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Man Arrested For Linking To Online Videos

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-they-were-rickrolls-i-can-understand dept.

Government 308

SonicSpike writes "In a case against a New York website owner, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime. DHS, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seized Brian McCarthy's domain, channelsurfing.net, in late January. The site has now been replaced with a government warning: 'This domain has been seized by ICE — Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent in Charge, New York Office.' The advocacy group Demand Progress has claimed that McCarthy never reproduced copyrighted material, and that his website simply linked to other sites. A criminal complaint obtained by the group seems to acknowledge that agents knew that McCarthy was running a 'linking website.' While the criminal complaint alleges that McCarthy did engage in the 'reproduction and distribution' of copyrighted material, it is never clear that he actually reproduced any of the specified broadcasts." McCarthy was arrested last week. Relatedly, TorrentFreak has posted a list of reasons why these domain name seizures are unconstitutional.

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unplusgood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470324)

Do not follow that TorrentFreak link. Big Brother is watching.

Re:unplusgood (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470430)

Let him. And let's see Uncle Sam exercise some of that (rather unconstitutional) muscle in Hungary, about half a globe away from his borders.

Re:unplusgood (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470636)

They know you read this article, so its too late anyway. And remember, just having knowledge is now considered intent.

*claps* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470338)

Great use of federal resources

DHS (5, Insightful)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470352)

Why is copyright infringement an issue of homeland security?

Re:DHS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470362)

Why is copyright infringement an issue of homeland security?

Because posting a link is terorism!

Re:DHS (4, Insightful)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470364)

When all you have is a hammer...

Re:DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470732)

... buy a sledge..

Re:DHS (1)

Danieljury3 (1809634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470750)

Is it a Golden hammer? [xkcd.com]

Re:DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470376)

It's not. Talk about an area for cost savings when looking at the budget.

Re:DHS (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470402)

If the copyright lobby (I'll rather generously use the term "lobby", rather than "fascists") wants a government agency or a copyright police, I'm surprised they haven't established an industry taskforce with the powers they need. Their own three letter organisation, with the power to spy on, and arrest, regular citizens; sanctioned by the government. I could understand if the FBI were investigating copyright (though I'd consider it a grievous misuse of resources). I could understand if the ATF suddenly became ATFIP (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Intellectual Property), since they deal in enforcement of licensing already. But what on earth does copying that floppy have to do with homeland security?

Re:DHS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470482)

They just want to outsource the work onto the tax payer's wallet. So we effectively are arresting ourselves.

Re:DHS (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470610)

They just want to outsource the work onto the tax payer's wallet. So we effectively are arresting ourselves.

ICE/DHS: Stop arresting yourself. Stop arresting yourself.
Citizen: Mooooom! Make him stop!
ICE/DHS: Stop arresting yourself.
Citizen: Mooooom!
SCOTUS: Will you two just get along already? Don't make me come back there!
[ICE/DHS winks at SCOTUS; SCOTUS winks back.]

Re:DHS (1)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470518)

- it's there
- it has power
- all the tools .. and it's under the control of the government

(same reason applies to why Gadafi uses lybias military for internal slaughter rather than external protection)

Re:DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470760)

Wow, you really make yourself look smart, you misspell the despot AND the country he's been ruling over for almost a half-century?

Re:DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35471006)

That's spelt labias , you clod!

Re:DHS (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470644)

DHS is involved in EVERYTHING.

I'm not exaggerating. Name something and DHS has or can assert authority over it.

Re:DHS (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470686)

Because sharing stuff for free means that everyone can get access to it.

And that's COMMUNISM!

Re:DHS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470748)

Because corruption happened.

Re:DHS (4, Interesting)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470758)

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) which is part of DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is charged with intercepting counterfeiti products and protecting intellectual property rights . I think they have gone well beyond any reasonable charter since the "infringed" IP is not being imported. Treasury (Secret Service) is supposed to be in charge of computer related issues so DHS really doesn't belong in this.

Re:DHS (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470814)

Not even remotely true about the SS being in charge of computer related issues. The SS has a pretty narrow charter. And most LEAs have computer crime divisions.

