Thursday, June 01, 2006

Linking to Access Copyright

Michael has a good post on Access Copyright's Captain Copyright “information” website for young kids and their teachers. The content reminds one in some ways of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)’s pamphlet entitled Copyright Matters! – which also seems to tell teachers more about what they can’t do than what they can. At least Captain Copyright has pictures.

In any event, one of the more remarkable parts of this already rather unbelievable Captain Copyright website is the Intellectual Property Notice and Disclaimer – which contains the following gem, amongst many others:

Links from Other Websites

Permission is expressly granted to any person who wishes to place a link in his or her own website to or any of its pages with the following exception: permission to link is explicitly withheld from any website the contents of which may, in the opinion of the Access Copyright, be damaging or cause harm to the reputation of, Access Copyright. In the event we contact you and request the link be removed, you agree to comply with that request promptly. If you link to or otherwise include on your website, please let us know and create any link to our home page only.
(emphasis added)

So, Michael, reach into to your conscience as to whether your blog might conceivably “in the opinion of the Access Copyright, be damaging or cause harm to the reputation of, Access Copyright.” If the answer is even maybe “yes”, you may be linking without permission! This could at minimum be taken as showing a lack of “respect for copyright”. Or maybe even constitute infringement! And of course you should be prepared to – upon request –to remove your link “promptly”.

Seriously, readers, it shouldn’t be necessary to say this – but it ironically is apparently necessary in view of just the kind of propaganda that disseminates these days – that linking to a website and criticizing it doesn’t require permission. To suggest otherwise is nothing less than an insult to the public intelligence.

Is this the same Access Copyright that wants the Canadian government to enable it to license the Internet and to greatly increase its already considerable power and revenues through extended collective licensing? Is this the same Access Copyright that is already getting more than $30 million a year, mostly of taxpayers’ money, for its indemnity scheme? Is this the same Access Copyright that believes in “respect for copyright”?


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