[Foundation-l] Copyright issue with external links

John Barberio barberio at lineone.net
Fri Jan 12 17:23:20 UTC 2007


Over on Wikipedia, there's a significant group of editors who've decided 
that current copyright policy doesn't go far enought, and are rewriting 
the external linking guidelines to require 'copyright verification' and 
'due care to verify copyright' on external links. This is because they 
feel we are risking threat of suit due to linking to the likes of YouTube.

No, I'm not suggesting we should allow links to copyvio, it's clear that 
we shouldn't. But it's my understanding that the proposed changes would 
be poor ones to make for various reasons.

Primarily because we don't have the resources to take 'due care' and 
'verify copyright'. True copyright verification needing lawyers time and 
money, it's not something that's in our grasp at all.

At the moment, copyright policy says not to 'knowingly and 
intentionally' link to violations of copyright. And I believe this is 
pretty much the best standard we can claim without introducing 
unattainable burdens.

Additionally, my lay understanding of the legal implications is that 
claiming we can and do verify copyright status of external links may 
well open us up to liability rather than reduce it.

I've tried to explain this in discussion, but the discussion has gotten 
a bit overheated. It appears no one is going to calm down over this 
until there's a clarification of copyright policy by the foundation.

I hope this can be clarified by the foundation.

   - John

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