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One Bad Link Can Put You in the Clink

Monday, July 16, 2012

bad linksDo you have a website?  Do you know someone who has a website?  Either way, you might want to read this next article.  It might prevent you from breaking the law. 

One way that people share information and content with each other is through providing links on their websites or their social media sites.  This can include links to video content, product content, shopping sites, news sites, etc.  This “sharing” component of the web is what makes it such a powerful medium.  The challenge becomes less about what content to share but more about whose content to share…because if you share the wrong content, you just might end up in jail.  That is what might happened to a British man who is looking at potentially 10 years in jail for linking his website to a site that has pirated content.

This man, set up a website called TVShack.net (BTW, we are not providing a direct link here because we definitely don’t want to go to jail for linking to a questionable site).  The site is designed as a simple resource of interesting links.  The man even went as far as putting a disclaimer up stating that the site is simply linking to others and is not responsible for the content on other sites.  Unfortunately, U.S. authorities (and the Motion Picture Association of America) didn’t see the site as a simple link resource…especially, since the man had generating ad revenue around $230,000 since 2008.

The man is arguing that providing links is not copyright infringement.  He is doing nothing different than what Google, Bing or Yahoo do, and that is to provide links to interesting, relevant content.  Whatever the outcome, it should make you think twice before linking to that cool new website.  Read the original article below.

Original article: Just linking could get you 10 years in jail