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Re: Publishing and Linking - Some thoughts for Thursday

From: Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 00:03:03 +0100
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <050ABE49-A5DC-4ED1-92FA-5F6AFEE46D79@jenitennison.com>
To: ashok.malhotra@oracle.com

On 19 Jun 2012, at 20:48, ashok malhotra wrote:
> I read the publishing and Linking draft again and I'm wondering if we can 
> make statements like:
> - If you include copyrighted material you violate copyright.  If you link to it 
> you may not violate copyright
> - If you include of link to illegal material you can the prosecuted for "aiding
> and abetting"
> - If you include or link to seditious material you can be prosecuted by the 
> prevailing government
> - If you have a copyright to printed material that carries over to its electronic form

I'd be worried that those are debatable assertions about legal truth which are beyond what we know or could advise people on.

> Also, Best practice 1 says "Legislation that forbade transformations on unlawful material would similarly limit the services that service providers could provide."  I don't know what that means

Say you have a law that says that you can't manipulate pornographic images involving children. 'Manipulate' here might mean converting from one image format to another, or cropping, or adjusting colour balance and so on. The law might be attempting to enable prosecution of people who handle the unlawful images as well as those who took them.

Now say that you have a service on the web that provides a facility for doing things like image format conversion, or cropping of images so that they can be used as avatars, or provides online image manipulation of other kinds. In an environment where manipulating unlawful images in this way was forbidden, such a service would have to check all the images that were put through the service to ensure that they weren't unlawful; it would be impossible to run such a service.

The point is that when you have automated processing of something, it's hard for services to comply with restrictions on what can be processed, because computers can't tell what's lawful and what's unlawful.


Jeni Tennison
Received on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 23:03:27 UTC

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