Is there a right to link?

02 Nov 2011

See also: IRC log


Dan Appelquist (Vodafone, TAG)


torgo: might be useful for W3C to make a statement about how linking works
... definitions and understanding for legal and regulatory uses
... a lot of legal thinking is based on the metaphor of a page of content viewed by the user, born out of print media
... but it doesn't really work that way, who are the actors, what is their role in a page
... linking, terms and conditions statements about deep-linking, republishing material from a website, sublicensing
... gag orders (like the Twitter examples about celebrities in the UK)
... copyrighting aspects of framing

HenryThompson: takedowns from the Department of Commerce on certain websites, but you can still see the pages on the Wayback Machine

Wayback Machine has some exemption from copyright concerns?

torgo: intention of this document is not to give carte blanche to anyone who wants to post anything on the Web
... we're not saying (not our role) that you're allowed to link, but that linking is a speech act
... rights to freedom of expression will vary by jurisdiction

@@: linking in/out of context, embedding a frame

torgo: document contains definitions of basic terms (a page, linking, embedding, hosting, etc.)
... describing to a non-technical audience what it means to host a page
... feedback: is this accurate from a technology perspective? and is it useful for a policy perspective? does it go too far / too opinionated?

Noah: the TAG taking a position of linking as a speech act could itself be an opinion violating that principle

<RalphS> Publishing and Linking on the Web, TAG Editor's Draft 27 October 2011

torgo: clearly delineate which parts discuss the positive/negative impacts on the Web, and separate them from factual presentation

<RalphS> Olvier: consider disambiguating what acts are "performance" in the copyright sense; what acts are "speech"

<RalphS> Noah: I'd avoid the legal terms as (a) they're not our area of expertise and (b) they vary across jurisdictions

<RalphS> ... stick to explaining what the Web does

olivier: it would be useful at some point to have some IP lawyers involved in this documentation

Noah: meeting with Rigo on Friday as one step

npdoty: there might be people at UC Berkeley who would be interested in helping; Pam Samuelson, perhaps, but also other faculty including Brian Carver and Deirdre Mulligan; I can help make those contacts

DanDruta_ATT: structuring the document differently would make it easier to understand; add a Frequently Asked Questions
... encourage people on the web to link to this FAQ
... "read later" as an interesting use case, user-driven caching
... a user can bookmark and have it cached on a server (Instapaper, Read Later, etc.)

Noah: the involvement of the user for various forms of caching could make a difference to a court's judgment

DanD: becoming a popular trend, as in new version of iOS
... widgetizing a page out of publicly available content, and making it available to a user
... curating content
... is there liability to the moderator or curator?

npdoty: an example from the Tracking Protection Working Group about the potential copyright infringement of user agent tools that prevent making certain requests

Noah: note that user agents have a lot of flexibility about how they interpret a page (not loading images by default, varying presentation for accessibility or other purposes)

BradKemper: a range that would also include screen-scraping, for Flipboard, for example

torgo: in some cases we want to tell a content owner that if they want a particular protection, rather than defining it in a terms of service they could also take these simple technical measures

DanD: real-time translation another scenario, transforming content in a way that might not be approved (or even accurate)

<anecdote about riots and garden parties>

hadley: people generally understand that linking to something is talking about it without the target's endorsement
... the granularity that links allow to a single piece of data (Linked Data) affects this perception
... usually you link to a specific piece of data in the context of another act of interpretation, analysis or processing

<olivier> [ Note - someone else we may want to talk to is Michael Geist: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/767/157/ ]

Noah: could say, let's assume that links are benign, with a discussion of context
... though the text of the URI itself could make a difference

olivier: fair use will vary by country, which is one danger of giving interpretations for a particular country

Noah: should just describe the consequences, rather than taking a position about which consequences you policymakers should avoid

torgo: continue discussion on the public tag email list

Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2011/11/07 01:35:24 $