creative references (was Re: CPAC Quotes Templeton)

Adam Back aba at
Tue Aug 19 16:36:01 PDT 1997

Tim May <tcmay at> writes:
> >[hypertext links not copyright infringements]
> >
> >Am I on firm legal ground here?
> I think so. Even quoting _blocks_ of someone's text is usually considered
> "fair use," and there have never, to my knowledge, been any cases in which
> a reference or pointer to a text was considered copyright infringement.
> References, as in bibliographies, are in fact just that, references or
> pointers. Saying "Go read Joseph Finder's "The Zero Hour"" is not an
> infringement of any sort.
> As for Web pages, it seems clear that the same logic applies. Someone who
> makes their material available to anyone who follows a link cannot object
> when someone else publishes that link, no matter in what context.

You can get creative about how you reference material with the web

For example say that you set up a page which contains your criticisms,
plus large chunks of, or the whole copyrighted document, using some
kind of inline web text directive.

It's the users web browser which is putting the parts together, the
copyright holders web server is serving some parts of the page, your
server is serving other parts.

For a visual example of this, check out:

The inline image is in the UK, the rest of the page is on Lance's
machine.  The reason for this one is that the image is ITAR/EAR
sensitive, and Lance's machine is in the US.

Is it possible to include text in a web page?  I know you can do
images (as in the above example) by doing:

	Look what the silly copyright police are doing...

	<IMG SRC="">

	isn't that a daft claim?

And is serving their own image so they have no
grounds for complaint.  (Moi? I just referenced it... it was Joe Q
Publics web browser which combined my text and your copyrighted

Now I don't think you can do

	<TEXT SRC="">

directly, but I'd be willing to bet you could do it with javascript/or
java, in such a way that the viewer wouldn't really figure out where
the various parts of the current "page" were coming from.

Anyway, the copyright police, WIPO, SPA etc. are the enemy in my book.
The difficulty of trying to applying these old laws to the internet
where they hardly make sense, suggests that copyright is going to have
to "give" longer term to adjust to reality.  Legislation against
gravity never works out long term.

I was kind of hoping eternity might become a small contributing factor
for this cause.  1 copyrighted text so far.

Have *you* exported RSA today? -->

print pack"C*",split/\D+/,`echo "16iII*o\U@{$/=$z;[(pop,pop,unpack"H*",<>

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