judge in Madrid has ordered the site DonkeyMania.com to be shut down by Tuesday,
the 5th of August 2003. The site did not contain any downloadable files itself,
only links to peer-to-peer file sharing networks. The links allowed users
to download copyright protected files.
The creators of the
page defended themselves, arguing that they did not distribute audio-visial
works, but simply organized information. It were the users that feed the online
forum with commentaries and links. They further said that they were not
contacted prior to the procedure. Nobody told them that some of the connected
pages or files were illicit. Spanish news source Kriptópolis spoke of an attack
against the freedom of expression in Spain. Javier Maestre, the lawyer for the
defense, said:"...It's the first time in Spain that the closing of a web
page has been ordered based on the links it contains. It's surprising that
they've declared the complete closure of a site for this motive, when the files
and linked pages have not been declared illegal."
August 5, 2003:
Rötzer, Florian, Spanische
Forumswebsite geschlossen, Telepolis:
"Wegen eines Links auf eine Download-Möglichkeit für eine
urheberrechtlich geschützte Datei im Beitrag eines Forumsteilnehmers
ordnete eine spanische Richterin die Schließung von Donkeymania an."
August 2, Un
juez español ordena el primer cierre de un sitio web de P2P, IBLNews:
"Primera página web dedicada al P2P (Peer-to-peer, o intercambio de
archivos) que se cierra en España, consumándose la amenaza de una demanda
colectiva contra miles de usuarios, que pendía desde mediados de julio y
adelantándose al plazo previsto de septiembre."
Spain has a law that regulates the legal responsibilty for hyperlinks: Art.
17 LSSICE (Spain)
2. Kelly v. Arriba Soft: Welcome to the next round!
On February 6, 2002, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that
that unauthorized inline linking to images residing on the copyright owner's
website violates the copright owner's right of public display. The court
rejected defendant's fair use defense: Inline Linking diminishes the
oppurtunities of the copyright owner to sell or licence the images on his own
website. If the court's conclusion would be applied to all hyperlinks, it could
seriously interfere with internet use.
In July 2003, the court found that the district court
should not have reached the issue because neither party moved for summary
judgment as to the full-size images." So the lower court once again has to
take a look at the issue of inline linking.
July 10, 2003: Thumbnail
and framing ruling revised, Out-Law.com:
"A US federal appeals court this week revised an earlier copyright
ruling over a search engine that provided miniature images in search results,
known as thumbnails, and linked to the original image framed within the
search engine's own site."
July 8, 2003: Thumbnails OK, says
"An Internet search engine did not break the law when it collected and
distributed thumbnail images of copyrighted photos, the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled in another case involving the
Internet and copyright law."
July 7, 2003: Olsen, Stefanie, Court
backs thumbnail image linking, CNet:
"Search engines' display of miniature images is fair use
under copyright law, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, but the legality
of presenting full-size renditions of visual works is yet to be determined."
3. Hypertags - A new technology
Hypertags are the new real-world equivalent of hyperlinks.
Electronic tags are used to send links to mobile phones.
The company that invented hpertags (Hypertag
Ltd.) describes them as "a new way of allowing you to access info and
content on your mobile phone directly from objects like Adverts and Signs. It
works by allowing infra-red mobile phones, and PDAs (e.g. Palm Pilots or Pocket
PCs) to interact with a small electronic tag which is attached to the Advert or
Sign. To use the system, you enable the infra-red port on your mobile phone and
point it at the flashing lights. You wait a few seconds, and then a piece of
content will be downloaded to your phone." The new technology had already
been tested successfully at the Tate Modern museum in London and in The
Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
July 10, 2003: Sandhana, Lakshmi, Cell
Phones, Billbords Play Tag, Wired:
"The real-world equivalent of hyperlinks, the small battery-powered
electronic tags use infrared signals to send Web links to mobile phones."
July 10, 2003: Hypertags:
Clicking On The Physical World, Smart Mobs:
"Point and click your mobile phone at a poster in London movie theaters
this July and you'll be able to directly access the movie's Web page. Due to
be launched in 20 cinemas in mid-July, the Hypertag technology will enable
mobile-phone and PDA users one-click access to Web pages by pointing and
clicking at advertising posters."
January 26, 2003: Mobiles
reach out to the web, BBC News:
"A Cambridge-based company has created cheap, smart tags that can beam
website links to mobile phones to give people more information about the
poster, advert or shop the marker is attached to."
April 4, 2003: The
Future in the Palm of your Hand, museumscomputergroup:
"The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and Tate Modern on London's South
Bank, have recently conducted pilot projects looking at the potential of
delivering in-gallery information to visitors using handheld devices."
4. Hyperlinks & Law in China
There is not much information available about how China's
internet law deals with hyperlinks. Computer World Hongkonk reports a case
against ISP Soho: "The Court ducked the issue as to whether hyperlinks may
constitute copyright infringement by simply holding that no law in China
definitively provides that hyperlinks constitute copyright infringement."
Another articles mentiones the case Liu Jinsheng v Sohu Aitexin Infor-Tech
(Beijing) Co Ltd. The defendant was held liable for three hyperlinks to websites,
that contained an anauthorized translation of Don Quixote.
Arbitration and Mediation Center - Administrative Panel Decision, Case No.
Bad Faith Registration, Trademark
According to a ruling of the World
Intellectual Property Organization's Arbitration and Mediation Center, the plan
to provide hyperlinks to commercial websites is an indication of bad faith
registration and use of an as yet passively held domain name that otherwise was
intended for non commercial purposes.
Decision of October 4, 2002 – 6 U 64/02, K&R 2003, 193
Bezeichnung eines Links "Anwalt Suchservice" ist eine rein
beschreibende Angabe einer Dienstleistung und erfüllt daher nicht den
Verletzungstatbestand des § 14 II 2 MarkG.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle
District of Pennsylvania ruled that the maintenance of a website accessible to
forum state residents that included a link for sending e-mail without "something
more" to establish minimum contacts was insufficient under the due process
clause for a court in the forum states to exercise personal jurisdiction over
Instead, we think that the
public website provider can easily spell out explicitly what is forbidden and,
consonantly, that nothing justifies putting users at the mercy of a highly
imprecise, litigation-spawning standard like "reasonable expectations."
If EF wants to ban scrapers, let it say so on the webpage or a link clearly
marked as containing restrictions.
August 4, 1997: Recent Press
Releases issued by Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) about the
availability of the JET Report on the Internet and its up-to-date coverage
including mirror sites and the problems with the hyperlinks