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Web Browsing Isn't Copyright Infringement, Rules EU Court of Justice

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the this-is-a-court-of-law dept.

EU 79

mpicpp (3454017) writes with this news from Ars Technica: 'Europeans may browse the Internet without fear of infringing copyrights, as the EU Court of Justice ruled Thursday in a decision that ends a four-year legal battle threatening the open Internet. It was the European top court's second wide-ranging cyber ruling in less than a month. The court ruled May 13 that Europeans had a so-called "right to be forgotten" requiring Google to delete "inadequate" and "irrelevant" data upon requests from the public. That decision is spurring thousands of removal requests. In this week's case, the court slapped down the Newspaper Licensing Agency's (NLA) claim that the technological underpinnings of Web surfing amounted to infringement. The court ruled that "on-screen copies and the cached copies made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website satisfy the conditions" of infringement exemptions spelled out in the EU Copyright Directive. The NLA's opponent in the case was the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). The PR group hailed the decision.'

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79 comments

WTF? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175007)

Why would the newspapers want it to be illegal to view their websites?

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175165)

Because if they can make it illegal to view their content on a computer they can go back to the more controllable form of print media.

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175207)

Because if they can make it illegal to view their content on a computer they can go back to the more controllable form of print media.

I cannot imagine a set of non-apocalyptic circumstances that would ever coax the cat back into that particular bag.
It's just beyond me. You win, Internet; I am undone.

Re:WTF? (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175227)

...but isn't this really about information control as opposed to a business model initiative? Print has been dying a slow death for the better part of a decade now.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

pepty (1976012) | about a month and a half ago | (#47176145)

It would give them twin business models: subscriptions for the people willing to pay, infringement shakedowns for the people who aren't willing to pay.

What I'd like to know is if:

The court ruled that "on-screen copies and the cached copies made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website satisfy the conditions" of infringement exemptions spelled out in the EU Copyright Directive.

applies to streaming video websites as well.

Re: WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47177113)

Sure because streaming is a web technology. Its part of surfing.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47178667)

Even buying counterfeit merchandise isn't illegal. Selling it is. Right? The infringer is the one that makes the product available, not the customer. That's why torrents can get you in hot water - because you also upload. But streaming is one way, which makes the uploader the only infringer.

Re:WTF? (1)

pepty (1976012) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187253)

The uploader is the only infringer - unless the powers that be decide that downloading/streaming qualifies as contributory infringement, since the viewer has requested a website to "make a copy" and "distribute" it. How do you feel about the current SCOTUS deciding what "make a copy", "make available", and "distribute" mean on the internet these days?

Re:WTF? (2)

jhol13 (1087781) | about a month and a half ago | (#47176475)

No, that is not what they are after. They want you to pay for the information.
So that you would not get it freely from "illegal" or "gray" (hard to say whether illegal or not) sites.
So that if you do, they can send you the "600€ or face prosecution" -letter.

Re:WTF? (2)

pr100 (653298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47178335)

Huh? If the newspapers don't want people to view their content via the web then they should stop publishing it on the web.

Re:WTF? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175259)

So they can charge licensing fees for viewing it.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175405)

They already can.

Re:WTF? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175279)

They didn't. Or they didn't seem to think that's what they were doing.

They wanted to be able to get higher revenues from certain client companies who pay licensing fees for the right to RE-produce the newspapers' contents on their own web sites, and/or who distribute it to secondary companies.

As I glean it, those fees are based on the number of end-user copies that are being made. The newspapers wanted to count ... uh, hang on now, this is getting fuzzy. I guess they wanted to count the copies that existed in end-user browser caches as ADDITIONAL copies, so that the bottom line revenues would be higher. Or something. "Its main argument was the cost that the licensing public relations companies pay for the reproductions should factor in to what is temporarily copied on a reader's computer."

Like I charge you per-copy for reading my paper, and I count the ink that rubs off on your hand as a copy. Also the reflection in your glasses.

I don't get that it would prevent anyone from reading stuff from their website, because publishing the material would constitute a license to use it, browser cache included. It's strictly a grab for more revenues for this particular redistribution channel.

Because, you know, revenue.

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175401)

Like I charge you per-copy for reading my paper, and I count the ink that rubs off on your hand as a copy. Also the reflection in your glasses.

