French Politicians Pushing To Ban Linking To Any Website Without Permission

from the you-fail-at-the-internet dept

Apparently two French Parliament Members are on a mission to ban linking to websites, unless you first have permission. In short, they're looking to undermine one of the key features of the internet itself.
The idea was proposed but rejected by the Legislative Commission, but it is brought back again. Socialist Karine Berger and Valérie Rabault once again tabled their Amendment #843 to Axelle Lemaire’s Bill for a Digital Republic, which would actually prohibit by default a large quantity of hyperlinks in France.

This device aims at amending the Law for Confidence in the Digital Economy and hold ISP and hosts criminally responsible as soon as they “allow public access to works or objects protected by the copyright code, including through automated means.”

The amendment states “users are required to obtain authorization from concerned rights holders”. The two MPs demand that “such authorization covers actions by users of such services when transmitting to the said users the protected works or objects, in order to allow use as stated in the fist paragraph inasmuch as such users are not acting on professional purposes”.
Now, it's fairly obvious that you're dealing with two politicians who think they're somehow proposing a solution to "piracy" on the internet. But it's really yet another attempt at punishing Google. Similar to efforts in Germany, Spain and even the European Parliament, very, very shortsighted Google haters think that a way to "punish" Google is to make it pay money to sites that it links to (mainly when it comes to news aggregation). The two French politicians admit flat out that they're trying to help copyright maximalists:
The amendment is intended to “protect the creation of authors and define the scope of their rights on hyperlinks”, according to the two MPS’ rationale. “The amendment aims at reinstating protection on these hyperlinks, in favour of the authors and rights holders of the links’ target content.”
But linking isn't and should never be infringement. It's a reference and it takes you to the original content, which is beneficial. And yet, of course, it all comes back to politicians thinking that just because Google is successful while linking to others' content, Google must be somehow bad.
“Just look at Google’s referencing procedures: they are based on hyperlinks, and links that lead to copyright-protected works on their publishing site are precisely what allows Google to create any added value whatsoever”, said MP Karine Berger in her plea for the amendment.

“In other words, some commercial Internet operators benefit from the value of some copyright-protected cultural goods and services without ever paying for using them. The amendment, by raising the question as to whom is responsible for collecting value through hyperlinks, aims at overturning jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is a paramount legal and economic issue.”
Yes, Google creates value for itself in linking to websites. It also creates value for users. And for the websites it links to. That's why there's a massive search engine optimization business in which sites purposely try to get ranked better on Google, because sites that are linked from Google get tremendous benefit out of it.

I have a hard time understanding any kind of logic wherein you have a setup in which everyone basically benefits... and a politician still wants to come in and complain because one of the parties in the setup is doing well.

Filed Under: copyright, france, internet, karine berger, licenses, linking, open internet, valerie rabault


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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 3:36am

    tabled

    FYI note the UK usage of the word "tabled" which means "to place on the table for discussion."

    This is in contrast with the US usage of the same word which means to "leave on the table and not discuss at this time."

    http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/96961/tabled-us-vs-uk

    E

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    • identicon
      Rich, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:19am

      Re: tabled

      Even in the US, "table" meant to bring it up for discussion. "Shelve" meant what people are now using "table" for. I find it very annoying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 3:07pm

      Re: tabled

      This is in contrast with the US usage of the same word which means to "leave on the table and not discuss at this time."

      That is odd because for once Canada uses the same meaning as the US. We generally track more closely to the Brits' style (favour vs. favor, behavior vs. behaviour, etc).

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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 5:57am

    Nuke 'em

    1) All search engines should immediately de-list all *.fr links from all results globally.
    2) All search engines should detect french users, and for all search queries return a screen "no linking allowed in your country."

    History shows that the French population is pretty good at revolutions - it may be time for another one.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 8:14am

      Re: Nuke 'em

      Funnily enough, #1 is pretty much exactly what would happen if this were made law. No search engine is going to want to jump through the hoops needed to get permission for every link, assuming they even reasonably could, so instead they'll just shut down service in france.

