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RealNetworks Sues Dutch Webmaster Over Hyperlink To Freeware

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the verhuur-zoekend-gedrag dept.

Software 297

An anonymous reader writes "In the ever lasting contest for the most idiotic lawsuit, RealNetworks has sued a Dutch man for posting a link to a competing freeware program that allegedly infringes on RealNetworks' intellectual property. The company also secretly obtained a court order that resulted in confiscation of all computers belonging to the man and his family. The 26-year-old has already incurred over €66,000 in legal fees and if he loses the case, he's facing €210,000 in fines. Where are the Anonymous when you need them?"

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297 comments

"competing freeware program" (1)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37215994)

In this case Real Alternative, which breaks RealNetworks patents and copyrights. Sure, suing for linking to it is pretty stupid, but US government seems to be closing sites that link to TV series too. Blame US laws, not RealNetworks.

Re:"competing freeware program" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216012)

Nah we'll blame Realnetworks. They have dodgy practices.

Re:"competing freeware program" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216042)

"Blame US laws, not RealNetworks." -> Since this took place in The Netherlands, I'd rather blame Dutch laws.

Re:"competing freeware program" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216096)

Please do not interrupt our ongoing "F* the US" circle-jerk.

Re:"competing freeware program" (2, Informative)

planetoid (719535) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216118)

This isn't GameFAQs or Fark, you can say "fuck" here like an adult.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216252)

You can even say "fuck" like a child if you wish.

Re:"competing freeware program" (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216412)

Fuck like a child if you wish.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1, Insightful)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216468)

You can even say "fuck" like a child if you wish.

Really?!
fuuuuck. fucky fucky fuck fuck poop.

Re:"competing freeware program" (5, Funny)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216510)

You can even say "fuck" like a child if you wish.

Really?! fuuuuck. fucky fucky fuck fuck poop.

You had to bring German porn into it, didn't you?

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216098)

Does it break patents and copyright in the Netherlands?
if not, RealNetworks has no grounds for the suit.

Re:"competing freeware program" (5, Insightful)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216120)

As you might have noticed, US or US companies don't seem to have any problems at forcing their laws down other nationals.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216208)

that is beyond the point. If you have the money you can use the justice system to intimidate or even destroy whoever you want. Worked wonder so far. I suppose unless some despaired citizen takes justice in his/her own hands (the shotgun sort of) or by a miracle the law production facilities around the globe (US Congress, European parliaments etc) change something to make such actions more difficult nothing will change. Just to be clear: I think that IP is not necessarily a bad thing but I think it went into wrong direction years ago and continues to do so.

Re:"competing freeware program" (3, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216222)

Does it break patents and copyright in the Netherlands?

No. It can't break patents in the Netherlands, because there is no such thing as software patents in the Netherlands.

Re:"competing freeware program" (3, Informative)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216100)

FYI, no mention of patents in TFA. They are complaining about trademarks and copyrights. Does RealNetworks own the word "Real"? Only as much as Facebook should own the word "Book", if you ask me. I would understand if RealNetworks had some patents that were violated by the freeware in question, but copyrights? Does the freeware actually use RealNetworks' original dlls to decode the video perhaps? Or is this some dickheaded anti-circumvention thing? Whatever the case, I think RealNetworks are being real assholes here.

Re:"competing freeware program" (2)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216158)

They own it within the context. "Real Alternative" that obviously is similar software etc (well, just see the name) does violate it. Facebook also owns both parts of their name within the same context. That's how Facebook shut down the adult website that mimicked their name and style.

Re:"competing freeware program" (5, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216180)

Yeah, except the Real Alternative package is NOT actually freeware, but basically distributes the *actual* Real Player DLLs that it uses to decode with a wrapper. That's pretty clearly a copyright infringement (criminal one in fact, as it was willful and widely distributed, which generally counts as "commercial").

Real Networks IMO is a total bottom feeder company and I'd personally never install their software, but one thing I hate more than d-bag companies like Real is blatant misinformation, and this article is full of it...

Re:"competing freeware program" (1, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216226)

Maybe parts of that software are infringing, but it was still released as freeware -- that's not misinformation on the article's part. It does look like it uses RealNetworks' dlls to play the video like I assumed, but even then -- what does RealNetworks hope to achieve by going after this obviously discontinued piece of software, especially when there are open source implementations that are real alternatives (har har)? Even their own open source Helix player is a Real Alternative alternative... Sounds like a RealNetworks lawyer got bored.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216294)

Well, I think you were the first person even to suggest the fact that the package copied Real's DLLs - everyone else just assumed it was an open source implementation like ffmpeg. That makes it pretty misleading information in my opinion...

