New Copyright Law Could Make Linking To Videos, Blog Posts A Crime

A proposed copyright law could restrict media communication by protecting copyright property from being linked to in blog posts.

As noted by Adam Estes in Gizmodo, a recent proposed addition to copyright law would make it illegal to link to certain copyrighted property.

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Link to a video without appropriate copyright permissions, violate the law

When on Twitter if someone links to a video that has illegally used copyright material, the person that Tweeted, or linked, to the video could be committing a crime, under the new proposal.

As an example, when Gawker linked to a previously unpublished Quentin Tarantino script, such a link would be illegal.  But the law could even get broader.  If a user were to link to a video post that had a song in the background, but the producer of the video did not obtain copyright permission, the person that linked to the video could have broken the law.

Impossible to check copyright of all linked items

The Digital Public Library of America wrote in a blog post, “…it would be nearly impossible to adequately assess the copyright status of all of the works in linked library collections. We hope you’ll agree that linking is an essential—perhaps the essential—element of the open web, and that we must work together to keep that option fully available to us all.”

The best case the Digital Public Library of America makes is that it would be virtually impossible for someone to determine the fair copyright of all items it links to.

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Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)