Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bad linking case

In a case that apparently ignores virtually all other cases on copyright liability for linking, the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered a Preliminary Injunction against for posting a link on its website to a live webcast of motorcycle racing events, the copyright to which webcast was owned by plaintiff. There was no apparent actual copying of any work by the defendant--from the Memorandum Opinion, it appears his only act was to host a link to the webcast on his site! Presumably, this was some sort of a deep link that permitted "clickers" to bypass a pay login screen and obtain plaintiff's live webcast for free. See Live Nation Motor Sports v. Davis, (No. 3:06-CV-276-L, ND Texas, Dallas Division, December 11, 2006). There was no indication, however,that any of plaintiff's content ever appeared on or was resident on defendant's site or servers, and there was no evidence of any actual copying or public performance or other conduct that might violate Section 106, other than the link. What am I missing here?


Blogger Nick said...

When a decision like this leaves so many questions (what's an "audio webcast," was it just a link, was it a scheme to bypass a login screen, etc.) you know that the judge really had no idea what was going on here. It would be one thing to simply disagree with a judge's reasoning, but it's a another thing when people who know this area of the law have no idea what was even going on in the case. I'm also a fan of the judge's quote of the NFL case, saying "a public performance or display includes each step in the process by which a protected work wends its way to its audience," and reasoning that linking to another site is part of this process. What do you think of this? I think its madness. I hope there's an appeal.

8:27 PM  

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