INLS310: Links to Web site ruled a copyright violation in Britain (fwd)

   Here's an update on the online newspaper case we talked about in class.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 01:07:21 -0800
From: Cyber Rights <cyber-rights@Sunnyside.COM>
To: "Multiple recipients of list cyber-rights@cpsr.org"
Subject: cr> Links to Web site ruled a copyright violation in Britain

Thanks to MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> for this information.  The
London Times of January 21, 1997 reports on the resolution of a
copyright dispute over links on a Web site.  The mechanism by which
the links were declared a copyright violation is interesting.

To recap, a Scottish paper called the Shetland Times put up a Web
site, to which another Web site made links.  The Shetland Times, angry
because users could read the articles without going through their own
home page (where advertisements were displayed) sued for copyright
infringement.  But the court focussed not on the links, but on the
text under the links: they said that putting the headlines of the
Shetland Times on the Web site verbatim was the infringement.

Another odd twist involves the claim that Web pages are cable
programs.  From the Times:
   The pursuers maintained that the headlines made available on their
   website were cable programmes within section 7 of the Copyright Design
   and Patents Act 1988, that the facility made available by them on
   their website was a cable programme service within the meaning of
   section 7 and that the inclusion of those items in that service
   constituted an infringement of section 20 of the Act.
   The principal argument before his Lordship related to the alleged
   infringement under section 20. That turned on the definition of "cable
   programme" in section 7.

   In his Lordship's view the pursuers' contention that the service
   provided by them involved the sending of information was, prima facie,
   well founded.
I wonder whether the Shetland Times can be forced to do bizarre things
to comply with other legal aspects of cable programming!


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