Copyright and Links

Any copyright experts out there? Nooma/Zondervan marketing people have asked that I remove a previous post that linked to Nooma study guides online. They sent me a very polite email asking that I remove this material from my website. The only problem is, this material is not on my website. It is on multiple websites including nooma’s own website in pdf form. I just organized a list of links to what others had uploaded. So the post has been removed but now I am really wondering for future reference how copyright works with links.

Anyone know if it Is copyright infringement to link to what someone else makes public?

0 Responses to Copyright and Links

  1. M. Wright says:

    There is no copyright law against linking. Many companies have sent out such letters to bloggers, but as far as I know, none have been successful in bringing lawsuits and instead have tended to back down when bloggers refuse these requests or seek legal representation. I suspect the same materials you linked can also be found through links hosted by Google — which is probably where you found them in the first place. Until Zondervan is ready to similarly threaten Google and other search engines with legal action, they need to stop trying to intimidate bloggers.

  2. It seems like they are trying to use the DMCA Takedown notice procedure to get you do “delink.” The poblem is that the DMCA would only give them that ability if you hosted the content. If you are linking to content they host, there is no infringement. If they are that concerned, they should simply remove the content from their site. You aren’t doing anything wrong and don’t have to comply with their request.

  3. As long as you don’t host the content, you are fine. A public link fair game for all. Especially considering that they put it under a public link on their site…

  4. Mark says:

    Well, at least they were polite about it. It does seem a bit obtuse, though, to turn down the traffic you were probably sending their way.

  5. Philip III says:

    When I read M. Wright’s response, I could almost hear “Public Enemy” playing in the background…

  6. Rick says:

    Hey Matt – I guess there are really two questions. What is legal and what is right? I don’t know that law but it seems you are ok there. But in regards to what is right, that’s a tougher matter. They were polite and while I cannot not think of a good reason for their request, why wouldn’t you go along. It seems unnecessary but perhaps it’s the gracious (albeit silly) thing to do.

    It’s your our call.

  7. mattdabbs says:

    I felt like I had every right to post the links without violating copyright. If I scanned their material and produced the pdfs and then sent it to my wordpress files or to my own server and hosted it that would be different. Links? They need to go after those people I am linking to…not me.

    But as Rick said, I immediately changed the post to “draft” to remove it from the blog because it was the courteous thing to do. Being American says if you have the right to do it, do it. I believe meekness, humility and Christianity would say “even though you have the right doesn’t mean you should exercise it.” So the post is gone.

  8. mattdabbs says:

    Thanks to everyone for the expertise and input.

  9. Rick says:

    Great – now you’ve done it, you’ve put someone else, deserving or not, ahead of yourself … what in the world are you trying to do?

    🙂

    peace and grace to you …

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