Sunday, September 11, 2016

EU goes to war against HYPERLINKS

The EU's top court has come under fire after backing Playboy's fight to stop a website posting links to images published without permission.

Playboy's Dutch publisher, Sanoma, had sought to force website GeenStijl to remove a hyperlink to photos of television celebrity, Britt Dekker, which were posted illegally.

In a decision which could have far wider consequences across the internet, the European Court of Justice decided that posting such links infringes copyright - when the website doing it is seeking to profit from pictures published without permission.

GS Media, the company that owns GeenStijl, described the decision as a blow to press freedom.

'It is undisputed that GS Media provided the hyperlinks to the files containing the photos for profit and that Sanoma had not authorised the publication of those photos on the internet,' the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in a statement.

'When hyperlinks are posted for profit, it may be expected that the person who posted such a link should carry out the checks necessary to ensure that the work concerned is not illegally published.'

GS Media said after the ruling: 'If commercial media companies - such as GeenStijl - can no longer freely and fearlessly hyperlink it will be difficult to report on newsworthy new questions, leaked information and internal struggles and unsecure networks in large companies.'

The issue of hyperlinking to photos and articles has become a divisive issue with the spread of the internet.

Content owners argue that the ease with which people can post links to copyrighted material on the internet infringes their rights while internet users say restricting people's ability to post links goes against the principle of freedom of information.

The ECJ recognised that the internet 'is of particular importance to freedom of expression and of information and that hyperlinks contribute to its sound operation and to the exchange of opinions and information as well.'

Therefore it could be difficult for individuals posting such links to know if they are doing it legally, the court said.

However, if a person should have been aware because the owner informed him or he is doing it for profit, then the posting of a link infringes copyright law, the court said.



Bird of Paradise said...

The Euroweenie Union as liberal as they can be and Obama and the sinister CFR want america to merge with Mexico and Canada and create the North American(Soviet)Union

Anonymous said...

What am I missing? How is referring to something a copyright infringement?

Anonymous said...

In order for something to breach copyright it must infringe on one of the exclusive rights.
A link is not a copy nor probably a publication - but it might be a 'communication'?