W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > January 2015

Re: US court-case resolved against "Right to link"

From: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:00:14 -0800
Message-ID: <CAEnTvdC0cwg3JkH=w2W=+i3pb8F6YLWO80tNHVCHxVbQATBe=A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: www-tag <www-tag@w3.org>
On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
wrote:

>  On 1/23/15 6:31 AM, Harry Halpin wrote:
>
>  There are many aspects of a "right to link". People in human rights often say "your right to swing your fists around ends at my nose" - but in fact it ends somewhere in the murky area before it gets there, typically (legal systems vary greatly and both explicitly provide and effectively permit all kinds of exceptions) about the point where "a reasonable person would be afraid you're going to hit them".>> All of which is to say, the sort of careful analysis that the TAG does for technical issues is necessary when responding to questions of law, too - although there are lots of differences in the details, the approaches used, and the methods for acting on the results…
>
>  In particular, I think the right to link should be defended**regardless** of the content linked to, even if the content would by
> itself be deemed illegal, since definitions of illegality vary across
> borders quite considerably and change over time. Having the technical
> architecture of the Web dependent on these often ill-conceived laws
> seems backwards, as it may be better to have the technical community
> explain to lawmakers why these laws should be reformed to match the
> existing web architecture.
>
>
>
> Harry,
>
> Yes! In regards to "Having the technical architecture of the Web dependent
> on these often ill-conceived laws seems backwards, as it may be better to
> have the technical community explain to lawmakers why these laws should be
> reformed to match the existing web architecture. "
>
> How is the right-to-link any different from the everyday  right-to-mention
> ?
>
> The global mechanism for mentioning is a name. On the Web, hyperlinks (in
> the form of HTTP URIs) are names.
>
> Names Identify, and the act of identification includes interpretation
> (manifests as resolution to content on the Web).
>

​Just a personal opinion, but typically in other realms (e.g. mathematics,
physical objects) uniquely identifying a thing, referring to a thing,
claiming or proving that a thing exists are all distinct from manifesting
an actual example of the ​thing. Equally, providing the precise geographic
location of a physical object is different from providing the physical
object itself. It's not obvious to me, as a non-expert in this field, which
category providing a link to a virtual objects falls into, or what
properties it shares / does not share with these other examples.

For example, a bank employee can uniquely identify the gold bar that was
stolen from their vault by serial number. Anyone who hears the story can
refer to it uniquely as "that gold bar that was stolen". Whilst it's true
that an innocent witness might come to know the precise geolocation of the
gold bar, knowledge of that location might reasonably be considered as
supporting evidence (i.e. not alone) of involvement in the crime.

…Mark



>
> --
> Regards,
>
> Kingsley Idehen	
> Founder & CEO
> OpenLink Software
> Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
> Personal Weblog 1: http://kidehen.blogspot.com
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>
>
Received on Friday, 23 January 2015 18:00:49 UTC

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