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Old 07-12-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
peaceandlove
Avalon Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Turtle Island
Posts: 2,776
Question Should Linking Be Illegal?

Should Linking Be Illegal?

In a misguided attempt to aid newspapers, one of America's most influential judges is suggesting a new copyright law

Dan Kennedy
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 1 July 2009 14.00 BST

Those who wish to keep the internet free and open had best dust off their legal arguments. One of America's most influential conservative judges, Richard Posner, has proposed a ban on linking to online content without permission. The idea, he said in a blog post last week, is to prevent aggregators and bloggers from linking to newspaper websites without paying:

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder's consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder's consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental sources of news and opinion.

Posner's notion set off an eruption from the likes of Jeff Jarvis, Matt Welch and Erick Schonfeld, among others. And they are right to be furious. Not only would Posner stop online media dead in their tracks, but he would also overturn long-established rules of fair use, which, among others things, allow for the reproduction of short excerpts of copyrighted material for the purposes of commentary, parody and the like – precisely what bloggers and aggregators do all the time.

And Posner, who sits on the seventh circuit court of appeals in Chicago, has a way of getting his way. A brilliant, provocative thinker and a frighteningly prolific writer, he was described in a 2001 New Yorker profile as "the most mercilessly seditious legal theorist of his generation". And if, at 70, Posner and his generation are not quite so influential as they once were, he is still a formidable presence on the legal scene.

Continues: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ing-newspapers

SOURCE: http://www.gcnlive.com/
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