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      • identicon
        Chris Brand, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Nuke 'em

        Realistically, Google would probably cecome "opt-in" for *.fr - "if you want your website listed in Google, let us know". Of course the vast majority of websites would do that, resulting in very little practical effect.

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    • icon
      beltorak (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:10am

      Re: Nuke 'em

      Not just search engines - all webpages should immediately have all *.fr links deleted; and all web pages by French entities should have all (except internal) links deleted.

      If this idiocy becomes law everyone should start filing copyright lawsuits against everyone else.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 3:16pm

        Re: Re: Nuke 'em

        Tim Berners-Lee is going to be rolling on the floor laughing his ass off when he hears about this, considering he was working on the border between France and Switzerland when he invented the web. Invented (partially) in France, and now French politicians are trying their damnedest to destroy it while ostensibly trying to "monetize" it.

        Truth really is stranger than fiction.

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    • icon
      klaus (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:19am

      Re: Nuke 'em

      "History shows that the French population is pretty good at revolutions - it may be time for another one."

      Despite their unjust and undeserved "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey" tag, the French are notorious for not putting up with any kind of crap from their governments. So I find the last few years very perplexing...

      Take bread, sacred to the French, but even they've been succumbing to the evil British Chorleywood menace. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13670278

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    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:26am

      Re: Nuke 'em

      History shows that the French population is pretty good at revolutions - it may be time for another one.

      History shows the French population is horrible at revolutions. They don't call the aftermath of the last one "The Reign of Terror" for nothing; it was one of the darkest points in the country's history.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re: Nuke 'em

        No, he had it right. It's CORRUPT RICH that called it "The Reign of Terror," and rightly so.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: Nuke 'em

        That's how nearly all revolutions go, so it's a bit unfair to single out the French on this point.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 2 Feb 2016 @ 6:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Nuke 'em

          Yep. In fact, the US war of independence appears to be an anomaly in that regard. There does not appear to have been a time of paranoid witch-hunting afterwards.

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          • icon
            tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 3:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nuke 'em

            Yes, the Brits wised up once they saw the price tag. Besides, they still had Canada, and they were heading into a pissing match with France (over Quebec among other things) at the time.

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      • icon
        klaus (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:33pm

        Re: Re: Nuke 'em

        "...it was one of the darkest points in the country's history."

        I have to disagree. To my mind the French in Haiti and Indochina, and perhaps also their treatment of their other colonies such as Algeria and Morocco was far darker...

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        • icon
          tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 3:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nuke 'em

          To my mind the French in Haiti and Indochina, and perhaps also their treatment of their other colonies such as Algeria and Morocco was far darker.

          If you take the time to read the historical accounts of that era, pretty much all of those colonial powers at the time were every bit as despicable as all the rest. Even otherwise nice and benign Holland acted atrociously.

          I'm glad enough managed to survive it. Just imagine the kind of mindset that can bring itself to believe that Native Americans were little better than vermin. Eww ...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:54am

      Re: Nuke 'em

      That's one option.

      Another is to remove the hyperlink HTML tag and just display the URL(or short URL) so the user can copy and paste into a new tab/window.

      This will create opportunities for new browser plugins to re-instate the hyperlink on the client side.

      Technology will route around the issue.

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    • identicon
      Aedile, 1 Feb 2016 @ 1:33pm

      Re: Nuke 'em

      I had the same idea of de-listing however, I would not return a screen that says no linking in your country. It would be MUCH more painful if someone ran a search for say "buy baguettes" and the search results showed baguettes from every country except France.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 3:17pm

        Re: Re: Nuke 'em

        It would be MUCH more obvious if someone ran a search for say "buy politicians" and the search results showed politicians from every country including France.

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  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 8:31am

    "... benefit from the value of some copyright-protected cultural goods and services without ever paying for using them..."

