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Copyright questions.

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e again gentleman we ask that you please do not post nor add links (nor direct images of) that will lead you too any kind of magazine scans. This exclusive particular content is provided via Game Informer and we must respect thier right to that content on this forum just as we would for any other magazine.

I respect this sentiment greatly. But extending the policy to linking is controversial and I think it is fair to say this. A few years ago there were some court cases about whether it was OK to link to things that aren't ok. Or to link to things that link to things that aren't ok. What if I had posted a link to a page that had a link to the objectionable Game Informer article?


Again, I understand and agree with the sentiment. You are completely correct in my opinion. But I do question the limits, rules, and levels of linking. I do not mean to derail this thread, I just feel compelled to opine.

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Obviously it's for a good reason because the material is clearly copywritten....


Perhaps the forum guidelines need to be clarified? There's some other stuff that I wonder about, like what if IGN posts an image, that's larger by 640 by 480, which means, per the TOS, I can't post it. Thus, in order to post it, I have to resize it smaller, and host or upload it myself. Assuming the respective site's logo is still intact, is that allowed? Also, I'm not saying I did, and I'm not saying I didn't, but if my sig links to my site, which has forums, on which said article was posted as well, technically, I'd be indirectly linking to it. See....there's some odd gray-area stuff in there.


Then, there's also the Weekly Halo Update, which gets posted on forums everywhere. Can that be posted in its entireity? I'd think we WOULDN'T want to post direct links to other forums.


1. When you cite something, provide a link when possible and always state the source.


2. Never quote the entire text of something unless the owner of that information invites you to do so, like a press release.

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I'll leave the owners to post on the more complicated questions, but as far as IGN posting images with their logo on, big or small, I'd recommend a URL link rather than an IMG link anyway.


However, a lot of the time those images get released by the game company themselves, so you could try going to the official site to get a 'clean' image from the press pack.

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Here's my understanding of the situation (and forgive me if some of this is incorrect). It's all right to post links to images or articles on other websites, because they will lead a reader to that website, where said article or picture is posted in the first place.


However, posting of images or linking to scans from magazine articles is not allowed because chances are, the those who scanned the article and posted it on a web server are reproducing it without the permission of the magazine. Hence, it's a copyright infringement and we cannot allow posts to link to that sort of material.


I hope this clears things up.

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Okay, some good questions and great analysis from J.Fo. Just to sum up some things (to my understanding), here's the deal:


1. Any user-posted image must comply with the image size restrictions.


2. Do not post material or link to material that you know or have reason to know violates copyright. This includes images and scans of copyrighted material found on other sites.


3. I can't speak to why other sites post material that may not be within their control to post. I can say that sometimes there is copyrighted material that the owner(s) permit distribution. The Halo materials you mention might be one of those things, but I really don't know. We play it safe.


Clear as mud?



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I did a little research on this subject. And although I didn't find any specific law that says "linking" to a site which contains copyright violations is illegal, apparently there was a case where US government, backed by the US Patriot Act, contended that linking to a terrorist web site equates to "supporting" terrorists and their illegal activities, and is therefore itself illegal. So for this reason, linking to a copyright violation equates to "supporting" the copyright infringers, and might therefore be considered illegal for the same reason.




A few years ago a hacker reverse-engineered the decryption code for decrypting DVD video. It was plastered all over the net, and sites were compelled to remove their links to the code for legal reasons. I don't know how that panned out, because I can't find any related articles. If anyone remembers this or knows of any links to articles about it, feel free to post, but make sure the article doesn't contain the DVD code or an article from GI :D

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I think you're talking about the 2600 DeCSS case, aka Universal v. Remeirdes, et. al. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a crapload of information about the case.


Interestingly enough, that page doesn't seem to contain the final trade secret case official ruling (PDF). This ruling reversed the injunction on posting DeCSS stating that the code is protected speech under the First Amendment. Note that this is a unique phenomenon to the DeCSS case though - it is not simple reproduction of copyrighted material, but a "copy-protection" circumvention, as such, it doesn't really apply to the current discussion regarding magazine scans (which would still be a copyright violation). The pertinent part is the earlier ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmation of the injunction against linking, which as far as I can tell was not an issue addressed by the trade secret case. The 2nd Circuit opinion can be found here, which discusses all sorts of juicy bits about linking, and is, as far as I can tell, the current precedent on the issue. Reading through it though, there's a fair bit of waffling about. The final conclusion seems to be:

In applying the DMCA to linking (via hyperlinks), Judge

Kaplan recognized, as he had with DeCSS code, that a hyperlink has

both a speech and a nonspeech component. It conveys information,

the Internet address of the linked web page, and has the functional

capacity to bring the content of the linked web page to the user's

computer screen (or, as Judge Kaplan put it, to "take one almost

instantaneously to the desired destination." Id.). As he had ruled

with respect to DeCSS code, he ruled that application of the DMCA to

the Defendants' linking to web sites containing DeCSS is content-

neutral because it is justified without regard to the speech

component of the hyperlink. Id. The linking prohibition applies

whether or not the hyperlink contains any information, comprehensi

ble to a human being, as to the Internet address of the web page

being accessed. The linking prohibition is justified solely by the

functional capability of the hyperlink.


In facing this choice, we are mindful that it is not for

us to resolve the issues of public policy implicated by the choice

we have identified. Those issues are for Congress. Our task is to

determine whether the legislative solution adopted by Congress, as

applied to the Appellants by the District Court's injunction, is

consistent with the limitations of the First Amendment, and we are

satisfied that it is.

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