And there's also the copy from short-term to long-term memory that occurs in your brain when you read an article and actually remember it the next day. Soon they'll be quizzing readers about last-weeks news, and every correct answer means they can charge for the extra copy in your long-term memory.

Lest you think this is a joke, remember that companies did try to claim that computer backups are legally "copies" that must be paid for to be legal.

Re:WTF? (1)

ledow (319597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47177545)

Would love to meet the sales rep at a company that tries to charge me for backing up my workplace's software.

The amount of backups taken and required would make even the cheapest bit of software 10-fold more expensive just because of that clause, and see us move to an alternative. And I do that because my employer needs that kind of data security.

I bet, even if that were true, there'd always be a competitor who would sell me their competing product but not charge for backups (because, let's face it, they'd get more business and more money overall that way),

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47178037)

Would love to meet the sales rep at a company that tries to charge me for backing up my workplace's software.

No you don't.

Those people are technically illiterate nitwits that will waste your time with a worldview that isn't remotely close to the real world.
They are even willing to bring in lawyers to do that and courts aren't known for being devoid of the same kind of people.

Re:WTF? (1)

pantaril (1624521) | about a month and a half ago | (#47193831)

And there's also the copy from short-term to long-term memory that occurs in your brain when you read an article and actually remember it the next day. Soon they'll be quizzing readers about last-weeks news, and every correct answer means they can charge for the extra copy in your long-term memory.

This would be yet another principal problem with copyright in the future, when photorealistic 100% accurate memories will be made possible by computer-brain interfaces and silicon data storage implants. Imagine the cinema warnings: "please turn off your digital memory while watching this movie".

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175947)

Because they are fundamentally stupid. They think that everybody needs to view their sites (i.e. that they have a needed, irreplaceable good), so controlling all access gives them maximum impact. What actually happens is that they are a luxury good and people just stop caring about their product when it gets hard to access. Kind of like the music industry classifying each illegal download as a "lost sale", when the reality is that people just would do without if copying it was difficult. Many younger artists understand that now and are putting samples or their full works on the web, because the only way to make somebody pay for content is if they are willing to pay for content. And for the customers willing to pay, putting everything up for free and asking for donations works just as well and without all the stupidity that DRM and copyright restrictions for non-commercial copying brings with it.

The newspapers really are are primarily responsible for their own decline.

Re:WTF? (1)

Elbart (1233584) | about a month and a half ago | (#47177481)

Probably for the same reason they want to get cash from Google for registering their sites for Google News: Greed.

how does one even contact google to be forgotten? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175023)

Anyone ever try to contact google? You can't. Unless you drive down to California.

How does an average person who "wants to be forgotten" even hope to contact google? Google hates their customers so much that they dread even making available a simple layman's outlet to communicate with them. It's a labyrinth of question answering that goes no where.

I can envision it now, "want to be forgotten? Answer this 100 question test first"

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175075)

GO here:

https://support.google.com/legal/contact/lr_eudpa?product=websearch

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (2)

1000101 (584896) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175469)

Or use http://duckduckgo.com/ [duckduckgo.com] and stop using Google?

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175671)

Unless you can persuade the entire rest of the world to stop using Google too, that doesn't really achieve the goal.

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (1)

nephilimsd (936642) | about a month and a half ago | (#47184111)

I have long since used http://www.gizoogle.net/ [gizoogle.net] as a functional replacement for Google.

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175093)

Well, "contact Google" - yeah, don't try that. It won't work. But for the stupid "right to be forgotten" - easy: https://support.google.com/leg... [google.com]

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175881)

Scroll Down [google.ca]

Re:how does one even contact google to be forgotte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175891)

I just SMS my mate.

That works for google.

Copyright ending (4, Interesting)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175101)

What we really need is some way to prevent congress from constantly extending copyright, slowly stealing from the public public works.

Re:Copyright ending (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175139)

Just make Congress liable for all copyright infringement.

Come to think of it, we should also make them go to the VA, eat food bought by food stamps, and government housing.

Re:Copyright ending (4, Insightful)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175149)

...or of course, just get rid of congress once and for all and elect working class people who know better from the get-go. It comes down to getting the money out of politics. It's time. Cheers!

Re:Copyright ending (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175239)

The way Congress currently is, electing middle-class people would be a significant downgrade in their wealth. The median net worth of a Senator is $2.6 million.

Re:Copyright ending (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175263)

Yes, I am aware.