    "Copyright-protected" - that would be, ummm, the entire website, right? I've benefited from visiting websites "without ever paying for using them", so I guess I'm guilty as charged. Stick my fiber connection into the guillotine, Madame!

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:07am

    I look forward to a day when Google finally gets pissed off enough to drop a country from the index.
    Replace all results with we'd show you stuff but they insist we pay for making it easier for you to find things. They don't want you to see their content, so we've respected their wishes.

    How long until the public screams loud enough to be heard over the corporations who keep demanding more and more special rights even when they are nonsensical.

    It can be the ultimate right to be forgotten, your government is this hostile so we've forgotten you all exist.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:08am

    I have a hard time understanding any kind of logic wherein you have a setup in which everyone basically benefits... and a politician still wants to come in and complain because one of the parties in the setup is doing well.

    Google must not be sharing their profits with the politicians, and so they need to be made to transfer their profits to a company that will share.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:12am

    Next up these politicians are going to outlaw publicizing the address of The Louvre in order to protect the Mona Lisa and the rights of Leonardo da Vinci's descendants.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:49pm

      Re:

      Think they haven't considered this already?

      It's technically illegal under French Copyright law to take photos of the Mona Lisa and other Da Vinci works, presumably to encourage the dust in his tomb to make more stuff..

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      • icon
        Wyrm (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 1:48pm

        That is a wrong statement: it's not copyright law that forbids taking photos of Mona Lisa. It's the museum's rules. That's not law, and the excuse is not copyright but "the flash will damage the painting". Of course that's not the real reason (which is selling expensive - but licensed - photos from the souvenir shop), but there is no copyright enforcement at play here.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 10:46am

          Re:

          there is no copyright enforcement at play here.

          I didn't notice any enforcement at all - I took photos of it and a bunch of other stuff at the Louvre without being hassled or anything.

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  • identicon
    Eric, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:14am

    Directions

    I think we should make this law exist in the non-digital world as well... One should also ask permission from Mr Eiffel before giving directions on how to get to the Eiffel Tower

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  • icon
    beltorak (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:18am

    Part of me desperately wants to educate these clueless politicians enough so they understand that a hyperlink is nothing more than the name of a webpage. That would make this law like enforcing "copyright protection" against people talking about movies, songs, books, etc etc.

    But then I recoil in horror to think they might try to build this backwards philosophy predicated on publicity rights....

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:24am

    *sigh* It's all Napoleon's fault.

    By getting a lot of France's best and brightest killed, he reduced the French IQ. That made them stupid enough to start World War I, which got even more of their reduced population of smart people reduced further. The process appears to have become self-sustaining to the point where the French will become known as "Epsilons."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:47am

      Re: *sigh* It's all Napoleon's fault.

      Wait, what?

      WWI was started by Serbia and Austria-Hungary being unable to find a peaceful resolution to a political crisis precipitated by an assassination of an Austrian nobleman by a Yugoslav nationalist. How does France have anything to do with that?

      Also, how does France (later) sending tons of soldiers to the killing fields reduce their population of smart people, when the best and brightest disproportionately tend to find ways to avoid serving on the front lines?

      Nothing you just wrote up there makes any sense.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re: *sigh* It's all Napoleon's fault.

        I'll agree with your first point, to a point. I'd put the blame on the politicians who sewed them all up into that ridiculous cascading treaty obligations crap. Why a Yugoslav assassinating an Austrian in Sarajevo should lead to hundreds of thousands of Canadians dying in French trench warfare at Ypres never made a lick of sense to me. Also note they learned nothing from it as Germany invading Poland was the straw that finally broke the camel's back and dragged France and Britain into declaring war on Germany in WWII.
        Also, how does France (later) sending tons of soldiers to the killing fields reduce their population of smart people, when the best and brightest disproportionately tend to find ways to avoid serving on the front lines?

