Is It Now Illegal To Link To Other Websites?
Is It Now Illegal To Link
To Other Websites?
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.
Following our report last month that an RIAA legal argument would, if the case was eventually won, criminalize simply making files available on the Internet, many readers scoffed at the serious implications of the case. Such a precedent would change the entire face of the Internet because “making files available” is so loosely defined it could criminalize simply placing links on ones website or blog to other websites.
Some accused us of yellow journalism and scaremongering yet the warning that the Elektra vs. Barker case could criminalize the very mechanism that characterizes the Internet was not concocted by Alex Jones or Paul Joseph Watson, it was a statement made by the very lawyer fighting the case, Ray Beckerman.
And that’s exactly what has now happened in Sydney, where an Australian federal court has opened the door for simply linking to other websites to be classified as piracy.
A landmark ruling was upheld against Stephen Cooper, who ran a website which acted as search engine for locating and downloading MP3’s not from his own website but from other MP3 download websites. Cooper was charged with piracy and his ISP is also being targeted for not shutting down his website quickly enough.
“Sabiene Heindl, general manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) said the decision meant that anyone who stuck a link on MySpace or on their bogs could now expect a knock on the door from its briefs,” reports the UK Inquirer.
And for those who dismiss the precedent as only applying to those who link to copyrighted MP3 files, consider this – Cooper was only doing the same thing as Google in providing a means of finding files on other website. The MIPI is also preparing to take action against Google in “other jurisdictions,” meaning it is building a case to sue Google for linking to all manner of different files from its search engine hub.
If such a precedent becomes accepted, it would be the death knell for alternative websites like the one you’re reading now and others, who primarily rely on linking to other sources in order to collate important news and information. It would also put an end to some of the biggest websites on the Internet such as Fark.com and the Drudge Report, which are both almost exclusively devoted to collecting the world’s most interesting news and offering it to readers in one place, by linking to scores of different websites.
Under these terms only internal linking would be permitted, which would not significantly impact commercial powerhouses like Amazon.com but would effectively put an end to all blogs.
The skids are clearly being greased for the mandated introduction of Internet 2, a tightly controlled, surveilled and regulated cyberspace police state run solely by telecommunications giants in consort with the U.S. government and the United Nations. Net Neutrality campaigners are desperately trying to raise awareness to the dangers of this as legislation that will kill the Internet as we know it is on the brink of debate and passage in the first session of Congress early next year.
Earlier this year under the headline, The End of the Internet?, The Nation magazine reported,
“The nation’s largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.”
“Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets–corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers–would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.”
Internet 2 is being billed as the next generation of the world wide web and it has already set global speed records in terms of data transfer, far outstripping the old Internet.
One of the fathers of the Internet, David Clark, who served as chief protocol architect for the government’s internet development initiative in the 1980s, has been given $200,000 by the National Science Foundation to covertly work on a “whole new infrastructure to replace today’s global network,” according to Wired Magazine.
Clark has vowed to create a “brave new world” in designing the new Internet, characterizing what he wanted for the new network to be “a coherent security architecture.”
Dovetailing the onset of Internet 2 are government propaganda campaigns to demonize the existing Internet as a wild backwater for hate crime, child pornography and a terrorist recruiting ground. We have detailed these moves at length in previous articles.
The last outpost of freedom of speech, the world wide web, is in the crosshairs of corporate lobbyists and big government control freaks, who are putting the finishing touches on the pincer attack plan that will put paid to the greatest technological revolution of the latter 20th century.