But anyway, this wasn't really even about that obviously infringing software - it was about some guy who linked to it, where it's not even clear he didn't take down his link after asked. I hope the guy hires an even more expensive lawyer and then makes Real pay for him plus punitive damages after their suit is crushed to oblivion. But that's probably a big gamble for the poor guy...

Plus, jeez, yeah, I'm pretty sure the only way you could actually find Real Video content to play is to take a time machine to 1998 in a search for low grade porn.

Re:"competing freeware program" (2)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216514)

But anyway, this wasn't really even about that obviously infringing software

Which is why I don't think the article was being misleading -- they just didn't focus on that aspect at all since it wasn't relevant to the story. In my view, it's the developer of the software who misled because he is the one who released it as "freeware" in the first place, not the poor bastard caught linking to it. Anyway, let's just agree to disagree...

Re:"competing freeware program" (5, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216234)

Still doesn't make it right to get a secret court order to inflict willful damage on a person's property. And then media act all astonished when somebody decide to takes his rights, his rifle, and a couple of grenades in his own hands.

If justice is so obviously corrupted, it is no longer justice. And people will go back to doing what they were doing before there was a functioning justice system in place.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216278)

Does RealNetworks own the word "Real"?

I'd say that if they do that's real stupid ... oh wait!

Re:"competing freeware program" (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216198)

Putting aside for the moment that it would be Dutch law in question here, NO. Just because Real's actions are not explicitly illegal, that doesn't get them off the ethical hook. They are dirty bastards and their attack lawyers need a public flogging.

Re:"competing freeware program" (3, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216470)

Well, I'm not going to defend Real-Player, but a Dutch new article [webwereld.nl] about the issue suggests Real initially assumed the site was actively distributing the software. They came back on that in court, so now there is just linking left. It makes them look kind of stupid, complaining about illegal software but not being able to determine where the actual download is from.

My gut feeling is Real will loose this (and they should), and in the Netherlands this means REAL will most likely have to cough up the the legal fees for this bloke.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216214)

They are just trying to scare people by nuking this guy. Even the wikipedia page about Real Alternative has links to it. Google has links to it. I am sure that by the end of this discussion, Slashdot will have links to it. Why is something that the largest sites on the internet do unacceptable for this one guy?

Oh, and while I appreciate America-bashing as much as the next guy, the legal action in question is taking place entirely in the Netherlands, which is not (yet) a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US federal government.

Re:"competing freeware program" (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216218)

Blame US laws, not RealNetworks.

Why should US laws apply to the Netherlands?

Re:"competing freeware program" (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216330)

Well, sure. I'll blame the laws (in whatever country). But I'll also blame the people who use those laws against others.

Re:"competing freeware program" (2)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216348)

I've been blaming RealNetworks and their shitty product even back when I was using AOL (!). How that company still exists is beyond me.

looses (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37215998)

God damn it will you PLEASE learn the difference between "looses" and "loses"? You really must be a moron if you can't remember such a simple distinction.

Re:looses (5, Funny)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216044)

Yeah what a looser!

Re:looses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216128)

Loosing the losers to loose lots of loses on the loosers themselves, for sooth.

Re:looses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216176)

You louse The Game.

Re:looses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216080)

I am at a loss to remember it. Lose is when it is too wide, and loose is when you're in the street with a chick and you want to take her home and you got no GPS?

Re:looses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216094)

losen up dude

Re:looses (4, Funny)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216182)

If in doubt, use booth.

Re:looses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216340)

I prefer brennan

Re:looses (1)

queBurro (1499731) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216364)

Canadian?

Re:looses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216284)

God damn it will you PLEASE learn the difference between "looses" and "loses"? You really must be a moron if you can't remember such a simple distinction.

Idiots like you who are concerned about a spelling work for Real Networks.

Re:looses (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216320)

u mad, u luze bro

Re:looses (-1, Flamebait)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216366)

Yes, lets assume poster is a moron rather than non native; the distinction and understanding of lose and loose, affect and effect, their and there, inflammable, its and it's are so easy that no native English speaking would ever make the mistake...

Oh wait, perhaps you are the inbreed moron who should pull his head out of his arse?

