some things, like the fact that you're an incredible douchebag of an asshole, are facts that you don't get to own. Why? Because there are countervailing needs and your right to reap what you sow is not absolute. Don't be such a child with this nonsense. You still haven't explained why you should be able to inline link to copyrighted works.

                As for linking, as others have pointed out, what "right" under copyright law does that violate?

                Depending on the facts, it violates the exclusive right to distribute, reproduce, display, or perform.

                No, I'm just debunking your idiotic "reap what you sow" argument. Which you've now closed out successfully by backing away from that argument. Lovely.

                You think that by arguing that people don't get to own facts that you've shown that people shouldn't get to own works? Hardly. Your argument makes no sense, and you aren't even being clear about what you're arguing. Are you arguing that people should be able to own facts, or that they shouldn't be able to own works? Let's hear the argument in detail. No high level skimming.

                How do you "give away" content by pointing people to where it has already been given away? If I stand on the corner and tell you that Joe's Cafe is giving away free donuts, is that me "giving away" their donuts?

                It's not just pointing to it. It's bringing it right to their browsers while benefiting from the ad revenue at the expense of the originating website which was trying to benefit from the same traffic. It's diverting traffic to your site for your profit at the expense of the site that paid for the content. This stuff is so easy that I know you're lying about not understanding it.

                The content is already being given away by the original source. Linking to it doesn't do anything other than point people to that content.

                An inline link allows a site to benefit from the traffic that the content brings to the site without having to pay for that content and at the expense of the site that did pay for it. I know you understand this. Just because people don't get to own facts, it doesn't follow that they don't get to own the works they create. The two aren't synonymous, and the fact that you have to stretch so far to attempt to justify this only tells me that I'm right.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Just shut up and go to bed. Your childish namecalling and behaviour and the following lack of real arguments and information is making your posts completely worthless in any way. Please reflecct over your behaviour, apologize and get a less confrontatoric attitude so you can avoid looking clueless.

                   

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And now we've reached the stage where AJ has clearly lost and descended into out and out tantrum mode.

                  Lesson learned again: engaging with him will get you nowhere.

                  Look you can admit you were wrong and acted like a know it all when you were wrong. Instead... we get you calling me an asshole and a douchebag.

                  I guess I win.

                   

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                    icon
                    average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 5:51pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You're just trying to duck out of the argument. You don't have a good argument, and this is the best you can do. I understand completely, Mike. I expect as little. The fact remains that inline linking is reaping where one has not sown. Say I spend time, money, and energy creating a movie that I offer on my website for free, but that I make money from the advertising traffic. If Mike were to inline link that movie to his website, he'd be making money from the advertising at my expense. That's reaping where one has not sown. Mike knows this and has no response. Watch him run away, pretending to be the victor. Same bullshit as always.

                    Mike, using this hypothetical, do you have an actual argument for why you should be able to inline link to my movie? What about the fact that its creation costs me money, and that by inline linking to it you are taking away my profits? Instead of pretending to have won an argument where you refused to even make a cogent argument, why don't you actually make an argument?

                     

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                    Gwiz (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I guess I win.

                    Looked more like a Walk-Off Grand Slam from up here in the cheap seats..

                     

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                      average_joe (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 6:57am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Looked more like a Walk-Off Grand Slam from up here in the cheap seats..

                      And the usual suspects come out to congratulate Mike as the victor, even though he ran away. Shocker.

                      Mike, why don't you explain why it's OK to inline link to the content I paid to create when doing so takes away my profits from the ad revenue? What exactly is your argument? Or can you concede that such reaping where one has not sown is unjust?

                      Stop pretending like you answered and won. You didn't. The best you had was that news companies reap where they have not sown. What you haven't done is explained how that applies here. Are you arguing that since news companies report facts that they don't pay for, then it follows that you should able to inline link to the content I pay to create?

