FC: Churches sue critic for linking; EFF Arriba framing brief

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 07:17:43 PST

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    The relevant excerpt from the complaint alleges that Tony Begonja "publishes
    links to the Plaintiffs' registered copyrighted material and non-registered 
    copyrighted material," and also that he is "publishing deceptively named 
    links which misrepresent and cast the target copyrighted material of the 
    Plaintiffs into a false light."
    Background on the right to link freely (or not):
    Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 00:31:08 -0600
    From: "The Rev. Tony Begonja" <tbegonjaat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    Subject: FYI: CJ3 finally actually sued me
    CJ3 finally actually sued me.
    See http://www.ind-movement.org/lawsuit/ for info.
    The EFF helped me get a lawyer.
    [EFF says in its press release below that it is defending the right to link 
    and that the recent Ninth Circuit court decision threatens that right. I 
    respectfully disagree. You can believe strongly in the right to create [a 
    href=""] hyperlinks without applauding Arriba/Ditto.com's custom of 
    displaying remote images from another site via [img src=""] tags. The two 
    concepts are logically distinct. [a href=""] hyperlinking is the backbone 
    of the web; [img src=""] importing and displaying is antisocial. It is 
    possible to limit the latter without affecting the former. I do not claim 
    that all antisocial behaviors of this type should necessarily rise to the 
    level of a copyright infringement, but the Ninth Circuit's reasoning seems 
    reasonably persuasive given current copyright law. Also, there seems to be 
    little reason for Arriba/Ditto.com to import and display the remote image; 
    an [a href=""] hyperlink from the fair-use thumbnail to the original page 
    should suffice. Read the decision at: 
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0055521p.pdf --Declan]
    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release
    For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 27, 2002
    Electronic Frontier Foundation Defends Internet Linking
    Asks Court to Rehear Ditto.com Case
    San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
    today filed a brief on behalf of Ditto.com, urging the U.S.
    Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that
    threatens to make all linking on the World Wide Web a
    copyright infringement.
    In order to hold Ditto.com liable for copyright
    infringement, the Ninth Circuit created a novel legal
    rationale. It found that linking to a website without
    permission infringes the public display rights of the
    website owner.
    "Extending copyright law to all linking on the Web would
    be a nightmare," said EFF Senior Intellectual Policy
    Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "A whole new flurry of lawyer
    letters would chill linking on the Web, striking at the
    heart of free expression on the Internet."
    Ditto.com is a search engine that helps people find publicly
    available image files on the Web. So, for example, by
    entering "sailboat" into the Ditto website, the searcher
    would be shown a selection of images of sailboats from
    around the Web. Ditto both presented the images in reduced
    form, known as thumbnails, and also provided links that
    would allow the searcher to open the full-size image in a
    new web browser window.
    Ditto was sued by Les Kelly, a photographer, after Kelly
    discovered that Ditto had indexed his website and the
    images found there. Ditto.com prevailed before the trial
    court, but suffered a defeat on appeal before the Ninth
    Circuit in San Francisco. Although the Ninth Circuit found
    that Ditto.com's use of thumbnail images was allowed under
    the copyright law doctrine of "fair use," it held Ditto.com
    liable for copyright infringement for opening a new window
    to display the image. This technique is known as "in-line
    linking" or "framing" and is commonly used by numerous other
    Web search engines, including Lycos, Google, and Altavista.
    By concluding that these common linking techniques infringe
    copyright law, the Ninth Circuit has seriously threatened
    linking on the Web.
    EFF filed an amicus brief on Ditto.com's behalf, asking the
    Ninth Circuit to reconsider its decision. The case title is
    Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., No. 00-55521, decided on
    February 6, 2002.
    For documents related to the Ditto.com case:
    For this media release:
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