W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > March 2011

Re: Arrested - re: TAG ISSUE-25 deep linking

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:16:42 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTinWaXsEbfCQaE65g_S_SGVO7q+6rUSmagh_u-7w@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org
Cc: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
> The demandprogress.org site that Tim referenced seems to not make that
> distinction at all (or they didn't get the facts right).

As the executive director of Demand Progress, I'd like to say that the
reason we don't make a big distinction here is because the government
doesn't. [The sealed complaint we posted][1] makes it quite clear that
they are alleging that simply linking to a copyrighted work
constitutes direct criminal copyright infringement. Perhaps the
government will moderate its argument as the case continues, but at
the moment this claim seems quite extreme. And this is borne out by
the rest of the government's behavior. The owner of channelsurfing.net
was arrested, but I think that's for a variety of non-technical
reasons (he was in the US, he operated one of the more prominent
sites, etc.) but the government has used the same legal argument to
seize the domain names of sites that don't do anything more than link
(and some that appear to do less).

[1]: http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/dhscomplaint/

WIth my friend-of-TAG hat on, I fail to see a huge reason why linking
to an infringing YouTube video should be perfectly legal but embedding
it a crime. Admittedly, there are more complicated questions about
"hot-linking" (i.e. embedding a copyrighted work published on the Web
with authorization from the copyright holder) but I don't think that's
at issue here. The scenario here is:

1. BigCo publishes a work.
2. PirateMan makes a copy and puts it on the Web in an embeddable fashion.
3. ChannelSurfing refers to it.

Can anyone explain why they think 3 should be a crime if
ChannelSurfing refers to it using an <embed> tag but not if they use
an <a> tag?

-- 
Aaron Swartz: http://www.aaronsw.com/
Demand Progress: http://demandprogress.org/
Received on Friday, 11 March 2011 16:17:39 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:33:09 UTC