                      What is your argument exactly? You haven't connected the two. You seem to be trying to do a "gotcha" with the fact that the "don't reap where you haven't sown" rule isn't absolute. Or course it's not, and not everyone gets to claim exclusive rights to every little thing they do. What you haven't done is then show what that rule should not apply to inline linking. Nor do I think you can.

                      Stop running away all the time. It's really silly. I'm sorry in my hypothetical you won the award for world's biggest asshole. Feel better?

                       

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                        Gwiz (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 9:33am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        And the usual suspects come out to congratulate Mike as the victor, even though he ran away. Shocker.


                        Mike won this thread fair and square.

                        You lost the moment you regressed into childish foot stomping and name calling. (You should really work on that some more.) Mike simply walked away from a debate that had regressed into uselessness, as would any civilized person.

                        If you want an actual productive debate then maybe you should try to act with more decorum.

                        Seriously, one would think a student of law would understand the finer points debating in a civilized manner.

                         

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                        Gwiz (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 9:56am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        The best you had was that news companies reap where they have not sown. What you haven't done is explained how that applies here. Are you arguing that since news companies report facts that they don't pay for, then it follows that you should able to inline link to the content I pay to create?


                        Once again, you can't seem to see beyond the law books.

                        If you remove the legalities from these examples, where is the difference in your mind? I really don't see much difference between the two myself, except one is legally acceptable and the other is perhaps illegal or undefined legally.

                        Maybe another analogy would help:

                        I own business and my supplier sends me a box of 2000 novelty key chains for free for being a good client. I then take out an advertisement saying "Come in for an estimate and get a free key chain!" I proceed to hand out the key chains for free and in the process I generate new customers.

                        Do I owe the supplier who sent me the key chains a percentage of my earnings I made from the new customers simply because he provided them to me for free?

                         

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                    average_joe (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 6:23am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Crickets. Thanks for proving yet again that you can't make a cogent argument.

                     

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      nasch (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

      Re:

      It's strange how such basic notions of unfair competition that are fundamental are lost on you.

      Are they being sued for unfair competition, or copyright infringement? OK, I can answer that. It's copyright infringement. So how is what they're doing copyright infringement? Which exclusive right are they violating, and how? Not distribution, since they're not distributing anything. Not copying, since they're not copying anything. There's no "linking" right. No derivative work involved. So what is it?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    If linking is copyright infringement, think of the amount of it carried out by academics referencing their sources. Or is it not infringing if it is not a hyperlink?

     

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      average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      If linking is copyright infringement, think of the amount of it carried out by academics referencing their sources. Or is it not infringing if it is not a hyperlink?

      Some linking can make the linker liable for infringement, and other linking cannot. It depends on the facts.

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re:

        Go on, Joe, show off that law school education and FUCKING EXPAND YOUR STATEMENT and CITE SOME SOURCES. I must know from you, the world's finest legal mind, exactly what counts as an infringing link, so I can live as a law abiding citizen (then again, according to you, I can just get a job at an MPAA studio and not have to worry about these things).

         

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          Richard (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He can't cite sources - because that would involve a link....

           

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            average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I link to sources all of the time because regular hyperlinks are not generally infringing. This stuff isn't that hard.

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ahhh, I see! You believe there's some kind of difference between "inline linking" and "regular linking". I wasn't grasping that. Fair enough, this is a matter of opinion and has long been a source of debate on the web.

              In any case, my main point still holds: if the site being linked to objects to a particular method of linking, there are existing, trivial, zero-cost mechanisms they can use to prevent it. The law is not required to address their needs.

               

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                average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Ahhh, I see! You believe there's some kind of difference between "inline linking" and "regular linking". I wasn't grasping that. Fair enough, this is a matter of opinion and has long been a source of debate on the web.

                The case law and logic demonstrate that the two are different.

                In any case, my main point still holds: if the site being linked to objects to a particular method of linking, there are existing, trivial, zero-cost mechanisms they can use to prevent it. The law is not required to address their needs.

