Sunday, February 06, 2011

Homeland Security official thinks linking to copyright infringing sites is grounds for your own site to be shut down

Tech Dirt has a disturbing (or perhaps amusing) story of an interview with a Homeland Security official James Hayes, who somehow thinks it’s illegal to link to a copyright- infringing site.  This is with respect to COICA, but it’s as if Righthaven could now go after anyone who had linked to one of the infringing stories of its 240 or so defendants in three states.

The link (at my risk, I guess) to the story on the “seized Domains” is (website url) here.  

I remember the concerns about linking to “harmful to minors” material back in the days of COPA and even the old 1996 Communications Decency Act (minus Section 230).

Homeland Security is moving to where it deserves to live -- on the grounds of old St. Elizabeth's.  

Also, there’s more talk that people who spend all their time on social networking sites are more alone together than ever. Time for some parties (like last night). 
Update: Dec. 6, 2011

The question of links has come up again with Protect-IP and SOPA (see other postings). Some legal commentators defend embeds on the theory that they are "just links".  Another good question would be whether a link that intentionally skips an introductory ad (by including some javascript code in the link) could be perceived as infringing.  There will be more about these possibilities in later posts.  

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