EU court rules linking does not infringe copyright

While most of us would, I hope, consider this common sense, it is nonetheless nice to have the EU courts confirm it.

This is important because the EU has some of the strongest copyright protection laws, which give authors a great deal of control over their published work.

‘The court had to consider whether by providing links Retriever Sverige had taken part in an “act of communication to the public”. Under EU copyright law, authors have the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works.

The court ruled that the law had not been broken because the articles in question were on Goteborgs-Posten’s website and therefore already “freely available”.

In a statement it said: “The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site.” ‘


A link that would take you behind a pay-wall, that is a different thing…

However, this ruling parallels the victory Connie and Mark Fournier of  the now censored Free Dominion had won in Canada’s federal court over Richard Warman, who claimed they had infringed his copyright by linking to an image on his own website.  In this particular case, the judge ruled that Warman had complete editorial control over his image and that linking to it, even should a thumbnail be displayed, did not constitute re-publishing it without permission.

Catching Up on Interesting Stuff

Over the last little while,  have come across some very interesting articles and such which I want to post about – but simply don’t have the capacity to fully explore.  So, I’d like to catch up by presenting a whole bunch of them in one post for your pleasure!

UPDATE:  A pregnant British woman is arrested for walking down the street in Great Britain and carrying the British flag.  Really!

Interesting DIY inventions are coming out of China.

The mystery of the ‘Skeleton Lake’ (India) seems to be solved.

Were the Eastern Crusades defensive wars?

On the copyright/erosion-of-privacy/governments-spying-on-citizens/corporatism front:

Meanwhile, in Science:

And in the economy:


Political Islam/Creeping Sharia:

General politics:

And if you want more links to various articles to read, check out Steynian 468nth.

An interview with Connie and Mark Fournier

The couple who is leading the legal fight for the freedom of the internet in Canadian courts was recently interviewed on the ‘Just Right’ radio program.

Do give it a listen!

ReasonTV: Should You Go to Jail for Unlocking Your Phone?


Roger Wallis in TPB AFK

EFF Patent Project Gets Half-Million-Dollar Boost from Mark Cuban and ‘Notch’

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

San Francisco – America’s broken patent system needs major reform to protect innovators and the public. Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is announcing a major new boost to its patent work: a half-million dollars in funding from entrepreneur Mark Cuban and game developer Markus “Notch” Persson.

“The current state of patents and patent litigation in this country is shameful,” said Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. “Silly patent lawsuits force prices to go up while competition and innovation suffer. That’s bad for consumers and bad for business. It’s time to fix our broken system, and EFF can help. So that’s why part of my donation funds a new title for EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels: ‘The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents’.”

Cuban’s $250,000 donation also funds the hire of a new attorney experienced in patent reform and high profile patent litigation: Daniel Nazer, who will join EFF in January as a Staff Attorney. The rest of EFF’s seasoned intellectual property team includes Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry, Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, and Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. The team is also assisted by EFF fellows Michael Barclay and Jason Schultz.

Persson’s separate donation of $250,000 cements EFF’s ability to tackle the systemic problems with software patents. With a blend of lawyers, technologists, and activists, EFF will push for reform in the courts, through activism campaigns, and by educating the public and politicians about what is wrong with software patents and what needs to change.’

Read the rest here.

Iranian scientists under investigation for copyright infringement

Copyright infringement is no laughing matter – as some scientists at Iran’s nuclear facilities are about to find out!

Reports have begun to appear that these scientists have been listening to unlicensed copies of AD/DC’s popular song, Thunderstruck.

At full volume!

If they are not under investigation for this already, they are bound to be soon!

Sure, the scientists are certain to claim some lame defense, like that ‘hackers did it’.

Come on, people!

Hackers may be naughty, but even they would not transgress against the mighty copyright trolls!

Iran is about to learn a very difficult lesson:  the American government may be a bunch of pushovers whom they can bully at their will, but transgressing against the music copyright holders will bring Iran to its knees!

100% ‘fair use’ political ad censored by DMCA

This is a perfect illustration of how the unbalanced copyright laws are abusive.

The political ad of Obama singing the song ‘Let’s Stay Together’ while showing images of him with rich lobbyists is as textbook  ‘fair use’ as there is.  Yet, the song rightsholder, BMG, had it yanked off the interwebitudes:

‘A YouTube video produced by the Romney for President campaign got hit by a takedown request on Monday, highlighting the challenges that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act can pose for free speech.

Yet the “notice and takedown” process established by the DMCA and apparently utilized by BMG in this case doesn’t give the Romney campaign much recourse. It can file a counter notice stating that it believes its clip to be fair use, but YouTube is required to wait a minimum of 10 days before putting the video back up. In a campaign where the news cycle is measured in hours, 10 days is an eternity.’

Because sometimes, delaying a message is just as good as stopping it…

Another dimension of the problem is that individuals unfairly censored under the current policies are penalized for the other side’s failure – without any accessible or effective recourse or remedy readily available.  They are, in a very real sense, guilty until proven innocent – at their own cost and by their own effort.

This is so contrary to our common law tradition I don’t know where to begin!

And it’s only going to get worse – unless we shift our enforcement focus from ‘fair dealing’ to ‘fair ‘use’ (as, hopefully, seems to be happening up here, in Canada).



Dan Bull: Censored By Copyright


Supreme Court of Canada rules on ‘copyright’ in the context of education

The Supreme Court of Canada has handed down a ruling that covers copyright issues as they relate to educational institutions.  It’s ruling is not exactly supportive of the copyright cartel…

From Dr. Michael Geist’s commentary on the ruling:

‘The Supreme Court of Canada issued its much anticipated rulings in the five copyright cases (ESAC v. SOCANRogers v. SOCANSOCAN v. Bell – song previews, Alberta v. Access CopyrightRe:Sound) it heard last December (my coverage of the two days of hearings hereand here). It will obviously take some time to digest these decisions, but the clear takeaway is that the court has delivered an undisputed win for fair dealing that has positive implications for education and innovation, while striking a serious blow to copyright collectives such as Access Copyright. ‘

In my never-humble-opinion, the ‘copyright issue’ in our society suffers from the same difficulty in being heard that the ‘atheist issue’ does:  it is impossible for individuals who are simply speaking for themselves (whether they be individual people who are defending their property rights over copyrighted items they have purchased or individuals who simply do not belong to any religious organization) to be heard over the voices of well organized groups with ample funding (whether they be religious organizations or industry representatives).

It is my hope that the ruling, which says it is the consumer’s rights and not the copyright holders that must be given the broadest consideration, will discourage the initiation of frivolous lawsuits which maliciously target people and make the lawsuit process itself a punishment.


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