Knowingly Linking to Infringing Websites: MPAA PeekVid YouTVpc : USA Europe : Illicit Links

A good argument can be made that it is or should be illegal – in principle – to knowingly link to infringing content on the internet.

Chris Tew has drawn my attention to his article at WebTVWire concerning the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) copyright infringement lawsuit against PeekVid and YouTVpc, as also discussed by Nate Anderson at ars technica (digg) and Scott M. Fulton, III, at BetaNews.

As written at The Register by Lucy Sherriff in MPAA unleashes legal eagles on YouTV and PeekVid:

Civil lawsuits were filed against YouTVpc and Peekvid in US District Court in Los Angeles for “damages and injunctive relief” for violations under the United States Copyright Act of 1976….

    The MPAA alleges that the two sites “contribute to and profit from massive copyright infringement by identifying, posting, organizing and indexing links to infringing content found on the internet”.

See Chris Tew on
Linking to infringing content is probably illegal in the US
and
Linking law expert Dr Stephan Ott talks about linking to pirated video
where Stephan Ott is quoted as follows:

In my opinion linking to infringing content is unlawful and that is also what most of the courts say….

In the USA there are Safe Harbour provisions for hyperlink providers. You receive a take down notice and you comply with it, th[e]n there is no liability. So far we have nothing that is compar[a]ble to that system in Europe. I think we need a simil[a]r system and there are discussions on the European level.”

See also the Stephan Ott website at
Links and Law