However I think there are other more technical issues that are not based on morality, such as the fact that the destination of a link can change without with the any indication. One minute a link could point to example.com and the next, a copyright infringing video on another video host.
I do realise that in this case there was intent to provide a resource for those looking to illegally watch online content, but that is all it is, a resource.
And the Brit inside me is also getting wound up by the US's involvement in this, the whole extradition thing is completely over the top and as much as I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist exclaiming Hollywoods influence over the government, in this case I think its bang on. I completely agree with the sentiment expressed at the end, that "the US cannot be allowed to be the copyright cops of the world".
You can't really compare a search engine to a site like TV-links. A search engine doesn't discriminate in what content it indexes. If a search engine would only link to copyright-infringing material, then that search engine can expect as much trouble as a site like TV-links.
If a site mainly exists to facilitate copyright infringement, should it get a pass?
If dealing drugs is against the law, what is directing people on the street to drug dealers?
Things like changing link destinations are interesting from a technical point of view, but not all that relevant to this case IMO. If the site was a chatroulette for online links, this might come into play, but for TV links to have a changing link, in all likelihood it meant simply a broken link.
Indeed, most of this boils down to intent. Pointing people on the street to where they can buy drugs or selling them pipes to facilitate drug use, to me, it isn't the same as dealing the drugs yourself. But I can totally see you can find yourself on the wrong side of the law, when you start facilitating illegal activity.
Again, I agree that linking to content should always be possible, but I can understand where the law and entertainment industry is coming from.
> US authorities claimed the 24-year-old's TVShack website hosted links to pirated films and TV programmes.
Regardless of the inherent properties of search engines, they are still linking to that content (or to content that links to the content).
I do understand the point of view of the Law, but I think ultimately it can't and shouldn't be enforced.
That is incorrect.
Tubetrooper certainly discriminates.
Search engines can certainly specialize, like in your (unnecessary) porn site example. But if they specialize in providing links to copyright-infringing material, make profit with advertisements, they can get in just as much trouble.
The OP made the comparison with search engines. How come they can have copyright-infringing links and not get into trouble? It is because they index all information available to them, without discrimination. And then they still have to respond to DMCA claims.
If a search engine specialized in engineering parts, it wouldn't need to host links to copyright-infringing material, so most specialized search engines are a non-issue.
This is both breaking the law and a poor analogy.
The analogy only fails in the sense that in reality the item stolen was digital media (it could be argued that nothing of value is lost) and in the shop scenario, the content is physical media (and therefore value is directly lost). Despite the difference though, thats irrelevant to the action played by TV Shack (and the sign in the analogy).
The analogy's main issue is that it fails to distinguish between theft and copyright infringement which is exactly what the anti-piracy bridge are often accused of doing. Also, a sign is a poor analogy as it is in passive view of the public. A better one (ignoring the theft/infringement issue) would be a guy sitting in a pub who would tell anyone who asked him which stores had no staff in, and that they could take what they wished.
But like I said in my original response, it doesn't matter whether or not it is copyright infringement or theft, as in the analogy we are discussing the actions of TV Shack not the actual hosting of the material.
What I mean is, this isn't a discussion about whether copyright infringement is illegal, but instead whether linking is illegal, and I think the two crimes presented are comparable enough (although definitely not the same), for the difference to be easily overlooked for the sake of getting across a message.
There are plenty of similar crimes: Conspiracy, harboring a known fugitive, material support for terrorism, receiving stolen goods, RICO. These can be misapplied, but the basic principle is reasonable: helping people commit crime can itself be criminal.
I don't think that's the problem here. I think the problem is with an IP system that's built on assumptions 100 years out of date.
If that's literally what the deal says, I contend that is a completely impossible promise to keep.
It would be nice if they had suddenly mellowed and realised that it wasn't the crime of the century, but alas it's not the case.
A week before Gary McKinnon was suddenly found to be non medically fit to be extradited to the US & the announcement that the law was to be reformed several individuals charged with terrorist-related crimes were extradited to the US by the UK. I personally doubt the order of these events was a co-incidence.