Re:looses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216450)

Non-natives don't make that mistake. They learn English in school where this sort of difference is drilled until people are sick of it. I bet you 20 yuan that the Anonymous poster was the flag-waving, gun-toting kind of inbred (not "inbreed"), and not the foreign kind.

Re:looses (1)

inkscapee (1994086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216492)

Non-natives don't make that mistake. They learn English in school where this sort of difference is drilled until people are sick of it. I bet you 20 yuan that the Anonymous poster was the flag-waving, gun-toting kind of inbred (not "inbreed"), and not the foreign kind.

When you have guns and flags you don't need no sissy spelling.

Re:looses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216456)

Sure, but what is Timothy's excuse?

Re:looses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216388)

God damn it will you PLEASE learn the difference between "looses" and "loses"? You really must be a moron if you can't remember such a simple distinction.

And I suppose your Dutch is flawless?

Re:looses (1)

Coriolis (110923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216494)

The Dutch, in general, speak incredibly good English. I very much doubt that the anonymous commenter was Dutch.

Re:looses (-1, Flamebait)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216516)

God damn it will you PLEASE draw the obvious conclusion and realise the poster most likely not a native speaker? You really must be a moron if you can't pick up the obvious clues like the use of the Euro symbol and reference to a Dutch man.

And if you're going to be a fucking pedant (as opposed to a fucking pedant) then at least have the balls to not post AC.

Biggest shock in this story ... (5, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216002)

... that RealNetworks is still in business.

Re:Biggest shock in this story ... (4, Insightful)

upside (574799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216130)

Yup. The "real" funny part is that Real killed themselves by turning their product into a PC-suffocating piece of bloatware. Real Alternative was a direct response to that exact bloat. I'd be laughing if it weren't so sad for the defendant.

It's sad how failed companies refuse to go down quietly, instead they go legal supernova.

Re:Biggest shock in this story ... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216204)

Honestly, until I saw this, I thought they were long dead. They certainly haven't done anything relevant for a long time.

Re:Biggest shock in this story ... (3, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216230)

They are probably making lots of money from bored housewifes playing "casual" games -- not from the Real software that was once their core product.

They sued Microsoft ages ago, settled in 2005 for 76mln and bought several online gaming sites from the cash.

Microsoft and RealNetworks Resolve Antitrust Case [microsoft.com]
Gamehouse [realnetworks.com]

Where are the Anonymous when you need them? (-1, Troll)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216006)

Sounds like something some silly little teenager would say. And has nothing to do with TFA.

Re:Where are the Anonymous when you need them? (2)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216048)

Sounds like something some silly little teenager would say. And has nothing to do with TFA.

Yeah, except for current events relating to vigilante action against corporations that harass people and draw the ire of a large group of reasonably tech savvy people with something to prove. Other than that, totally unrelated.

Re:Where are the Anonymous when you need them? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216150)

Sounds like something some silly little teenager would say

And that sounds like something Governor Hutchinson would have said to Samuel Adams in 1773.

Re:Where are the Anonymous when you need them? (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216220)

Sounds like something someone fed up with all the legal shenanigans might say if they have given up hope of any real civil law reform.

Sadly, that's not at all an unreasonable position these days.

Obnoxious Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216016)

I just have to point out the glaring errors:

and if he looses the case, he's facing €210,000 in fines. Where are the Anonymous when you need them?

I guess he'd better tighten his case; it has become too loose. Also, since when was Anonymous a band from the 60's? Nobody calls them "the Anonymous".

loose the kraken (0, Offtopic)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216024)

and if he looses the case,

We couldn't have had 24 hours of proper spelling and grammar in honor of Taco?

Re:loose the kraken (0)

SuperSlacker64 (1918650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216300)

No, because to properly honor his memory, all articles must reflect on his legacy here. Spelling errors and duplicates must remain for that reason.

It's not until he's long gone that those things can safely go away.

Re:loose the kraken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216354)

I know you're referring to Cmdr but still, regular tacos deserve honour too.

RealNetworks (1)

gpmanrpi (548447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216032)

The late 90s called and they want their bloatware back? Seriously though, this is a preposterous linking case and something really needs to be done about this kind of claptrap. Progressive Networks *ahem* I mean RealNetworks, needs to look in the mirror and perhaps produce software someone would actually want to use, I can still hear the screams of my Pentium 150 as it tried mightily to load this software only to see the dreaded Buffering. It is a throwback sad week.

It wasn't that bad (4, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216262)

It worked on my 386 back in the day. It was the first live audio stream I ever heard on my computer.

