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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Dutch court says news-linking OK; DVD ruling imperil

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Wed, 23 Aug 2000 13:51:00 -0400
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Dutch court says news-linking OK; DVD ruling imperils links
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com



    WORLD NEWS - EUROPE: Dutch papers fail in internet copyright case
    Financial Times, Aug 23, 2000, 309 words

    Leading Dutch newspapers yesterday failed to prevent an online
    news service from providing direct links to articles on newspaper
    websites, in a legal ruling that helps define the limits of
    internet copyright.

    PCM, publisher of most of the country's national dailies, had
    sought an injunction against the recently established Kranten.com,
    whose site consists largely of news headlines. Clicking on any of
    these takes an internet user to the full text of the article,
    displayed on the site of the newspaper itself.

    The company said this bypassed the main home page of its titles,
    which were the most lucrative for advertising revenue. A Rotterdam
    court found, however, that PCM could just as easily place
    advertisements next to individual news items, and that external
    links only brought it extra traffic.

    The judgment supports Kranten's contention that the basis of the
    internet relies on hypertext links, where a mouse-click on one
    site can take the user to related information in a domain
    controlled by a third party. PCM had argued that this was
    equivalent to "knocking a hole in a side wall of a cafe" owned by
    someone else, and demanding that those who entered by that route
    "bought a drink from a stall set up outside". This was a reference
    to the advertising that funds the Kranten site - on which space
    has been taken by large Dutch groups including ABN Amro Bank and
    Ohra, the insurer owned by CGNU of the UK.




Only News That's Fit to Link
by Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)

3:00 a.m. Aug. 23, 2000 PDT
WASHINGTON -- Internet journalists, beware: A recent ruling by a
federal judge could imperil your ability to place hyperlinks in some
news articles.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan last week surprised few courtroom
observers when he sided with the motion picture industry and ordered
2600 Magazine to delete a DVD-descrambling program from its website.

But almost nobody expected Kaplan to agree with Hollywood's
request to ban the hacker-zine from even linking to the DeCSS

Kaplan's ruling, legal experts say, appears to be an unprecedented
expansion of traditional copyright law. No longer is it merely illegal
to distribute a potentially infringing computer program -- but now
even linking to someone else's copy could be verboten.

That could create legal problems for reporters and editors at sites
like Wired News, Slashdot, and CNET's news.com, who have included
links to DeCSS in news stories as part of their coverage of the

"I think that Judge Kaplan does not know his head from his ass,"
says Adrian Bacon, owner of Linux News Online. "Outlawing a site
from linking to another site that has DeCSS is just plain wrong."


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