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Linking to Unsecured Streams Illegal in Sweden

by Christopher Wendels on november 11, 2010

I never thought I would see the day. A newspaper reported (link in Swedish) on the outcome of a trial yesterday. The paper is a little off the mark (link in Swedish), but I’ll sum up the details.

What the Hockey-Linker Did
The Hockey-Linker, as he is known in Sweden, shared a link on his website.
The link pointed to a pirated stream for ice-hockey games.
Canal+, the broadcaster who was pirated, decided to drag the guy into court.
He was now found guilty on 18 counts of copyright infringement!

Incompetence is Key
The court in Hudiksvall is incompetent (link in Swedish). How can you charge someone with copyright infringement for simply linking to the material? No, not even linking to the material, but linking to a site providing the material. Would you say Google, Bing or Yahoo were doing the same for linking to ANY website hosting materials used without the copyright holder’s consent? No, you wouldn’t, but the Swedish courts seem to think that was a great idea.

My Issues With The Ruling
Since when can a link to a website be seen as copyright infringement? When I link to a website, it’s like drawing a map for you to follow. Let’s say I draw you a map. The map leads you to a store that sells pirated media. Now imagine that the copyright holder drags me to court for piracy, because I drew a map. That wouldn’t hold up, but because it’s on the Internet it somehow does.

/rant

Help spread the word, or we may just end up without an Internet.