        That only makes sense if you equate "best and brightest" with "rich." I don't. You don't need to be very smart to inherit a fortune. You just need to have the right parents.

        Even in the US' Civil War, the rich could pay some poor bugger to serve for them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:32am

    Witnessing the early stages of a falling empire

    Maybe they just don't like idea of everyone benefiting all at once. Seems like a group of someones would rather maintain the status quo: Keeping the flow of information stymied from the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:46am

    Easy solution....

    If you have a web site and you don't want Google to index it, simply don't give the web site address out. Then Google won't index it.

    The advantage to this is that you will have extra time to enhance your site without the bother of all of those pesky customers calling.....

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  • icon
    Tom Mink (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:51am

    The war on footnotes

    I have no idea how you can write a law regulating links and distinguish that from academic use. French universities are about to lose their biggest measure of prestige.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 10:55am

    There's this little thing called...

    robots.txt

    Learn how to use it, or stop whining about search indexing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 11:12am

    Circular reasoning...

    He drew a circle that shut me out-
    Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
    But love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle and took him In !

    All links to .fr go into the circular
    link rabbit hole...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 11:26am

    and if passed, this would lead to exactly what i said would happen, months ago, the Internet being run by Hollywood and the entertainment industries! what needs to happen first is find out who is receiving back handers from those industries? sarkosy was on the side of the industries, because his 'wife' was a member and it kept the two of them together when wandering!
    a minister in Japan has just resigned over bribery charges to do with TPP, those involved in this need checking! the internet is the best distribution medium invented so far. obviously the movie industry wants it, but just for their own use! why else would they keep trying to get more harsh sentences for file distribution? why else would they keep plying Congress and the courts with contributions?
    can you imagine an internet that is run by an industry that relies on 'make believe' to earn money? no one and nothing would be allowed to use it unless paying the industries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 4:20pm

      Re:

      a minister in Japan has just resigned over bribery charges to do with TPP ...

      No, the bribery had to do with a construction company, not TPP. It was just a coincidence that he was the guy handling TPP for Japan. Or, maybe to handle TPP, you need to be corrupt so obviously give the job to him.
      why else would they keep trying to get more harsh sentences for file distribution?

      My theory is they're very stupid in important areas and completely divorced from reality. How can it make any sense to blow a fortune on lawyers to win a judgement nobody in his right mind would expect would ever be paid?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 11:39am

    There's two sides to this coin

    Obtaining "authorization from concerned rights holders” is virtually impossible, given the current morass of opacity and often contradictory information on who exactly controls rights to "intellectual property".

    If lawmakers would require rights holders to register their proven claims into a global database, with a single contact, and with the caveat that any IP not registered (or inquiries not responded to within a reasonable time frame) be considered public domain, then there might be something to talk about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:13pm

    Physical addresses too.

    Maybe they would also like to make it be illegal to reveal physical addresses without written permission. Burn all those maps, they're revealing locations without permission! That travel atlas is just a big pirate map!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:19pm

    Talk about the web going dark...

    Talk about the web going dark! We will be back to the old days of trying to guess URLs and hoping you didn't land on a porn site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Talk about the web going dark...

      Or hope you did.

      This IS France we're talking about after all.......

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    • identicon
      JBDragon, 1 Feb 2016 @ 4:26pm

      Re: Talk about the web going dark...

      I remember early back in the day having a large book full of web sites. This is before even Yahoo. Before search engines as we know it now. Talking about really going backwards.

      When all you have to do is put a Robot.txt file at your web site to be complete ignored by Google and others. They of course seem to want it both ways. If France wants to go back to the middle ages let them.

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      • icon
        klaus (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 11:02pm

        Re: Re: Talk about the web going dark...

        If you're talking about bookmarks, I never stopped keeping them. I don't view search engines as being all that reliable.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Talk about the web going dark...

      We will be back to the old days of trying to guess URLs and hoping you didn't land on a porn site.