Re:DHS (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470768)

Because Janet Napolitano has little interest in terrorism. She has been bought and paid for by Corporate America, to keep the sheeples in line with their vision of the future. Napolitano has prostituted herself and her agency to Big Business. She, and Big Business got around the constitution by claiming that pirated music and software are "counterfeit" music and software. Somehow, in their perversion of the concept of justice, the counterfeiting of music is on a par with counterfeiting United States currency.

I once thought that all this nonsense was the brainchild of the neoconservatives - but today's "liberal" party keeps right on with the rape of the United States constitution. Wait til the final version of ACTA comes out. It will most likely give ICE the authority to exterminate entire family trees based on a suspicion that members of the family have counterfeited a music track.

Re:DHS (3, Informative)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470808)

ICE is Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The customs enforcement part of that mission is a lot of finding cargo containers full of pirated DVDs. Content pirating on the web falls into that. (Note: it is a federal/customs issue because copyright involves treaties with other nations.)

Re:DHS (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470834)

Why is copyright infringement an issue of homeland security?

Man: Perhaps Mr. Reed will tell us what this war is all about?
John Reed: (Rises.) Profits. (Sits down.)

Re:DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470926)

If you were a pointless government agency desperately searching for purpose and meaning to justify your existence so you could continue wasting billions of taxpayer dollars you too would be persecuting people for things that aren't really crimes. I just want to know why the Drudge Report hasn't been seized.

I didn't know that (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470368)

The DHS has a mission, to protect the riches of corporations.

Re:I didn't know that (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470436)

Is this the same mission that includes "touching the private parts of every human being?"

Re:I didn't know that (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470538)

Surely you didn't think you owned your private parts, did you?! Those are the property of the telephone company! Any unauthorized tampering or manipulation carries a hefty penalty.

Re:I didn't know that (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470618)

Surely you didn't think you owned your private parts, did you?! Those are the property of the telephone company! Any unauthorized tampering or manipulation carries a hefty penalty.

If that's the case then I'm pretty sure many of us owe the telephone company a lot of money.

Google should move fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470396)

Google should move fast to an other country fast, since all the links to copyright they show in search result...

I hate when MPAA / RIAA and now DHS (!?) target only, single person when big companies does the same thing

Re:Google should move fast (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470722)

Google's going to be fine for the same reason that Bittorrent and its variants were fine even after Grokster peer-to-peer system lost its case. Grokster lost (even though they didn't distribute any files directly) because they promoted and advertised the illegal uses of their system. Bittorrent (and Google) have never promoted the illegal uses of their systems.

Guess what I suspect the problem with this guy's site was? (And why I suspect he'll lose if it goes to trial, and why I don't believe there are any constitutional issues involved?)

Re:Google should move fast (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470766)

*Sigh*. This old thing again.

Google will take down links if the content infringes copyright. There's no intent there.

Whether there was intent here I have no idea. Nor do I know if merely linking to infringing websites is a criminal offence, but the mere fact that Google does something similar does not mean Google is doing exactly the same thing. Intent matters.

Re:Google should move fast (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35471002)

Exactly. It is about intent. Google intends to be an index of the web. These websites intend to link to copyrighted materials. And more importantly (I am presuming) to make money off of doing that via ads on the link-farm website. That's usually what really pisses off content creators: when they bust their ass to create something, and then some asshole co-opts their work AND makes money off of it.

Not all crimes are simply "if we can prove you did it, you are guilty". (That is called strict liability.) Many, many crimes have various components to them. The laws very often look something like this:

Anyone who shall be shown in a court of law to have,
-does this thing, AND
-while near this sort of place, AND
-while having this special responsibility, AND
-with some kind of particular intent,
beyond a reasonable doubt, shall be guilty of this crime. Except:
-where doing this thing was done to prevent this other thing, OR
-the thing was done by a bona-fide law enforcement agent while on duty, OR
-by a private citizen acting in a common-law law enforcement capacity, OR
-the accused immediately un-does what he did and informs a bona-fide law enforcement agency about it.

