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Linking to content when copyright status varies across countries
Best place to host and best practices
graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 2:03 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am considering setting up a site which will have some links to material that will be in breach of copyright in some countries but not in others.

Note that I will not host any of the problematic material, and most of my links will be fine everywhere. All the sites I link to will be completely legal in their own countries.

Where is the best place to host? Is there anywhere where I can simply say "I just link to it, sue the person hosting it" that has reasonably priced hosting with good connectivity?

Should hide links from visitors in countries where the page linked to would be a breach of copyright? Will that give me any legal protection in any countries?

Lots of people seem to have these links without issues on US hosted (and run) sites, so it may not be much of a problem in practice, but I would rather be safe than sorry, and I like to stick to the law.

I do not expect legal opinions and will get appropriate advice if I need it, I just want a list of places to look at.

 

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 5:53 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Even for content, all you have to do is follow the laws of the country the server is physically located in.* If you really want to annoy users, you can use the Google Books model where anything less than [some ridiculously great age] is blocked to users outside the US so they have to go through a proxy to see books published in 1823. (I made up that date, but the cutoff really is far further back than it needs to be.)

Most places instead say something like "This material is public domain in the United States. If you live in a different country, you're responsible for getting your own information about the law that applies to you."

And that's content. For links, you can generally shield yourself with the First Amendment. Which may be an argument for hosting in the US.


* Generally death date of author plus some ever-increasing number of years, 50 or more. In the US, everything from 1922 and earlier is fair game, and there are at least three major exceptions for certain categories of newer material.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 7:39 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Lucy, thanks for replying to two of my threads.

The US is currently seeking the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer who linked to copyright infringing material on sites hosted in the UK, which implies that linking can be a *criminal* offence in the US.

I am doing more research. I have actually found an entire website about the law surrounding linking. Its sad how difficult it is to simply find out what is legal and illegal.

My prime concerns are the US and the EU - they have long copyright terms, so there is a fair amount of material that is legally on line in life + 50 countries that I may get into trouble for linking to.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 10:06 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Its sad how difficult it is to simply find out what is legal and illegal.

At least copyright is federal, so you don't have to look up fifty different statutes, as folks in e-commerce often have to.

The US is currently seeking the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer who linked to copyright infringing material on sites hosted in the UK

Holy ###. Does that mean I gotta purge all references to Project Gutenberg-Canada because it includes books published after 1922? Maybe I better delete the whole chapter about the Book of Wisdom (published 1947/49 under Crown copyright) while I'm at it.

Basically, the US appears to be claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you're subject to US laws.

Well, of course. Everyone knows that the Internet belongs to the United States.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 10:12 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Everyone knows that the Internet belongs to the United States.

Specifically Al Gore, since he invented it. :)

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 10:50 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Richard Dwyer is different from because he went out of his way to provide lots of links to pirated material, and his intent was to help people download pirated video. I am pretty sure what you are doing, and what I plan to, is not criminal.

However, I am still uncertain about what I can, and cannot, do under US law. Not doing anything criminal is good, but not good enough, I want to be 100% legal.

In practical terms, linking to Canadian or Australian sites (Australia has life +50 copyright) never actually seems to have got anyone into trouble.

Book of Wisdom?

@LifeinAsia, the actual claim Al Gore made was that he secured funding for the development of the internet which appears to be true.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 11:38 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Urban legends that precede emoticons need not be refuted with facts. They are like rhetorical questions that don't need to be answered.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 12:13 am on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Book of Wisdom?

Sorry. I guess I need to get out more. Full title, Book of Wisdom for Eskimo. Famous or infamous booklet (the 1947 edition is only 28 pages in each language) that Canada probably wishes would disappear from the face of the earth.

I just had a belated D'oh! moment as I realized that the Feds don't give a squat about O'Dwyer himself. But they care a lot about the big-budget names in the entertainment industry who have got to be the ones raising a stink.

Do your links lead to written texts with various copyright expiration dates, or to movies and recordings produced by corporate entities that are still very much around? Does the name Disney appear anywhere? And how does YouTube get away with it, anyway?

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4329365 posted 1:09 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

The problem I anticipate will be with varying copyright expiry dates on written texts. It is true its something I can probably get away with, but I prefer to set things up so its completely legal.

I know how YouTube gets away with it: its UGC and they take it down when notified.

Some big websites are actually over the top about taking down infringing content. I complained to Yahoo about a copy and paste in Yahoo Answers. They could have just removed the offending answer, or even replaced it with a link. They removed the entire question, which is rather hard on everyone else who participated.

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