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July 14, 2005
Hyperlinking Considered Infringement Down Under
After a two-year battle, the Cartel have won the right to make Australians put their fingers in their ears and sing "la la la" very loudly. That is, according to ZDnet Australia, a judge has ruled that it's against the law to merely link to sites that host files that might be considered infringing. Oh, and the ISP is also in trouble, as it's also against the law to host a site that has links to a site that hosts... well, you get the idea. Using this "logic" I see no reason why it wouldn't also be illegal to write a story about an ISP that hosts a site that has links to a site that...
I expect ZDNet should be getting a cease-and-desist order any day now, and Copyfight can expect one not long thereafter, because once it's illegal to write about it, how long can irresponsible criminals like myself be allowed to discuss news stories about ISPs that host sites that have links to sites that... oh, never mind.
Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd? By the way, the original target of this ire is mp3s4free, which appears to be either severely slashdotted or actually down at the moment. The court order as reported by ZDNet was for the defendants to pay court costs, not for a site shutdown nor payment of fines/penalties.
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