These are called elements of a crime. I don't know the particular law they are talking about here, but when Google and the others link to copyrighted material, they either haven't met all the elements of the crime, or they fall under one of the exceptions. The exceptions are what is called an affirmative defense. Some crimes have them, some don't. An affirmative defense means you say to the court "yes, I did do that thing, but I did it for this particular reason which makes it not a crime any longer." Like claiming self defense when charged with murder. "Yeah, I shot the guy, but he was coming at me with a knife." An affirmative defense also changes the burden of proof: the prosecution doesn't have to prove you did anything, because you admit to doing it. The defense now has to prove that they did it for that particular reason. Sometimes the law changes the burden of proof for affirmative defenses: where the prosecution might need to proove something beyond a reasonable doubt, an affirmative defense might only require a preponderance of evidence.

Making the Same Bad Assumptions, Over and Over (5, Insightful)

Unka Willbur (1771596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470420)

Looks like TorrentFreak is making the same bad assumption that most US citizens continue to make. That is, assuming that "constitutional" matters one whit anymore to the US government or the people who run it.

Re:Making the Same Bad Assumptions, Over and Over (2)

frisket (149522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470568)

In your hands.

If you persist in electing assholes (or failing to campaign against them hard enough), you'll get this kind of activity going unchallenged.

Ireland had the same class of problem wrt their financial woes: electing assholes (or failing to campaign against them hard enough).

The solution is to stop electing assholes.

Re:Making the Same Bad Assumptions, Over and Over (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470634)

You can't knock out any one party - it's that bit where if you split the voter bloc of one, the other wins First Past Post.

It is actually possible to knock out both, but we need a national level Social Network Vote Coordination Site to do it. If we can protect it from major sources of inaccuracy, we could do it by the 2016 election to have the Internet Candidate win by write-in. To repeat, if we had a properly secured social site where the entire country announces their intended votes, changing now and then as info surfaces, the big DC politics engine would crumble if they didn't resort to dirty tricks. The results would be: "Republicans, 22% - Democrats 22% - Internet Party 56% FTW and the Lulz".

But it's a big if, because the two big parties have Distraction Odds - they win if we remain too confused to organize it.

Re:Making the Same Bad Assumptions, Over and Over (2)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470788)

You seem to have forgotten to take into account things like the 4chan vote, because of them it would be more like: Republicans - 22%, Democrates 24%, Internet Party - 104%. Then accusations of fraud and the collapse of a workable system. Honestly even if the armpit of the internet SOMEHOW decided to behave I wouldn't put it past one party or the other to cast fake votes to discredit the system.

The problem with representative democracy (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470646)

If you persist in electing assholes (or failing to campaign against them hard enough), you'll get this kind of activity going unchallenged.

The problem is that you elect *ONE* person to represent you.

Don't want to elect a religious nut? Then you are automatically voting for government controlled health care, no matter what's your opinion on that.

And no matter how you feel about "intellectual property" you are sure to vote for someone who has funding from the big media corporations, unless you vote for some fringe candidate who will have some weird ideas of his own.

A Congress that decides everything made sense in an age when a letter took weeks to get from a village to the capital, but those times are long past. We have no more need of someone to "represent" us in drafting legislation.

Re:The problem with representative democracy (0)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470918)

The problem is that you elect *ONE* person to represent you.

Don't want to elect a religious nut? Then you are automatically voting for government controlled health care, no matter what's your opinion on that.

Yeah, that's horrible, alright, because everybody knows that corporate controlled health care is so much better.

Re:Making the Same Bad Assumptions, Over and Over (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470804)

Collectively, we are in love with assholes. That murderer, Ted Kennedy, died in office. As sick a pig as he was, he couldn't be run out of office. Time and time again, the people of MessyTwoShits re-elected him as their representative. Go figure.

Re:Making the Same Bad Assumptions, Over and Over (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35471020)

Are you saying that the link-farms are protected by the constitution? Or agreeing that they are illegal, but that the LEAs are acting unconstitutionally when they try to enforce the law?

