The Pirate Bay has unveiled a feature that makes it easy for web users to post links to pirated material on their Facebook page. The activity risks passing liability for copyright infringement onto Facebook, a technology lawyer warned. The Pirate Bay is one of the world's most prominent link-distributing sites, and many of the …
Copyright Holders ?
How would the copyright holders become aware that you had a Torrent link on your personal Facebook page ? Wouldn't they have to 'become a friend' first ?
Think I'll post some links to Linux distro Torrents on my Facebook homepage.
Can't you already do this the other way around
I though you could post links on a wall to any website /from/ within Facebook.
This would imply that Facebook is then responsibly for all of its users link-posting actions, which surely can't be the case.
And what if the link was to a search rather than a specific file - is that still actionable?
...All this depends on whether or not what the pirate bay does is actually illegal?
As far as I am aware there has still not been any ruling that LINKING TO copyrighted material hosted elsewhere is actually illegal. I agree that FB may just block the application rather than risk it, but as things stand TPB is a perfectly legal website.
No, no no! *slaps nose with newspaper*
TPB haven't "unveiled a feature that makes it easy for web users to post links to pirated material on their Facebook page". They've unveiled a feature that lets users post links to Torrents. These Torrents then point the way to computers holding material that may or may not be copyright-infringing.
So they're posting links to links to files. I think Facebook is pretty safe.
Slightly OT but:
Who owns the copyright on the torrent files themselves?
I have to agree with Adam.
Torrent files are not copyrighted material, nor do they necessarily point to it.
Also, as Tony points out, they (TPB) haven't been found to be doing anything illegal yet, though I suspect the ruling in this case may well be down to preserving diplomatic and economic relations with the US rather than whether any Swedish law is being broken.
In what way is a link different to a link-to-a-link? They have the same net effect. I certainly wouldn't want to be explaining to a judge "no, yer honour, it's not a link to copyright material, because it's a link to a link to copyright material, ok the net effect may be the same, but I'm sure you'll find that I'm not guilty because of this minor technicallity."
Linking to material
I've recently been threatened by lawyers in Manchester for allegedly hosting pictures (taken on private land without the owner's consent) on my website, with claims of high court injunctions and huge costs if I don't comply.
When I pointed out that the images were just links to photos on Flikr and Photobucket they went all quiet.
@Slightly OT but:
> Who owns the copyright on the torrent files themselves?
I do. All your torrents are belong to me. Now, bend over.
There are some problems with this comment
"In what way is a link different to a link-to-a-link? They have the same net effect. I certainly wouldn't want to be explaining to a judge "no, yer honour, it's not a link to copyright material, because it's a link to a link to copyright material, ok the net effect may be the same, but I'm sure you'll find that I'm not guilty because of this minor technicallity.""
Technicalities are what make the legal system a wet dream for law students. People have got off more serious charges than linking to a link to a link to something that somebody says belongs to them, with a much more spurious defence.
Whether our "justice" system would allow the defence is another matter, but I'm sure that lawyers everywhere would spurt all over their legal briefs at the thought of the money to be made arguing it.
a link to link-to-a-link is massively different and here is why:
the link-to-link aka torrent is named centos.torrent, the content is actually pointing to windows xp 64 bit, the centos.torrent then gets posted on facefook.
By downloading centos.torrent, whether you clicked on it on TPB of facefook you are attempting to download centos, you are not attempting anything illegal.
It makes all the difference in the world...
...it's the difference between knowing what you're talking about, and knowing someone who knows what they're talking about....
...or the difference between stealing a car and knowing someone who stole a car....
...or maybe having a stolen car and knowing where there is a stolen car....
...and if you can't see the difference...then by 6 degrees of separation...we should all be locked up for all crimes...
"then by 6 degrees of separation...we should all be locked up for all crimes..."
Are you a politician?
Correct me if I'm wrong...
How do they know torrents are pointing to illegal content without having to download it and/or openning it themselves anyway? A file or a link to a file cannot be taken at face value since it can be ANYTHING, even a spoof of the file its apparently linking to.
As far as I can tell the prosecuting firms have broken the very law they're trying to convict people on...
How does that work?
The link on Facebook will be a link to a torrent file. You can download as many torrent files as you want and you'll (probably) never break copyright laws. There's nothing in them that's copyrighted, anyway.
There's then a second action that's the potentially illegal action, where you actually use the Torrent file.
So, Facebook's entirely in the clear.
IIRC you'd be committing an offence by downloading it. Whether you knew or not. Ignorance is no defence.
I can see Facebook getting rid of this when people start linking to ultra hardcore porn disguised as "Ford Focus Drivers Handbook.pdf (450mb)"
Since when downloading is an offence anyway?
I thought that the RIAA and friends didn't manage to stretch the law beyond "making available". Downloading does not prove that you infringed on anything. Now if the file is still on your hard drive 6 month later, there might be a case -if we're talking media files- but it would probably take a Texas court to win it. Think OSes for example: I believe I can have a few isos or CDs of, say, Windows, without a license. It's not an offense as long as it's not installed on any machine. Unless you can prove that I am selling them or something, but that's another problem entirely.
Linking to Links
The big question here is, if posting links to a file which links to *potentially* copyright material then why don't the MPAA & RIAA et al go after google. Searching for pretty much anything and appending .torrent to the query finds 1000's of links to links to *potentially* copyrighted material
Pirate Bay sues Facebook
And why not.