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NY Times: Assessing Linking Liability

Question: May a court place the two publishers in the
scales and reasonably conclude that one is engaging in lawful
linking activity while the other has perpetrated a legal
no-no?

“In a largely overlooked portion of a recent decision, a federal
judge has indicated the answer is, yes indeed. According to Judge
Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District, in Manhattan, a link can be bad or good. It mainly turns
on whether the linker’s intent is laudable or not.”

“Depending on whom you talk to, Judge Kaplan’s reasoning is
either a swipe at the First Amendment, which may protect Internet
links as a form of expression, or it is a reasonable rule of thumb
that balances the rights of speakers and intellectual property
owners in the digital age….”

“After the decision, Corley removed the hyperlinks from his
site, but continued to publish the web addresses of the sites where
the decoding software can be found.”


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