The taxpayers can afford this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470426)

The annual deficit is $1,400,000,000,000. and they are wasting money on crap like this?

Time to replace hierarchical DNS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470428)

Domain name seizures cause damage. We should be able to route around it. Frankly, I don't want to care whether it's unconstitutional or not, I want it to be technically infeasible.

See the forest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470454)

Back up 2 steps and look again: who links the most?

Who they're really after? Who is pulling the strings? Call me paranoid, I don't care, but maybe we should look behind the curtains...

That said, the Police is so stupid at times. Back in 60s-70s, when the authoritarian climate peaked, they were ordered to persecute communist people, so they used to invade universities to check whether students had "subversive" material.

One unfortunate dude was then arrested for having books about Cuba -- these were titled "Cubism". 8-\

Re:See the forest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470684)

That said, the Police is so stupid at times.

Oh, the irony...

DHS? (2)

lahvak (69490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470456)

Wow, I feel so much more secure now that they have stopped this dangerous terrorist from endangering my country!

Re:DHS? In UK you can be a terrorist for heckling (2)

dmcq (809030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470500)

They use anti-terrorism for all sorts of things in the UK like throwing a party member out of a political meeting because they heckle.

But then you get laughed at and lose next election (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470542)

But it was pulling stunts like this that got the Labour party voted out at the next election. People realised they'd lost touch with reality. Not saying the current lot are any better, in fact they might be worse (hey, politicians, eh?) but at least we had the option to vote out the last lot when they got too crazy.

One of the big steps in the progression (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470458)

This is it folks.

Notice that the summary talks about "linking to videos". However, as we now know, both words and pics of any kind are copyrighted from the moment someone creates them. Reply with Quote? Look! It's a copy! Hotlinking pics? Linking!

For the third time I'll float my "subset" theory. They started small with "SomeGuy" (subset of everyone) and "SomeCategory" (videos, subset of all copyrighted items). This has the effect of keeping people looking at trees and not forests, and posts which deal with the grand plan get downmodded.

Linking to copyrighted works? If they can convince the Supreme Court to let this stick, there's the Ice Cannon they want to use againt the entire web. We're beyond copies now. If you can't link to anyone at all, ever, (because it's not you, and all items are copyrighted instantly), then forget Net Neutrality, that is the end of the net.

Re:One of the big steps in the progression (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470472)

End of the net... in the United States.

Re:US (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470560)

Well, even classical music takes seven chords to wind down.

If the entire US went black instantly, the we'd take the rest of the web with us because no one else is yet ready to be the new hub of the web to entirely replace 15 years of US Web legacy overnight. It would be funny, really - instant national solidarity "to obey the law". Asia, then Europe is ahead of USA on the time zones - if we did a total blackout at about 9PM on a Sunday, the freakout would be felt around the world.

Bonus to someone's question: Bureau of WTF: Web, Trademarks and FUD.

Re:US (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470964)

totally incorrect. In fact without the massive amounts of spam generated by the US the net would be better off.

Go dark, we'll be fine.

(speaking as someone who works for a backbone provider...)

Re:One of the big steps in the progression (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470530)

Sooo ... by this argument, anyone linking or embedding youtube videos they did not produce is committing copyright infringement? Better go after ~80%+ of the net then, DHS! Maybe Youtube too, for aiding infringement by providing the means to embed videos not of your own upload.

Or has there been a precedent that uploading a video to Youtube is 'publishing', therefore exempt from copyright?

Re:One of the big steps in the progression (1)

Seus (2005948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470556)

I think that it may be time to start our own protests in this country...these power hungry egotistical b-tards have really gone too far. From every agency to completely control our lives, we lost our "land of the free" a long long time ago.

Re:One of the big steps in the progression (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470742)

It was time for the people to rise up in the US thirty years ago. After all that time the only significant popular movement to arise is a bunch of idiots trying to give more power to the elites. There is no hope for America.