IANAL but I don't think this will work as he and/or the UK justice thinks
Not to mention that you're now into "diplomatic incident" terroritory. I doubt the UK will sit by while a (white anglo) UK citizen is duped into going to the US and then imprisoned.
Do you think the UK government would be more likely to let any other ethnic origin UK citizen, be duped, imprisoned and not be bothered?
You can argue whether they did enough to prevent the abuses of British citizens. They were all, eventually, released. But we don't know how hard the Government fought for them.
The UK used to imprison without trial on UK soil some of it's UK citizens for terrorism crimes during it's recent civil war/unrest in Northern Ireland.
If the US were to arrest him on arrival when they have pretty much inferred he has nothing to fear, that would be something else. I would hope regardless of ethnic origin that the UK government would do everything in its power to have the citizen released.
I'm not really clued up on the Northern Ireland conflicts, I do however find the idea of locking people up without trial and keeping them detained for long periods of time, barbaric, regardless of what they are accused of.
Things in Northern Ireland are much calmer now than they were (which is great!). There's still a lot more to do though.
What's interesting is the things that didn't work but only made things worse. Interment without trial, made things worse, sending the army onto the streets made things worse. Car bombs by terrorists, or punishment shootings against 'informers', made things worse. This sort of violence makes things worse.
I'm curious why he has to go to actual America, and not just go to the embassy in London (which is US territory etc)?
It is not.
Unless the answer is "because he shouldn't set a precedent": next time, the US government will still be able to say that all suspects were extradited in this sort of situation. Basically he's just being used to hack a statistic.
Yeahhhhh he's not going to be coming back.
It certainly seems to me as though IP infringement of movies and music has become the most dangerous white collar crime in existence, even ahead of outright fraud and embezzlement in the multi-million or billion dollar range. To me that seems like a miscarriage of justice which could warp our society in negative ways.
Locking arts and entertainment -- culture -- up for life plus 70 years (or 95 years for corporations) ensures it cannot be modified or built upon, as it had been for thousands of years prior to the mid-1970s, until it's completely irrelevant to the generations it's most influential upon.
That's not entirely true. For example, it's easy to draw clear lines of inspiration between past and present movies. The line between homage and plagiarism has always been blurry. Regardless of laws, our culture will always be a "remix" culture, it can't exist any other way. Everything we do is derivative.
But I agree, locking up arts in such a direct way is harmful. It creates unnatural roadblocks, and we'd be better off without them, but let's not get ahead of ourselves and claim that IP laws crush creativity.
These are works that would be patently illegal if the source material were not in the public domain. This isn't just about "remix culture", it's about being able to adapt and interpret what's out there, fully and without restriction. Clearly there is value to allowing such artistic freedom once a work has grown sufficiently old. However, today that age has grown quite impractically long. A movie such as War of the Worlds (a 110+ year old book) can be made without seeking a licensing agreement, but movies such as The Hobbit (a 75 year old book), King Kong (79 years), The Chronicles of Narnia (62 years), Casino Royale (59 years), or The Dark Knight Rises (73 years) still require licensing.
And the sad part is that even in the next 20 years when, say, the Superman IP will be pushing 100 years old and Mickey Mouse even older it seems likely that such things will still require licensing.
The fact that the current IP laws have not utterly destroyed creativity or the productivity of creative industries is not a ringing endorsement. The fact is that they are stifling and they have been responsible for creating an industry which is too heavily controlled by a small group.
I have had a sense that culture is somehow stifled, ever since I was a child. The notion that IP law is doing this makes sense.
Another example would be all of Shakespeare's plays, which predominantly would be considered derivative works of other recently written plays and stories at the time.
One can't help but wonder how many other equally daring ideas for derivative works have been shut down due to the excessive length of IP protection.
"The most typical use of a blue box [the device made and sold by Woz and Jobs] was to place free telephone calls"
When phreaking, you're consuming a scarce resource. Maybe the resource was underutilized, but you can't know that. Either way, you're actively depriving the owner of the resource the usage of it.
Casual phone phreakers weren't a serious problem. Commercial ones were, I'm sure. But then so are commercial pirates.
TBH, I'd have been happier to see the McKinnon extradition go ahead than this one.