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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Interwebs: Think Before You Link -- Cops Don't Go For OINK

The nerve center of an organized 'linking" group

The shutdown of two link-sharing websites in the last few days have raised questions about how far copyright laws can and should reach. The first case is a site called TV Links which offered links to other sites that hosted TV programs legally or illegally. As The Guardian's tech blogger Jack Schofield writes:

"Indeed, if linking is illegal, we might as well shut down the Internet, because there is no practical way anybody can guarantee the legality of what's on the end of any link. Even if you could guarantee it at the time of linking, there's no guarantee it would still be legal less than a second later, or for the rest of time."

See Schofield's excellent posting here in which he questions the propriety of shutting down the little fish while leaving the 2-ton whale - Google - alone. Also dig his photo -- he looks like Dr. Adam Bricker from The Love Boat only cooler with his old school pipe.

Schofiled also gets to the bottom of yet another bust -- this time of a web linking group called OINK. He questions the police's claims (see here from the BBC) that OINK was an "extremely lucrative" pay business. I too have to wonder since the major complaint about OINK is that pre-release albums were being leaked there. Being leaked by whom? Reviewers? Record company employees? And we are expected to believe that they are paying for the privilege of leaking this stuff? Thanks to Andrea Perez for bringing this story to my attention.

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