Google is next. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470648)

Seems Google has one or two gazillion links to all kinds of stuff.
Finally Eric Schmidt in jail, it's almost worth it. hehe

Re:One of the big steps in the progression (1)

Thad Zurich (1376269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470720)

Until content owners figure out that nobody will link to their content, thus their content will never be viewed. That will considerably devalue the content, which should not be what they want. They just want to make sure they get paid, and that requires maximizing exposure.

Re:One of the big steps in the progression (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470886)

I don't think it's that simple. The article says channelsurfing.net was linking to copyright infringing websites. So if I link to this Lady Gaga video [youtube.com] , that's OK because it was uploaded by the copyright holder. But if I link to this version of the same song [youtube.com] then apparently I'm breaking the law because it wasn't uploaded by the copyright holder.

look, it's easy: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470462)

by making everything illegal, they don't need to have a real reason to search or block something.

he was linking to torrent material, but all internet pages are copyrighted...

"Pssst, buddy, over here..." (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470464)

Copyright linker: "Looking to find a lot of copyrighted material for free? Walk down this street, turn right, then left, and it's right there. In the building marked "library"".

Undercover Police officer: "You're busted."

Copyright linker: "Whaaaat?"

Undercover Police officer: "For aiding and abetting copyright infringers."

remember when sidewalk got owned by ticketmaster (1)

pretzel_logic (576231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470484)

quote "By contrast, Ticketmaster's suit challenges the backbone of the Internet, namely the ability of one Internet user to simply link his or her page to other pages, without changing the linked pages in any way." http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/linking/linking/link3.html [harvard.edu]

Re:remember when sidewalk got owned by ticketmaste (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470716)

Microsoft's Link to Ticketmaster Site Spurs Trademark Lawsuit
Computer & Online Industry Litigation Reporter, May 6, 1997, Pg. 24087

A suit from 1997? I have to guess that Ticketmaster didn't win or we all would have heard about it by now.

Re:remember when sidewalk got owned by ticketmaste (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35471008)

From the Chilling Effect FAQ [chillingeffects.org] . "So far, courts have found that deep links to web pages were neither a copyright infringement nor a trespass. "

Chilling Effects is a creation of various legal organisations and the explicitly cite this complaint so I think we can trust their legal opinion.

So if I link a music video from youtube to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470506)

facebook for example, and the song isn't one of the "official" upload form a record label, I'm liable?

Makes me glad I don't live in the US.

Re:So if I link a music video from youtube to... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470612)

I'm not even sure you're not liable if it's an official upload.

And even if you're not liable, often the lawyers and don't know yet (or don't care - they may not be paid to care about such details), so you'd still have problems first.

Linking is a crime? FU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470508)

Unless they can prove he produced those videos and linked to them, I'd say this case has no chance to win and will be end up as one of those "so this is where tax money is being wasted..."

this is why i never buy movies or music (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470524)

the entire entertainment industry thinks everyone has an obligation to buy their dreck. fuck em i hope the entire movie & music industry dies...

Re:this is why i never buy movies or music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470548)

Such filthy gutter language! You should be ashamed of yourself.

Re:this is why i never buy movies or music (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470632)

Better stop watching sporting events on TV because that's what channelsurfing.net was really used for finding.

ICE is corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470532)

I have a friend that was also arrested by ICE in a case of double jeopardy. We're still fighting for him. ICE needs some sort of accountability.

Re:ICE is corrupt (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470724)

I have a friend that was also arrested by ICE in a case of double jeopardy. We're still fighting for him. ICE needs some sort of accountability.

Hmm, what works against ICE ... the only thing I can think of is FIRE (Fucking Idiots Ruin Everything!)

So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470536)

All the illegal immigrants in the country that they say they have no budget to do anything about and the ICE who is supposed to be dealing with it has resources for this, which has no bearing on immigration or customs? Makes me proud to be an American :(

linking to copyrighted material? (3, Insightful)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470552)

Thats a fairly broad stick. Everyone links to copyrighted materials everyday.