Re:Copyright ending (2)

srichard25 (221590) | about a month and a half ago | (#47176531)

A few of those people were middle class when they went into Congress. Somehow they miraculously became millionaires while in Congress. Funny how that works.

Re:Copyright ending (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a month and a half ago | (#47183061)

Not funny at all. Up until this year, it was entirely legal for congressmen to engage in insider trading.

Re:Copyright ending (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175707)

SO, you suspect that poorer people would have less incentive to accept "campaign contributions" in exchange for a favourable vote?

Re:Copyright ending (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175931)

It will certainly have a better effect on the economy, since they are poor it is because of 1 of 2 reasons:

They are no good at making money (No net change if they get bribed)
They are really good at spending money (All bribe money flows right back into the economy!).

I think it is a good thing for the economy to have more poor congresscritters!

Remember; Rich people are usually a varying combination of:

1) Don't spend money on shit you don't need (until you have so much that you can afford to spend a tiny tiny amount on lambos and hookers)
2) Really Really good at convincing other people to give them money (be it for being a superstar CEO, got a lot of power thus get a lot of bribes, setting up a legal scenario that makes people or the government pay them more money than they would if they didn't setup some legal scheme)
3) Were born with so much money they have to be *really* dumb to end up with none.

Very very few rich people are:
4) So talented that they actually earned it by being super smart, and careful with their plans until someone bought so much of their superior product/service that they ended up rich.

Re:Copyright ending (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47181647)

1) This isn't going to get the average person rich. The median net worth of a Senator is given as $2.6M above. In order to amass that through thrift alone, over a 50-year career one would have to find $52K to not spend on what one doesn't need each year. That's pretty close to the median family before-tax household income, so the average person would have to avoid spending on things like taxes and food. Thrift is a good idea, and I find a great deal of comfort in living below my means*, but it's not a road to riches for most people.

4) Some extremely talented people can make a lot of money without having to be super smart or really careful. If you're one of the hundred best football players in the country, you're making darn good money and are part of the 1%. There are several other fields where being in the top 100 means a whole lot of money. (There are others, even in the entertainment field, where it doesn't. I suspect the hundredth best author in the country is making good money but isn't rich.)

*It does help to have a lot of means, so that living below them is quite comfortable.

Re:Copyright ending (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47179569)

The threat of bribing poor representatives is literally the entire reason we pay these people any salary at all.

Re:Copyright ending (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175429)

There's an agency that actually has control over that, two of them in fact. One is the President, with the veto power. The other is the Supreme Court with the power to decide what the Constitution means by the limited time clause for patents and copyrights.

Unfortunately both seem to agree with Congress that life + 90 years is still in effect a limited duration.

Free MOVIÃ$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175129)

At least we know that streaming TV shows and movies is totally legal now.

Re:Free MOVIÃ$ (2)

dougisfunny (1200171) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175567)

So you add a browser extension where you click on a torrent link it starts loading the movie in the browser. Brilliant!

Re:Free MOVIÃ$ (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175903)

The thought of a bit-torrent client written in Javascript makes my stomach hurt.

Re:Free MOVIÃ$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47179319)

At least we know that streaming TV shows and movies is totally legal now.

Well you wont get in trouble for any cacheing.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175141)

Someone wanted to deliver content via webserver and then sue people who received this delivery as violating copyright?

Amazing.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175435)

The UK courts had previously decided that reading a CD to play was 'copying' so they have a history of taking the most stupid position possible on copyright law. As was shown this was definitely not the only interpretation and not what I would view as the correct interpretation. The UK supreme court also seems to do its best to undermine free speech when it can.
Thank fuck for the EU.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47177067)

Well, the EU court is one for two in the sanity department. I'm really glad they made up for last week's boneheadedness.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Elbart (1233584) | about a month and a half ago | (#47177489)

They've also shot down the data retention directive recently, so it's really two for three.

Re: I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47177277)

As a UK resident, I've never heard of that ruling. Source?

Re: I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47178197)

It was in the 90's IIRC sorry don't have a source on me and trying to search for copyright and UK courts returns quite a lot of results. I believe it was eventually overturned. It was to do with the temporary copying into a computers memory from a CD but they didn't explain how that was different to a CD player reading that information into memory. Turns out to convert digital to analog you have to read the digital first.

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

jc42 (318812) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175445)

Someone wanted to deliver content via webserver and then sue people who received this delivery as violating copyright?

