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Legalities arising form links

  1. Oh, this is going to get interesting real fast.

    Legally, you don't need anyone's permission to link to them.

    Mark has stated that linking to warez will get your blog shut down asap. The videos on Youtube are usually there without permission. Same idea. :)

    One thing that comes to mind. As I understand the Youtube setup, the uploader has to mark if their video is to be publically accessable. That means the uploader is giving permission for other sites like or to embed and use the video in their own sites. I would think that would mean legal permission to use and display.

  2. Here's a fascinating paper on "Unlawful Linking" some might enjoy:

  3. My take is that linking and embedding of copyrighted stuff goes on all the time, and you're only in danger of losing your blog if somebody complains. Take livejournal icons. An overwhelming proportion of the userbase uses copyrighted material in theirs, but until somebody complains nobody cares. Such complaints rarely come from copyright holders, who are far too busy and important to care what people post in their blogs; they're more likely to be from somebody you've annoyed so much that they want your blog ripped down. If you're not linked to any fandoms, it's not all that likely :)

    As regards charging for ad-free blogs, the difficulty with establishing a set cost is that all our blogs are going to be earning Automattic different amounts of revenue, depending on what type of blog they are and how much traffic they get from Google. If such an upgrade ever is implemented, the amount you pay for it will certainly be more than Automattic would make from having the ads on your blog (so expect news posts on how nasty ads are and how much better your blog would be without them -- no more talk of how they're 'discreet' and you'll probably never even see them.) For that reason alone, it would be interesting to see what the price of such an upgrade would be.

  4. Dr Mike, what I said is correct. I think we all understand that the law and WordPress terms of service are not the same. My point was about the law.

    And I agree with your take on YouTube; during the upload process, the uploader has to indicate that they do actually have the copyright, so embedding the videos which are public in our blogs is done with their permission. The Spiders on Crack video went viral and the owner then disallowed embedding: I'd already posted it, and when you clicked you just got a warning "Embedding has been disallowed" and it wouldn't play. I asked him to reconsider, maybe a thousand other people did as well, and he then made it public again. But you cannot play or embed a YouTube video without the uploader having given his permission for that at some point.

    Point being: unless they are in conspiracy with the blogger, the copyright violation is solely the uploader's.

  5. "so is there any legality concerns from linking, and featuring copywrited images and videos.."

    There may be 2 questions here: one to do with linking, asked before the comma; and the bit brought up after the comma asking about copyright.
    Copyright should be simple enough: the content belongs to someone (usually someone else other than yourself); and it's proper to get permission to copy.
    The legality of linking ( that is, telling someone where to find content) isn't so clear cut. There's a whole lot of documentation. In some circumstances if the owner doesnt want the content to be linked to, then it's illegal.

  6. I am just glad that I blog about Mixed Martial Arts. The MMA community is very tight nit, and you will virtually never get someone complaining if their pic has been used, or their site has been linked to, without permission. We (the MMA community) have a common goal, and that is to help spread the word about MMA and create and educate as many fans as possible and we dont let petty issues, due to greed, get in the way of that.

  7. @mf12185
    I salute your community for their attitude. We could use a lot more of it in the world today.

  8. I was very impressed that Second Life sent a letter to Darren Barefoot (out of the blue) saying they had no problem whatsoever with his spoof site "First Life." The world needs more of that attitude. It speaks well for Linden Labs.

  9. @timethief
    Thank you. It is refreshing isn't it? To see people like that in the world we live in today with everyone putting greed before values. The sport of mma teaches you values, hard work, dedication, and discipline. Greed is not a part of it. The athletes in mma are in it for the sport and the competition. They are not like other athletes who dont care if their team wins or loses as long as they get a fat paycheck. Mixed Martial Artists are in there to win and compete in the best sport on earth, because that is what they love to do. They love the one on one competition aspect. We work together to try to create and educate as many fans of the sport as we can. You will never see greed get in the way of that.

    I also encourage all of you to check out my blog at If you arent a fan of mma, you should really learn about it. I truly believe that mma is the purest sport and it has the best, most well rounded athletes in the world, bar none. I think if you read my blog and try to get educated on the sport of mma, you will be grateful.

  10. @mf12185
    I'm very familiar with the values you expouse; they mirror my own. I am a buddhist with 30 years of meditation practice and yoga practice as well. Setting that aside I ask: Have you noticed that we now have an Off-Topic forum? I'm asking because OOPS! you've turned the corner from writing about copyright issues and by placing the information above in this thread you are advertising. There's a new thread in the Off-Topic Forum it titled Plug Your Blog Here where the information above would be appropriately placed so, I'm pointing you to it Best wishes and happy blogging :)

  11. I'm so confused. I am also a very new blogger and have no idea what is allowed or not. I know that YouTube has a wealth of video clips and slideshows cut from movies. Are all of these clips illegal on YouTube? Can I insert one of these movie clips from YouTube into my blog and properly source the YouTube user who'd originally posted it? Pls advise. Thanks.

  12. When people upload to YouTube they assert that they have the right to do so. When they enable embedding, they authorize the public to embed those videos. So Youtube is not a problem and you don't need permission.

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