      URLs? More like going back to the days before some smart cookie (Paul Mockapetris; I'm surprised I've never heard of him) invented DNS. Imagine the typical Twitter or Facebook addict trying to deal with dotted quads.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 4:51pm

        Re: Re: Talk about the web going dark...

        Why would banning links make DNS stop working?

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        • icon
          tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 7:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Talk about the web going dark...

          Why would banning links make DNS stop working?

          I'm not sure I understand the question, but would you rather got to 104.25.104.28 or techdirt.com? They're the same thing of course, but one's in a much more human manageable form, obviously.

          I think the point I'm trying to make is they wouldn't stop working, but they would become unusable for most people. The typical non-geek has likely never even heard the term "dotted quad."

          I'm not sure either where you got "DNS stop working" from what I wrote. I meant it to mean a time before DNS was invented (didn't yet exist), and things like "techdirt.com" wasn't possible even if 104.25.104.28 was.

          I hope I didn't completely screw the pooch on that. Sorry for the misunderstanding if so. It was a fairly busy long weekend (well, for me anyway), and I may be suffering from creeping senility, ya never know. :-)

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Talk about the web going dark...

            This story is about banning links without authorization, and then you're talking about going back to typing in IP addresses rather than domain names. I don't see the connection. If Google and others were not allowed to link to Techdirt without permission, the domain www.techdirt.com would still work fine.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Talk about the web going dark...

              Talk about the web going dark! We will be back to the old days of trying to guess URLs and hoping you didn't land on a porn site.

              Remember, that's what I was replying to.

              I get what you're saying about what the story's about, but there's more than one thread going on here. I was just commenting on what they said/wrote. If silly French politicos want to tell us what we can do with URLs, they're really telling us all we can actually rely on is dotted quads, as in pre-DNS.

              Yeah, these nitwit clueless French politicos want to break the web if they can't get the vig for their masters, but they're (obviously) not seeing the whole picture. Human readable links == DNS. If they're objecting to human readable links or what we do with them, I interpret that to mean going back to before the days DNS existed, leaving us with dotted quads, not human usable URLs. I could handle that, but my late mother wouldn't have been able to.

              I think it would be very helpful for all of us to assume the average politician is just an idiot savant. They only know enough to be dangerous to others or themselves.

              I hope that's clearer. Or, maybe I should concede defeat. You may have the high ground, I don't know. No biggie.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 3 Feb 2016 @ 6:43am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Talk about the web going dark...

                Agreed, no biggie. :-) With that said...

                If silly French politicos want to tell us what we can do with URLs, they're really telling us all we can actually rely on is dotted quads, as in pre-DNS.

                It seems like you're jumping too far. Nothing in this law (if I understand it right) would prevent me from typing a domain name into my browser, therefore there would be no need to fall back to IP addresses. There's a difference between a link and a domain name.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:36pm

    I propose we ban politicians from being able to communicate with each other. The W3C will examine politicans communication requests on a case by case basis. I expect this to be passed swiftly, it is necessary to protect the integrity of the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:39pm

    Socialismo!

    Remarkably, it's a socialist standing up for private property rights here. But not just any property rights. If these newfangled socialists were to get their way, and prevent Google and other search engines as well blogs, Reddit, etc. from linking to any copyrighted material without permission, it would take us back to the era when big media controlled most of the information that people consume (get your daily newspaper, not your free feed), allowing big media to make a comeback by buying up the work of content-creators cheaply and selling it at a huge markup. If you don't think this is what would happen, just look at the academic journal biz where a couple of big companies pay virtually nothing for content then resell it for ridiculously high prices, since you can't get the scholarly articles otherwise.
    This is 21st century socialism: that is, socialism for the rich, who probably are the leading contributors to the socialist cause!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 1:30pm

      Re: Socialismo!

      just look at the academic journal biz where a couple of big companies pay virtually nothing for content then resell it for ridiculously high prices,

      Virtually nothing??
      At best the academics do all the editing work and peer review work without pay, and get published for free, and at worse they also have to pay page charges to get published.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:45pm

    You'll have the French ISPs screaming along with the populace if this passes. It won't just be the search engines that bar .fr but most every website that doesn't create their own content. If you offer to sell something and provide a photo, chances are very good it isn't your photo. Just because you use the corporation's promo photo doesn't give you permission; for sales of their goods it's implied but not specifically granted.

