EU Court Considers Criminalizing Website Hyperlinks

EU Court Considers Criminalizing Website Hyperlinks

EU Court Considers Criminalizing Website Hyperlinks

The highest court in the European Union this week heard arguments which could impact the ability to link to content on the Internet.

Presiding over a case threatening the nature of the web as we know it, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on Wednesday debated whether website hyperlinks to content which infringes copyright laws should be permitted.

The court heard arguments regarding the GS Media case, in which a popular Dutch blog site posted links to leaked photos on a separate file hosting site.

Arguing the central role hyperlinks play in the digital environment, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) wrote that linking to content freely available online should be legal and was already ruled on by the court in earlier cases.

“If this capacity to link is put in doubt, the web would lose its universality and power,” the CCIA wrote. “The most important information medium of our time would be hobbled.”

 

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