By the looks of Slashdot's (c) blurb i could be linking to materials owned by a dozen people by posting a single link. I link to a few stories throughout the day. Looks like i better stop before I see an ICE badge. "All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by Poster. The rest © 1997–2011 "

btw....i might be taking this way off topic, but itsnt it bad form for ICE to use an image of their shield? I think it might have been a slashdot story, but i vaguely remember an article talking about how horribly illegal it was for someone to reproduce the FBI shield and, in fact, the FBI doesnt do it or allow it.

Re:linking to copyrighted material? (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470596)

Thats a fairly broad stick. Everyone links to copyrighted materials everyday.

By the looks of Slashdot's (c) blurb i could be linking to materials owned by a dozen people by posting a single link. I link to a few stories throughout the day. Looks like i better stop before I see an ICE badge. "All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by Poster. The rest © 1997–2011 "

btw....i might be taking this way off topic, but itsnt it bad form for ICE to use an image of their shield? I think it might have been a slashdot story, but i vaguely remember an article talking about how horribly illegal it was for someone to reproduce the FBI shield and, in fact, the FBI doesnt do it or allow it.

I just infringed your ass off, or something... :P

as for TFA. I have no words to express what I feel about it. Two letters might be descriptive enough, though: BS.

Re:linking to copyrighted material? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470600)

Robert Van Winkle, we need your permission to link to your Ice Ice Baby video!

New twist - what if we all put CC licenses on our stuff? Setting aside the moderate complexities of them, then linking wouldn't be illegal would it?

Bonus: what about Pointilism Linking?
Officer: "You linked to the copyrighted article."
Webmaster: "No, that first link goes to a webpage containing a public domain copy of the letter F. The next link goes to a public domain copy of the letter U."

Then webpages would consist of scripts that are also released to the public, which assemble documents letter by letter.

No dice. (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470620)

The letters might be free, but the pattern you posted is copyrighted.

Officer: You sir, need to come with us.

Re:No dice. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470652)

Yes of course, how silly of me to think I could innovate around corruption.

Re:linking to copyrighted material? (5, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470782)

Google links to copyrighted material. The Pirate Bay links to copyrighted material. That didn't stop Swedish courts from ruling against Pirate Bay, and still Google operates.

I mean, you're right and all, but don't expect that to provide any protection for this guy. We are well past the stage where the rule of law means anything in the US. There are different standards for the powerful, and for those who would challenge the powerful.

Almost all websites are copyrighted, aren't they? (4, Insightful)

Cockatrice_hunter (1777856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470580)

Doesn't this make linking to practically any website in the world illegal? If you look at the bottom of most web pages you see the copyright sign. If linking to copyrighted material constitutes infringement does this mean the end of hyperlinking for the internet?

Re:Almost all websites are copyrighted, aren't the (1)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470640)

You could correctly argue that way. In fact Google News (and /. for that matter) not only link to copyrighted material. They even copy part of the copyrighted material directly. I guess search engines could be excused, because robots.txt could forbid it.
Luckily there is no strong WSOAA (Web Site Operators Association of America) to lobby the government for ignore common sense AND law.
Of course some French newspaper sued google for copyright infringement once (links to news stories), so it goes to show stupidity (or greed) thrives everywhere.

Re:Almost all websites are copyrighted, aren't the (4, Interesting)

Archtech (159117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470662)

This is another instalment of the long-awaited crunch as the Web's refreshing informality and common sense collides with the institutionalized imbecility of the law. Tim Berners-Lee made his views unmistakably clear nearly 20 years ago: see http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkMyths.html [w3.org] . The basic principle is that, if you don't like the way the Web works, you should just ignore it. No one forces anyone to publish a Web site; but, if they do, it is an implicit invitation to anyone else anywhere to read it - and link to it.

However, it was only a few years later (probably about 1998) that the vast mass of money-grubbing freeloaders (sorry, the "business community") discovered the huge untapped mother-lode represented by the Web. "Hey!" they cried jubilantly, "Just look at this immense opportunity to make stacks of money that some stupid sucker has just given us - completely free of charge, too". Those were the same guys who soon began complaining that the Web's design was not optimized to help them make as much money as possible with no effort.