    As soon as the French learn the internet has collapsed in on itself, some will buy VPNs and others will throw up their hands in discuss and terminate their internet accounts. Any site that allows discussion and doesn't expressly forbid urls will be liable to so good bye to sites such as this one or a forum of any nature.

    Yet maybe this is a good thing when everyone starts blocking .fr in the firewalls. I would think it would drive the exact opposite into being of hyperlinks in and of themselves are not infringing and contain no infringing material. They are merely locator notations.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:46pm

    Solution - block ALL google systems entirely in France for 7days.
    Change the google homepage for France to a picture of the two politicians and add contact email addresses.

    Then see how long those two remain in power....

    Hey presto! no more stupid laws in France regarding URLs being 'piracy' (for a while)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:49pm

    In response Google demands payment every time someone says the word "Google" in reference to the search engine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 12:51pm

    I personally believe laws should be all-or-nothing.

    Therefore because of 'publicity rights' no one should mention ANY celebrities name, movies they are in, upcoming films, books OR albums.....

    The screams from LA would be heard in Jakarta....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 1:13pm

    Funny things there...

    First, one of the supporters of the bill tried to bs her way out by stating that she's not trying to "prohibit" anything, but to create "permission" to link to sites.
    That's such an obvious lie that it reminds me of the comparison with data caps in US: being "friendly" is not helping someone back on his feet... after you first punched him to the ground.

    Second, Berger doesn't even seem to listen to herself speak... "and links that lead to copyright-protected works on their publishing site are precisely what allows Google to create any added value whatsoever". Yes, Google creates value. That's the whole point: Google creates value for the public, the original site owner... and Google himself. What's the problem there?

    Third, there is already a way to authorize or deny permission to Google. It's called robots.txt. Funny enough, most sites already explicitly allow Google. And most other implicitly do the same. What need is there for a law as long as most respectable crawlers respect the instructions there?

    Finally, most people used to pay to get advertisement. And most sites are currently paying to optimize their SEO. Being on Google is valuable, and everyone should be glad that Google is doing it (mostly) for free. Funny how some country don't understand the basics of economy here.

    Not that Google doesn't have some abusive behaviors, but that is definitely not something I'd bother criticizing them about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    WDS (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 2:12pm

    Fundamental

    Linking if fundamental to the internet working. If they don't want someone to link to their work, then they don't want people coming to their work, which then begs the question, "Why did you put your work on the internet in the first place?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JBDragon, 1 Feb 2016 @ 4:30pm

      Re: Fundamental

      If you don't want places like Google linking to your site, there's already a SIMPLE solution. a ROBOT.TXT file. Simple. Google will leave you alone!!!

      They want it both ways though. They want Google t link to them and PAY them money to do so!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 2:21pm

    Keep going

    I say to keep going with this thinking.
    Let's go into the library and rip out the card catalog system because that's obviously pointing people to books without the book owner's permission.

    If this is an absurd comparison, then have the politicians explain the real difference between Google and a card catalog? Oh, right, one is done "on a computer".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 3:46pm

    Not all linking is equal

    Specifically, there is a difference between

    1) using an html link in the text of your web page, linking to someone else's content.

    and

    2) using an html link in (eg) an image tag, effectively using content hosted on someone else's system as your own.

    Entirely different things. Don't mix them up.

