NO Direct Linking to Webcasts. Possible Copyright Infringement

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The following may cause you to snarl, laugh, scream obscenities, hurl inanimate objects, froth at the mouth or simply wonder how clueless Texas judges can be.

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that it is unlawful to provide a hyperlink to a Webcast if the copyright owner objects to it. Yes. Unlawful, as in illegal. Pay the fine and move along.

The implications of this are frightening. The defendant in the case didn’t hire an attorney, but chose instead to represent himself. Hopefully, some smart attorney will take this case pro bono and apppeal the ruling.

The audio Webcasts are copyrighted by SFX Motor Sports, a Texas company that is one of the largest producers of “Supercross” motorcycle racing events. SFX sued Davis in February, noting that fans who go to its own Web site will see the names and logos of sponsors including wireless company Amp’d Mobile. (Anyone who clicked on the link from Davis’ site, however, would not see the logos of companies that paid to be sponsors.)

This is a case of people not understanding the web, or technology.

The court agrees that if Davis is not enjoined from providing unauthorized Webcast links on his Web site, SFX will lose its ability to sell sponsorships or advertisement on the basis that it is the exclusive source of the Webcasts, and such loss will cause irreparable harm.”

Embed anyone? Redirect anyone? Hello? Hello? What about search engines that provide a direct link to videos? At least he didn’t cache the video and brand it with his own logo eh? Full Story at CNet




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