                If Mike inline links to HBO and profits from the inevitable vast increase in traffic that he will get from the drawing power of HBO's valuable content he's not paying for, you bet the law is there to address HBO's needs.

                 

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                  John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The case law and logic demonstrate that the two are different.


                  Case law, maybe, but that's not relevant. Technically, there is no difference. A link is a link. The difference is in presentation. Whether or not that's a meaningful distinction is the basis for the perpetual debate I mentioned, and there's no real consensus either way.

                  you bet the law is there to address HBO's needs.


                  You're still missing my point. A better way of addressing HBO's needs is for them to turn off the link when used in a way, or by people, they don't like.

                  It's better because

                  1) it's nearly free, as opposed to the massive cost of going legal

                  2) it is actually effective, as opposed to the whack-a-mole game suing necessarily leads to, and

                  3) because it's the generally accepted way of dealing with the situation in the existing internet culture. Therefore it won't incur the PR downside that suing does.

                  The legal remedy is not only completely unnecessary, it is the worst possible choice for resolving the issue.

                   

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                    average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Case law, maybe, but that's not relevant. Technically, there is no difference. A link is a link. The difference is in presentation.

                    The case law reflects the reality that not all links are the same. Me giving you the link to hbo.com is different than me giving you a link to where you can stream HBO's content without paying and in violation of their rights.

                     

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                      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The case law reflects the reality that not all links are the same


                      No, case law reflects the reality that the law makes a distinction between the two. The law and actual reality are often very, very different.

                       

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                    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Just to demonstrate how easy the technological solution is, I used to run a very popular website where I hosted, among other things, various large files (video, audio, image, and software). I did not want people to "inline link" (what an odd term) to this content.

                    I set up my site so nobody could do that unless I put them on a special exception list. I provided a landing page that could be linked to by anybody, so people could still link to the content, but in a way that they were still at my site. Problem solved. No need to bring lawyers into the mix.

                    To set up my site this way was literally less than 5 minutes of effort. There is, quite literally, no reason why any website of any size couldn't do the same with the same amount of effort.

                     

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He is justifying the existence and employment of lawyers to interpret the law.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Oh that is correct. If he actually provided a link he would make it possible for people to see what is legal or not without a lawyer and thus make for a loss to his kin. Reminds me of the strong educational effort from the content industries by providing content to iTunes U. Shame it costs $25+ for each of the 11 editions...

             

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            JMT (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's Joe's whole MO. He's a wannabe IP lawyer, so IP laws that go completely against common sense are a fantastic source of future earnings. He has a vested interest in this sort of nonsense, so everything he says has to be taken with more than just a grain of salt. More like a whole sackful.

             

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    But copyright is still in effect!

    "rejected an effort to make downloading copyrighted works for personal use infringement." -- Surely hosting such is not legal, though... Besides that, they pay on blank media because they're all known criminals! I'd prefer to see bandwidth taxed.

    On the linking, not surprisingly, average_joe has it right because: "they capture the consumer on their page". Websites need to produce their own content, not leech off someone else. -- But for practical I'd split it basically by size: legal for a few links and/or size (measured by income) of the website, so rule out the Google monster but "promoting" a few would be okay. Big is bad; commercial enterprise becomes more evil directly with size.

    So I'd say it's win-win for copyright -- affirming the pirate tax as the societal deal -- not good-bad as Mike sees these.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

      Re: But copyright is still in effect!

      they pay on blank media because they're all known criminals!


      Proof please, because this is blatantly and categorically incorrect.

      Websites need to produce their own content, not leech off someone else.


      If websites don't want their content used in this way, there's an easy technological remedy that prevents it at zero cost to them. Bringing this into the legal realm is idiotic.

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Dec 27th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

      Re: But copyright is still in effect!

      So when Dave Citizen buys a blank DVD, pays the pirate tax, but uses it solely to burn photos of that nice time he had on holiday...

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Sacredjunk, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 9:55pm

      Re: But copyright is still in effect!

      So when out_of_the_blue buys a blank DVD..

       

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