Amazing.

They seem to be saying that, in addition to displaying the content on your screen, your browser also writes a copy into its cache, and that's two copies.

I wonder what they'd say of, say, a RAID1 file system, which makes two copies of the cached page, on two different disks. Would that mean two violations of the copyright? And if, after sending it from the screen to your eyes, the information in your brain is a third violation?

Re:I don't get it (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a month and a half ago | (#47177463)

Someone wanted to deliver content via webserver and then sue people who received this delivery as violating copyright?

Amazing.

They seem to be saying that, in addition to displaying the content on your screen, your browser also writes a copy into its cache, and that's two copies.

I wonder what they'd say of, say, a RAID1 file system, which makes two copies of the cached page, on two different disks. Would that mean two violations of the copyright? And if, after sending it from the screen to your eyes, the information in your brain is a third violation?

It's even worse. From the copy on the screen, each of your eyes makes another copy on its retina.

And on the technical side, all the routers temporarily put the data into a buffer. So it causes one extra copyright infringement for every router the data passes.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47177829)

It's even possible that the brain reconstructs the signals from the retinas into a multidimensional representation of the original content, which not only infringes copyright once more in this case but also probably on dozens of patents!

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47179777)

And don't you dare remember it!

Re:I don't get it (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47181681)

From the retina (which is merely a potentially unauthorized copy) the body creates a derivative work (violating copyright) based on edge detection in the field of vision, and it goes through yet more unauthorized derivative works before it can be interpreted as writing.

Make them pay! (2)

AndyKron (937105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175163)

The Newspaper Licensing Agency should have to pay the government for four years of bullshit.

Re:Make them pay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175351)

Compared to the hacking, spying & general dishonesty from the UK print media this is fairly minor.

What is this I don't even (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175173)

Am I missing something fundamental about this case?

On the surface of it, this sounds even more boneheaded than the RIAA's antics vs. basically all digital media in the 90's. Can the NLA really this dense?

Their arguments are illogical (4, Interesting)

mpicpp (3454017) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175189)

To argue that cache files in a web browser is infringement is as silly as claiming that your eye transmitting an image to your brain is infringement...

Re:Their arguments are illogical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175261)

To argue that cache files in a web browser is infringement is as silly as claiming that your eye transmitting an image to your brain is infringement...

Well technically speaking all things digital copy. Wether it's a computer, a router, a network interface card, a graphics card etc... It's Copyright law that is not well defined for this era. If you interpret copyright as it is all computers, tablets even television sets etc.. are infringing devices. So the solutions is : either modify copyright law for the XXIst century and beyond (fat chance of this happening) or you carve out exceptions with the old rotten framework of copyright law.
And that is what the EU court has done.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175669)

Copyright law is mostly there. It specifically allows for incidental copies made to use software for example. So you don't need a separate license to move it from the CD to the hard drive, from the hard drive to the drive controller cash, to RAM, to L1 cache, to L2 cache, and to video memory, along with the copy that gets shunted to the backup tape system at night....

That all media should be extended the same incidental copyright exclusion should be a nobrainer, but yeah, until its settled we get idiots thinking the image on screen is infringement, the image in your browser cache is infringement, and by golly, and if ~thats~ not infringement, then its surely infringment when you do a complete PC back up that night and your browser cache ends up duplicated onto your external USB drive along with everything else. You dirty criminal.

Good on the EU court for setting a precedent.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (4, Insightful)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175269)

You're right. Clearly we need Brain-HDCP! It would solve everything!
Kind regards, the MPAA.

P.S. HNCP would be more apt, I guess.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (4, Informative)

toejam13 (958243) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175393)

The stupid thing is that they can block caching of files using HTTP headers...

Cache-Control: no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate
Pragma: no-cache
Expires: 0

Re:Their arguments are illogical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175583)

Would it be illegal to intentionally use a http client which disobeys to those headers?

Re:Their arguments are illogical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47179379)

Would it be illegal to intentionally use a http client which disobeys to those headers?

I suspect only if it was, for some reason, technically necessary for operation. I can't see any reason why that would be so would hazard no in the context of copyrighted information.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47179725)

Invert my answer sorry, I answered would it be legal.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175465)

This is the same court system (UK) that decided playing CDs in a computer was copying (they didn't explain what the difference to a CD player was though). I believe this was eventually overturned but is pretty typical of the UK courts.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47176385)

That's not the point. Nobody wants you to stop viewing their websites, that would be silly.