They went downhill from there. Their nice tidy player got rewritten and then the whole thing went spammy.

optimizepress español (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216038)

I think this s good tool: optimizepress español [cursosecreto.com]

DNS? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216060)

I don't get the reference to DNS. If a web page has a link on it, what does it's existence have to do with DNS?

Re:DNS? (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216074)

Perhaps it was a link to an entry in his own domain table, which pointed to the IP of the server (not his) that hosted the other software.

Re:DNS? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216092)

bit odd, but plausible, I suppose

thanks

replica watches (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216078)

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Heh (1)

dynamo (6127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216088)

How ironic is it that this post ends by asking where anonymous is when you need him / them, and starts with 'an anonymous reader writes'?

Re:Heh (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216390)

I'd say it's about a 6 on the irony scale*.

*The Irony scale can be defined as starting at 0 with Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic" and ending at 10 with Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic"

Streisand effect? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216090)

Real Alternative [free-codecs.com] .

Re:Streisand effect? (4, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216232)

Real Alternative [free-codecs.com] .

Damn'd. Now RealNetworks will confiscate all the /. servers. See what have you done?

Re:Streisand effect? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216270)

More like the Slashdot effect currently...

paypal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216116)

Does he have a paypal account?

Re:paypal (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216556)

Does he have a paypal account?

If someone posted details of one here would you trust it anyway?

RealNetwork? (0)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216138)

I can't remember the last time I've seen any RealMedia files or needed RealPlayer for streaming. Can't think of any site that still uses Real.

Re:RealNetwork? (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216316)

In the Netherlands, all national government websites offer their video's in RealVideo as a fallback for QuickTime, which is itself a fallback for Windows Media Player, which is a fallback for Flash.

Re:RealNetwork? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216488)

Your nick seems dutch enough, so i'll assume you are a fellow dutchman, but seriously? I can't even remember seeing a video on a govt website...

And OMG triple fallback, now i feel even worse about paying taxes

Re:RealNetwork? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216548)

Well, triple fallback would be something I enjoy seeing in a government... if it wasn't only for propaganda drivel but actually important matters.

Real Networks has political connections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216140)

Real Networks (Progressive Networks) is still around because of its ties to an important Democrat US Senator.

Buffering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216148)

... [jeremyreimer.com]

(Footnote: Challenge-response answer is "feebler". Indeed.)

If he looses the case.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216174)

He might just slip through with no problems.

If I were the guy... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216202)

I would answer each legal document starting with 20 or 50 pages blank with a "buffering" in the middle.... and throw some in the middle too.

I'd paste random ads over the documents which make utterly impossible to see what is written while I'm at it.

Era of new business income (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216216)

Seeing the latest trend with all the stories you find online. I can't but wonder if there stated a new era in business income. To me it seems like if you have an business in IT sector and can't manage to keep it alive due to a valid product or good technology, well you can always sue someone and get your money from them.

But seriously sueing that guy because he links to a freeware program ? What's next sueing all blog owners who talk about freeware programs that compete with realnetworks software ?

They also could not have posted a better advert (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216238)

They also could not have posted a better advert for real alternative [free-codecs.com] . Watch the Streisand effect begin ....

Does anybody have name and home address (-1, Flamebait)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216250)

of the judge?

Re:Does anybody have name and home address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216370)

Yes, many do.

Horse. Stable door. Bolted. (2)

pEarl117 (2435422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216260)

Surely this is a prime case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted? The point in RealAlternative is to be able to play back media encoded using RealNetworks' formats, without having to install RealPlayer. I haven't seen anything encoded in those formats for several years, meaning I've had no use for either RealPlayer or RealAlternative. Does *anyone* still use either?

Re:Horse. Stable door. Bolted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216308)

RealNetworks?

Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (0)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216280)

If you link to a web page that contains illegal content, you are abetting in a crime.

Should there be standards regarding when linking to illegal content is prosecuted? Certainly. I doubt that we want to reach a point where someone can be sued for linking to software because they weren't aware that the software was obscuring an obscure patent. Yet linking to a site that distributes cracked software (key generators, etc.) probably should be fair game because the person creating the link should be aware of the legality of the site that they are linking to. As for this case, it sounds like it is in the fuzzy middle ground.

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216342)

Fuzzy middle ground my ass, it's freeware developed from the ground up and he didn't even make it, he merely linked to it. If you think that this sort of behaviour by the legal system is appropriate then you're an sadistic asshole.