    Now, discuss. Could the proposed law be reworded to include case 2 without including case 1? Would such a law still be objected to?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ArkieGuy (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 5:59am

      Re: Not all linking is equal

      I'm sorry, but I don't see how there is any difference at ALL. Both ways, when the viewer clicks on the link (be it text or image) they are forwarded to the page in question.

      How do you see these as different?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 7:41am

      Re: Not all linking is equal

      "Now, discuss."

      OK.

      There is no ethical difference between the two. A link is just a pointer to a parcel of data somewhere else. There is no more of a moral or ethical issue to linking to anything anywhere than there is to pointing to a physical place and saying "it's over there".

      From the point of view of a site operator, there are simple mechanisms that prevent the sort of deep linking that you're talking about (inline images, etc.) If this is a big deal for a site, they can stop it easily already with existing tools. I do exactly this on my own websites to prevent anyone from inlining images, so that I'm not paying for bandwidth that is really being used by a different site.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 1 Feb 2016 @ 4:50pm

    I think it's time to ban French politicians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2016 @ 5:38pm

    This isn't unique

    This is far from being a unique or one-off occurrence. Lots of sites say you need permission to link to them. Even sites like charities, who I assume would want more people to know about them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Serverless in France, 1 Feb 2016 @ 8:08pm

    Serverless in France

    The whole conversation is silly, just don't have a business presence in France. Take your servers elsewhere and let France to not link to anything they want - you do not care....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bengie, 2 Feb 2016 @ 5:31am

    New social rule

    You can only talk to people if they have first signed off that they will allow you to, in triplicate. You know, to reduce harassment. Imagine, a world without harassment. It will be a utopia, of people that never talk to anyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 2 Feb 2016 @ 6:02am

    This is the "Everything must be owned" mindset that we saw at work in the comments of the PETA defeat story thread. This is why I say till I'm blue in the face, "Copyright is emphatically NOT property. It's a temporary monopoly privilege."

    The trouble with using the language of scarcity ("consuming content") and ownership ("protection, rights") is that it cedes the narrative to the maximalists and puts us on the back foot. Ownership presupposes the right to control the owned item. The trouble with letting the maximalists frame their arguments in terms of property ownership is that they won't give ground on anything, however gracious we ourselves are.

    Techdirt does an awesome job of pointing out that this is bunk and that other business models exist. Let's push harder to expose the lie: copyright is NOT property. Belief that it is fuels the rationale behind this nonsense over linking so we need to kick it down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 5:13pm

      Re:

      Well said, but ...
      Let's push harder to expose the lie: copyright is NOT property. Belief that it is fuels the rationale behind this nonsense over linking so we need to kick it down.

      The problem is money. We can scream until we're blue in the face educating the Universe as to what's right and wrong, but while they still have the money to buy politicians and we keep electing bribable politicians, they'll keep on winning.

      About all we can do about it is try to make a boycott work, and seldom do they. Your typical twenty-something millenial hates it when all their friends are talking about something they haven't yet seen themselves, spoiling the sweet surprise ending for them. Somebody here only a few days ago used "Spoiler Alert" before they started mentioning Gattaca. What is that, ten, fifteen years old? I found out over the weekend that one of my friends had never heard of it. I was shocked.

      Sigh. :-P

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 7:06am

    Dear France,

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 7:07am

    Dear France,

    Kindly unplug yourself and shut up.

    Nutters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 5:17pm

    They want to break the internet. They want to break people's ability to communicate, learn, organize and protest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:05pm

      Re:

      They want to break the internet. They want to break people's ability to communicate, learn, organize and protest.

      It's just entropy in action leading to the heat death of the Universe. They're just goin' with the flow, or the natural order of things. No, there will not be a Big Crunch and everything starts over. It'll all just keep on evaporating away and getting colder until universal equilibrium is reached at zero degrees Kelvin and *everything stops*.

      On the bright side, it'll be a long time by human reckoning before it gets there. We'll be long extinct well before that, so not our problem.

      Enjoy every sunrise you get! :-) Have fun.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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