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EFF to Court: Linking Is Not Copyright Infringement

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EFF to Court: Linking Is Not Copyright Infringement

Postby MrFredPFL » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:31 pm

Story :

Playboy Entertainment's lawsuit accusing acclaimed website Boing Boing of copyright infringement—for doing nothing more than reporting on a historical collection of Playboy centerfolds—is groundless and should be thrown out, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told a federal court today.

As EFF and co-counsel Durie Tangri LLP explain in a request to dismiss the lawsuit filed on behalf of Boing Boing owner Happy Mutants LLC, Playboy’s copyright claim seeks to punish Boing Boing for commenting on and linking to an archive of Playboy “playmate” centerfold images that a third party posted. The blog contained links to an page and YouTube video—neither of which were created by Boing Boing. But courts have long recognized that simply linking to content on the web isn’t unlawful.

“Boing Boing didn’t upload, publish, host, or store any images that Playboy owns, didn’t control the images, and didn’t contribute to the infringement of any Playboy copyrights,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. “It’s frankly mystifying that an entertainment company that has often fought to defend free speech rights is trying to punish Boing Boing for doing what has made it a leading online source of news and commentary: unique and groundbreaking reporting on art, science, and popular culture.”

“Boing Boing’s reporting and commenting on the Playboy photos is protected by copyright’s fair use doctrine,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer. “We’re asking the court to dismiss this deeply flawed lawsuit. Journalists, scientists, researchers, and everyday people on the web have the right to link to material, even copyrighted material, without having to worry about getting sued.”

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Re: EFF to Court: Linking Is Not Copyright Infringement

Postby bpaw » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:30 pm

Thanks Fred for posting this.

I remember in the infancy of the internet when everything anyone shared they were happy to be shared and linked to. Hyperlinking is the internet. I just wish that if Copyright holders were concerned that their content could be possibly infringed by hyperlinks, then don't put the content on the internet.

Most likely that these copyright holders put their copyright on the internet for the primary purpose of making money out of frivolous lawsuits claiming copyright infringement because someone dares to hyperlink their content.

I know that in this case Boing Boing were hyperlinking to images and videos created by others, but the case emphasises the fact that such successful copyright holders are actively trying to make money through copyright claims. It seems to me that such organisations are probably factoring in copyright infringement claims in their balance sheet as regards to their profit/loss accounts.

Basically an expectation rather than realisation of copyright infringement.
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