It was around 1998, too, that I stumbled across a law company's Web site somewhere in the USA that laid down strict legal principles for creating Web sites. One of these rules was that every single hyperlink required a separate legal agreement - negotiated by a reputable law firm, naturally.

The worst of the matter is that the reptiles (sorry, lawyers and politicians) can always change the law in any way they like. It's their game and their ball, and they are apparently absolutely unaccountable to anyone sane or educated.

For myself (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470602)

I am glad that the Department of Homeland Security has arrested this terrorist. I feel much safer now when I travel because I know that my vehicle will not be subjected to unauthorized and possibly copyright infringing links. I am glad that my tax dollars have been used to eradicate this type of horrible crime, and that further funds will be spent both to destroy quality of life of this dangerous criminal, yet keep him alive, housed and fed for many years to come. And if you can't detect the sarcasm in this post, you really should not be on the internet...

question (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470604)

What percentage of videos linked from McCarthy's site infringed copyright?

A single act of linking to copyrighted material is not criminal, but if you systematically do it, aren't you "inducing infringement?" That's copyright infringement under current law.

Now, I don't believe that this should be criminal, but it's hard for me to believe that encouraging and aiding infringement should be perfectly legal. I just believe that McCarthy should be facing a civil suit rather than a criminal one.

On a side note, I love how the linked article blames this on "conservatives." What does the Obama DHS have to do with conservatives? It's like he believes Bush is still President or something. Actually, we should start that as a conspiracy theory.

Obama is just a puppet!!! Bush is still President!!!! (Hey, people believe in 9/11 "truth" and Obama's "Kenyan birth," right? This isn't that much more unbelievable.)

Re:question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470734)

Good point. So far, everyone picks up the "linking to copyrighted stuf = criminal" quote, which is most likely just a really bad formulation. The charge against and the attractiveness of the site seems to stem from linking to stuff that infringes copyright, like pay-per-view sporting events being shown on the net for free by third parties. (Where they come from? Dunno, but I guess it isn't that hard to transcode TV live or almost live to appropriate video hosting sites.)

From the article:
> "I know that Channelsurfing.net was a 'linking' website," special agent Daniel Brazier wrote in the complaint.
> "Based on my training and experience, I know that 'linking' websites generally collect and catalog links to
> files on third party websites that contain illegal copies of copyrighted content, including sporting events
> and Pay-Per-View events," he added. The special agent detailed 17 copyrighted sports programs
> he was able to watch when he "clicked on links" at channelsurfing.net.

I would definitely assume, that these 17 copyrighted sports programs actualy meant illegal copies, as mentioned in the previous sentence. (I know, I know, there are stupid cases that defy all reason and where this could mean the offical internet streams of the channels, but this doesn't seem to be the case here, given the nature of the site and that the links lead to "third parties".)

Even if I assume a reasonable stance on copyright infringement, I can definitely see how dedicating a site to collecting such illegal streams should be an offense. This is a completely different case than linking to articles or videos that people have made available legally on the net because they are the copyright holders. You know, because of that distinction of legal and illegal in there.

Oh, for those where logic stops working when they read this: FREE SPEECH AS IN BEER! COPYTHEFT IS NOT INFRINGEMENT! YOU CANT STOP THE LINKING! ARRR!

Re:question (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470822)

A single act of linking to copyrighted material is not criminal, but if you systematically do it, aren't you "inducing infringement?" That's copyright infringement under current law.

Sounds like a a pretty clear violation of the First Amendment.

It's like he believes Bush is still President or something.

If you look at the policies of the US government, you'd be hard pressed to tell that Bush isn't still President. Same shit, different guy.

Acronym (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470638)

"This domain has been seized by ICE â" Homeland Security Investigations"

Those government guys aren't so good at the acronyms.

Why not just give in to the obvious (2)

gearloos (816828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470752)

Why not just do the obvious. Make the MPAA and RIAA a legislative branch of the US Government and give any employee full police Power. Let them arrest you at will. It will save the taxpayers all of that expense of calling the real police every time they need to do something like search someones belongings or arrest someone. - And yes, this is sarcasm. Sad but some dimwits in this country probably read that and said "Good Idea" it would lower taxes!

