Re: URIs, deep linking, framing, adapting and related concerns

On 2010/12/17 9:27, Mark Baker wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM, Jonathan Rees<>  wrote:
>> reports on a
>> case where frames were used to place ads around content picked up
>> elsewhere.  This seems very similar to your example #1 of image
>> inclusion. If so a court may very well one day find<img>  links to
>> unlicensed material to be infringing.
> I don't think that's unreasonable because its meaning in the document
> is not the same as an anchor link; it's linking with transclusion
> semantics which could be considered as a republication of the
> referenced content. Other HTML features such as frames/iframe, object,
> some uses of stylesheets, and XHR of course, could be similarly
> interpreted.  And yet other HTML features fall somewhere in between,
> such as the cite attribute.

I fully and totally agree with Mark here. While often both a@href and 
img@src are called links, anchor links and links with transclusion 
semantics are completely different from what they achieve. IANAL, but 
including an image, a frame, or whatnot in a Web page without permission 
is a pretty simple and straightforward copyright violation. If there are 
no court cases that say so, my guess would be that this is just too 
obvious, and that all players that have real money involved (which is 
where the court cases are, at least in the U.S.) are intelligent enough 
to understand it. Thus court cases get avoided in the first place, which 
is the best way the legal system can work.

[On top of that, pointing to a third-party server with img@src also 
results in "bandwidth stealing". I don't know the latest legal situation 
in that respect, but independent of what some judges may or may not have 
decided, "bandwidth stealing" is clearly stealing.]

I very much hope that the TAG discussion can soon come to the point 
where the TAG can check off this point. That would mean that the TAG can 
concentrate on the main issue at hand, namely linking for referential 
purposes. My understanding is that this is also what Tim is concerned 
about. If the TAG or some people on the TAG continue to put forward 
opinions such as that it may be perfectly okay to transclude an image 
with img@src without any permission, then this will just continue to 
hold up progress on the main issue, and risks to discredit the TAG.

(The Web is not a space where totally different laws apply, it is just a 
space where things may turn out to work somewhat (or quite) differently 
because of different relative efficiencies.)

Two pieces of related information:

If I got to, I get access to some 
image search engines where I can search for e.g. flowers. I can select 
particular kinds of purposes/licenses (e.g. including commercial use or 
not, including modification/derivation or not). The text warns me that I 
have to check for myself whether the appropriate license is actually 
provided, not just to rely on the result. I'd guess Creative Commons, 
because they want to foster sharing (which I think is a very good idea!) 
would tell me that I can use whatever image I like if I do it via 
img@src. But they don't, and I think they know why.

Ted Nelson wanted to have an elaborate system of micropayments to allow 
transclusions. I think he was very aware of the fact that transclusion 
meant involvement of copyright, but (in the terms of this discussion) he 
wanted to encourage sharing by coverting an explicit permission system 
(i.e. yes/no) to an automatic payment system. (As we know, that hasn't 
worked out; one main reason why micropayments don't work is given in 
Chris Anderson's "Free", chapter 4.)

Regards,   Martin.

#-# Martin J. Dürst, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University

Received on Friday, 17 December 2010 10:47:07 UTC