The point is: if it is an "infringing" copy that the owners have the right to restrict, then they have the right to impose whatever extra conditions they want to impose on you in exchange for your "license to view". For instance, a website owner could try to say that you can't view their site in a public place, or show it to more than 3 other people, without paying them a fee. This ruling basically says they have no basis to do that, because the copy being made isn't one that they have a right to restrict in the first place.

Re:Their arguments are illogical (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47176397)

To argue that cache files in a web browser is infringement is as silly as claiming that your eye transmitting an image to your brain is infringement...

Let's not give them any ideas now shall we...

This argument led to software licenses (3, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a month and a half ago | (#47176717)

I recall that back in the day, when people started charging for computer software, it was treated as a book. If you paid for the book, it was yours and you could use it for whatever you want.

Then someone came along and decided that copying the software from disk into memory was considered copyright infringement, and thus you needed a license to do so. Hence the software license and all its associated pain in the ass restrictions was born.

So basically, these idiots are trying to use the same concept to add additional legal hurdles to simply browsing the web. At least this time, unlike back in the day with software, sanity ended up being victorious.

Re:This argument led to software licenses (2)

GTRacer (234395) | about a month and a half ago | (#47178809)

Ah, the amazingly useful Borland "Like a Book" license. As I recall, you could install to your heart's content (possibly limited to your own household or business), subject to the agreement only one person can "borrow the book" at any given time. They didn't manage this with technological measures, just the good ol' fashioned honor system.

HEY LOOK AT THIS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175257)

you looked well i'm going to sue you.

because that's what this whole story seems like to me

wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175289)

What is this? Common Sense? Unbelievable...

Everyone infringes = unprosecutable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47175449)

It could have been more beneficial for the public if the court agreed. This would have made pretty much everyone open to prosecution, which might have given the pressure to get the copyright rules to be rewritten.

Sometimes a stupid decision is required to show how stupid a law is. Like how when the courts said that upskirt pictures weren't actually illegal by the current laws caused the legislative to push a law that made it illegal in record time.

Just Stop It EU! Stop it! (0)

Sentrion (964745) | about a month and a half ago | (#47175631)

I wish the EU would stop infringing on America's status as leader of the Free World. USA is land of the free, home of the brave, dammit!

Re:Just Stop It EU! Stop it! (2)

jopsen (885607) | about a month and a half ago | (#47176777)

USA is land of the free,

Yes, free to be poor... :)

home of the brave,

Indeed, cheap guns and poverty is a cocktail only for the brave :)

In Today's Improbable News (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47176201)

The EU Court of Justice makes a judgement that is rational, implementable, and conforms to what 99.999% of citizens want, while only PO'ing the remaining 0.001% who, if they cannot accept this judgement, can opt out of publishing on the Internet.

It's a miracle!!

Copy Copy Copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47177079)

Neither is copying for personal use. If it has been uploaded to the web, and its there for the world to see, its well been a practice that was accepted except for commercial use. So WTF? Does anyone dispute that we can copy anything ifs for our personal use or enjoyment?

Re:Copy Copy Copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47178205)

Neither is copying for personal use. If it has been uploaded to the web, and its there for the world to see, its well been a practice that was accepted except for commercial use. So WTF? Does anyone dispute that we can copy anything ifs for our personal use or enjoyment?

Actually it was illegal to make personal copies in the UK. There was no fair use. Copyright has significantly improved in de jure terms in recent years. No one actually used to do anything about tape copying so de facto you could copy (although there was an attempt to stop the first tape-to-tape system).

How would they have implemented that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47178719)

I fail to see how they'd get you to pay for viewing their website should the court have ruled in their favour. I'm thinking along the lines of "Your computer files have been encrypted for reading our website. Please send $200 in bitcoins if you want your files back. You will also receive one month access to our website." I mean, come on. What next? Reading the news and remembering what you read to be classed as infringement?

Sometimes I think they have a lot of money to "clean", and suing for weird things that stand a good chance of losing is one of of doing that. The lawyers will produce squeaky clean money taking dragging the suit for as long as possible. Since lawyers charge insane amounts as a rule, I don't know if anyone would find it strange if these guys charged 1000/hour and worked 8 hours/day for each and every of their clients :)

AC because "libel" in second paragraph :)

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