Did any of you actually read the complaint?! (3, Informative)

Thad Zurich (1376269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470780)

According to http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/dhscomplaint/ [demandprogress.org] the subject is actually accused of EMBEDDING, not linking. That is, he is alleged to have embedded copyrighted video streams (and/or their surrounding pages) inside his own site with surrounding ad content, instead of linking the user to the actual hosting web site. The major mistake by ICE appears to be a failure to actually use the word "embed" in their complaint. I would expect a takedown or lawsuit if I did this, so it's difficult for me to be surprised. Of course, that's no reason not to retrieve the links from the Internet Wayback Machine and (properly) link them from all of our home pages.

Even more hazardous linking... (4, Informative)

Munden (681257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470784)

...is linking to an article that fails to mention how McCarthy has made made over $90,000 in ad revenue from his website.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/03/illegal-tv-streamers-heres-how-the-feds-will-hunt-you-down.ars [arstechnica.com]

His website was dedicated solely for the purpose of copyright infringement

Why is copyright infringement an issue of homeland security? It is a federal law, it has to be assigned to someone, and The United States district courts has exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction over copyright cases. IMO, you should learn about copyright law and history - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_copyright_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:Even more hazardous linking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470930)

So what if he made the money? The fact of the matter is, he was linking to the copyrighted material. He didn't host it on his server.

Now We See Their Labor Bearing Fruit (1)

SplicerNYC (1782242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470802)

The systematic creation of an overarching "security" apparatus was every only for one purpose and that was to be used as a weapon in the defense of corporations.

If Al Capone was alive today ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470816)

Then, he was convicted of tax evasion. It was the only crime that could be proven. Today, they would nail him with a "domestic terrorism" charge. It was en Vogue for a while to use RICO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act [wikipedia.org] on mafia folks. I'm surprised that prosecutors aren't using anti-terrorist laws against organized crime. If the DHS is snooping around for naughty links, they are probably monitoring mob activities, as well.

I can hear the District Attorney: "This man, and his goons, are trying to destroy the American Way of Life!"

There ain't no jury in the USA who would find him "not guilty."

Google does lot of linking to copyrighted material (3, Insightful)

ladoga (931420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470836)

the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime.

Google is in trouble. Unless the law is different for those who have wealth and power. ;)

Re:Google does lot of linking to copyrighted mater (1)

Llamahand (1275482) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470862)

"Unless?" Awww, the fact that you entertain the concept, even in jest, is just adorable. That's like saying "x will happen, unless kittens are cute."

Cant find where Brazier says it is illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470870)

After reading the "criminal complaint" filed by agent Brazier it looks like he describes channelsurfing.net in detail, he definitely did his research. Maybe I missed it but it doesn't look like he ever even attempts to vaguely site of anything. Not once after any of the "evidence" he has laid out in the complaint does he actually say why he thinks it is in fact illegal, nor does he ever describe why channelsurfing.com should be legally responsible for the copyright infringement that he discovered on the internets. For example, something along the lines of... "'Linking websites' do this, and this... which is illegal of course since residents of Deer Park, Texas, as of June 1980, are longer protected by the US Constitution" would have really given this "complaint document" some needed weight... but still a very interesting persuasive essay so I will give you a B+

Re:Cant find where Brazier says it is illegal (0)

bluechipps (1933036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470906)

My first /. post in decades and I forget to sign in... sigh

"Commercial scale" (1)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470882)

From TFA (the second one ref'ed in TFS):

If you follow me on twitter (@nothingrightcom, just for the record), or if you follow anyone who regularly posts something other than what they had for lunch or that they are out of the shower now and feel good, you will see links to articles that link you to information. Does this mean these people, including myself, are guilty of copyright infringement?

No, the problem here is that Mr. McCarthy was trying to make a profit with someone else's content and––probably the most important point––he was clearly operating on a commercial scale.

ACLU? (1)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35470890)

So where are they on all this recent activity?

DHS to do my work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470894)

I haven't read the law but can I also get the DHS to take down sites that use my copyright photos without permission?

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