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (5, Insightful)

sgrover (1167171) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216374)

So, by your own logic, when you mention to your friend to "take care" around that drug den down the road, you should be put in jail for aiding and abetting the drug trade. We see links to goatse here all the time. The image itself is morally wrong, but the links are not. *IF* Real Alternative is in fact breaking the law then Real Alternative should be held accountable - Not some poor schmuck who simply says "look at this" via a link.

What you are advocating is akin to thought crime. If you don't conform and think the way "we" tell you too, you should be punished. The problem is just who gets to decide what is "right". In every single instance or situation. What happens when this so called "right" does not align with your own personal views? Do you bend over and let them spank you until you see the light? Sorry, but I'm sure glad I don't live in your world and can make up my own mind what links I'll visit, what software I'll install, or even what I'll have for lunch today.

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216464)

Wait, in what way is a man's anus morally wrong?

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216506)

And even if the hyperlink were wrong, we shouldn't allow a situation to persist where someone has to pay tens of thousands for a simple wrong hyperlink. It's completely out of proportion, and the uninterested Dutch general public is every bit as guilty as Real Networks.

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (4, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216396)

But said software isn't illegal in Europe, Real Networks are suing a European over alleged patent rights, those patents aren't valid in Europe.

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (2, Interesting)

pantaril (1624521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216430)

So we should make google and other search engines illegal? They link to the "illegal content" all the time and they know it (just try to search for piratebay). Also if i write an article on my blog about file-sharing and include link to the pirate-bay, i shall be prosecuted according to your logic? No! Making linking to dubious content ilegal is serious threat to free speech. Czech pirate party is currently fighting for the right to link by launching the site http://tipnafilm.cz/ [tipnafilm.cz] where they link to several thousands of copyrighted movies. See http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/linking-is-not-a-crime-czech-pirate-party-declares-war-on-anti-piracy-unionlinking-is-not-a-crime-czech-pirate-party-declares-war-on-big-content.ars [arstechnica.com] for more details.

Re:Sometimes linking should be illegal ... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216534)

Should there be standards regarding when linking to illegal content is prosecuted? Certainly.

Well, that's your opinion. Not everyone agrees.

London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216298)

I wonder the same thing-where are the anonymous when we need them?

London [thelondonremovals.com]

did anyone read TFA? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216326)

I don't get, how is DNS involved in this?

However, Edskes wasn’t hosting the software, but just redirected to other sites for the actual download. The complaint turned out to be based on a hyperlink to the software.

so far so good: he linked to some software, one can argue if this is illegal - but anyway.

RealNetworks claims Edskes failed to remove the link to the software, and the reference in the DNS directories existed after February 12, 2010. However, the hosting provider checked backups and confirmed the removal of the link.

WTF? either the complaint is based on hyperlinks or DNS redirects (did he use different subdomains for the codec packs?). it shouldn't be too hard to write one stringent and logical artical about this case.

The Streisand Effect (1)

C0L0PH0N (613595) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216328)

Doesn't RealNetworks know about the Streisand Effect? I didn't know about the Real Alternative until this case got filed, and now I've just downloaded Real Alternative and installed it on two PC's. YES! No more stupid RealNetworks bullshit to put up with. It is sad the Dutch webmaster had to be sued, but the rest of the world benefits. I guess in a backwards way, Thank You RealNetworks, for bringing this to my attention.

a very relevant quote (1)

tebee (1280900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216402)

I'm not sure if Slashdot is doing a Google and providing context relevant quotes or it was just pure chance, but the quote at the bottem of my page today sure seems relevant to this story and the state of Real networks - " For certain people, after fifty, litigation takes the place of sex. -- Gore Vidal"

Removing all hyperlinks from private website (3, Interesting)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216440)

I am considering removing all hyperlinks from my private website and possibly replace them with a link to a Google search that might return the page. Can't risk your life being destroyed nowadays by a stupid hyperlink.

Most surprising part of the story (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216472)

... is that Real still exists as a company.

How is that even possible?! I thought we'd seen the last of them years ago; not even the most pathetic company trying to make a web presence seems to think them relevant enough to use.

Oh right, I guess that's why they've switched into lawsuit mode - it's easier than innovating.

Starting a webstite/small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37216526)

Anyone else having second thoughts about starting a small business because of the potential for this kind of crap? There is no real way to defend yourself as a small player in the world of tech, so is it worth putting your time and money on the line to build something when it can be used to attack you on the whim of some patent hoarding troll?

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