Re: Links to copyrighted mat

From: Timothy Arnold-Moore <tja[_at_]>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 96 12:16:40 +1000

John Lederer wrote:
[in response to the distinction between copying from somebody's web page and linking to that web page]
> Doesn't the indistinguishability of the one case to the other without
> digging into the technical details of which url points where suggest
> that "copying" is no longer a definitive act for purposes of
> intellectual property?

The issue for the courts is still whether unauthorized copying took place.

While readers of a web document need not concern themselves about whether or not there is a link or a copy, the author of a web document cannot avoid the distinction when creating the document. In practice it is web authors/publishers who have control over what gets copied and they should be the target of breach actions rather than innocent web users who rarely have a way of verifying that the publisher in fact is authorized to publish. They usually are more easily identified and are more likely to have the resources to make infringement actions worthwhile.

> To further cloud the situation, note that my browser automatically
> wrote the document to disk when I looked at it, and moreover, that
> I may have received the document from a cache somewhere en route.

It seems pretty clear to me that these are normally anticipated copies in the course of using the document on the web and putting documents on the web implicitly authorizes the creation of these copies.

If one then copies from the local or remote cache to another file for archiving purposes, there might be a case but browsers cache as a normal function of viewing.

It seems there is some dispute about caching but quite frankly I don't think courts will have much trouble with this issue. Non-derogation from grant springs to mind as a useful concept here (although with no money changing hands it may be less useful in some jurisdictions).

Tim Arnold-Moore, LL.B. (Melb)        | Multimedia Database Systems, RMIT  |
tja[_at_]  B.Sc.(Hons Melb) | 723 Swanston St    -----------------
Tel: +61 3 9282 2487   Fax: ..2490    | Carlton 3053       |  simul iustus         |   et peccator 
Received on Mon Sep 30 1996 - 02:21:17 GMT

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