Is Linking Illegal?


The NY Times has this Story on the legalities of linking. As more lawyers get invovled, and more people act like idiots, the legalities of linking become more and more complex. Now it seems that it may or may not be illegal to link to illegal material.

“Liability for a person’s linking to alleged wrongful content is really the next big thing” on the cyberlaw horizon, said Mark Sableman, a lawyer in St. Louis who specializes in new media law and who has written scholarly articles on the legal aspects of linking. Puzzles about linking have been raised recently in a few cases in the U.S., including a dispute in California where earlier this month a music Web site sued the recording industry to retain the ability to link to music files even though some of the linked-to sites may contain infringing material. Courts in Japan, Belgium and Sweden have also wrestled with linking cases in the past few months, said Sableman.

In the New York lawsuit, Corley was accused of posting on his Web site the software program DeCSS, which, the movie studios claimed, allows users to bypass the security system of their DVD movie disks, thus opening the door, they say, to unauthorized viewing or piracy.

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