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Why do courts even consider stuff like this? · 19 April 2010, 21:34 by Jean Rajotte

A strange story seems to be unfolding for real: Wayne Crookes wants to freeze the net, where the plaintiff is claiming that an Internet link on a web page is equivalent to publishing the contents the link is pointing to…

So, according to this claim, if I were to link to racist material in a footnote, it would be the same as if I’d published said material. If I were to link to some article that is disliked by some powerful interest, I could be sued along side the original writer of the article, I guess, regardless of the context of my link.

This seems frantically irrational. Of course, it’s censorship in the hands of interested parties, w/ threat of libel suits. Money is might.

If I understand this properly, this here article is now part of a network of articles that points to the report of this issue, and may therefore be lumped in w/ the original lawsuit.

The way I understand the issue, it means that if the court decides in favour of the plaintiff, Internet links in Canada (?) would be the same as publishing, and would be intrinsically dangerous to the writer, as the original material could be seen as offensive to someone and trigger a lawsuit. That’s flaky! What if I wrote http://google.ca instead of http://google.ca ? I.e. what if I wrote out the link in plain text instead of a clickable thingie? Would I not be also publishing it, if just slightly inconveniently? How is this different than saying that a footnote referencing Mein Kampf in a history book is the same as promoting Nazism? Sounds nuts to moi.

 

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