Posting links

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ACCESS: Confidential
10 June 2007
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I've just noticed the following on an old post of mine..

"I came across this link during research - I did a quick check and didn't see that anyone
else has posted it.
link removed
lots of interesting information
Don't post links to illegally posted copyright material - Site Admin"

Don't know if there is a better place to post this comment - but I wonder how you are supposed to tell that material you have seen on the web falls into this category?

I trawl literaly thousands of web sites a week on many subjects both in the course of business and for private research. I can think of absolutely no way of knowing if material is on the web 'illegaly' as you suggest.

It is possible you are aware of such for personal reasons - for example it could be material you own or similar - but a third party could not know this.

Now while I fully agree with atempts to control or identify such bad behaviour this comment seems somewhat strange or perhaps badly worded.


Much material on the internet is scanned from books without permission from the copyright. If its just a single image, there's not much can be done about it, and it *may* fall under fair usage in some territories. If we reference the site we found it on, thats the best we can do.

However, there are some sites which offer whole scanned books - often these sites are located in Russia or China - and these can include books written by authors on this board. The site you linked to did not appear to be the legitimate publisher of its content but offered whole books for download which seemed to have been scanned from print.

As we depend heavily on those authors who do the hard work of researching and publishing books, I try not to provide any links to such places. If you think my judgement was wrong, please let me know why.
overscan, if we find materials on the Internet and have a concern of whether they fall under "Fair Use" under Copyright law, should we send you a PM before posting them on the forum? Or should we post them and then send a PM to a moderator to look at them?
Generally I would say, individual images just post with source, but be careful of any site with entire publications offered.
I don't in anyway object to the principle. The web is making a real hash of copyrights - and Google and Microsoft aren't helping with their book projects either.

I rather objected to the
"Don't post links to illegally posted copyright material - Site Admin"

For the reasons I laid out in my first email. In essence it is impossible to know - the full or partial text test doesn't work any longer - thanks to Google and co.

This site, and many others, just wouldn't work unless you take advantage of both the fair use exceptions for research and deep linking to web sites (there must be literally hundreds, if not thousands of images on the site where copyright approval has not been given in practice and it could be debated how much of it is 'research vs entertainment'). If the site was a print magazine it wouldn't work.

Deep linking has been a questionable method of accessing resources ever since it became possible - but to give a link via the home page and then the necessary instructions to reach a particular item would be very frustrating to both originators and readers.
Again the site just wouldn't work without deep links.

Hence the amount of care one can take is very limited.

I would suggest that both the home page and the deep link are given in each case perhaps? A technique I use on another 'research' site.

I think you might have made a more appropriate comment - to the effect that the link had been removed as the site/link breached copyright than the words used.

Perhaps I am being oversensitive - on the other hand you are being somewhat unrealistic, even if the intention is both good and supportable in principle.


Fred, I think, Paul isn't speaking about sites with just some photos or drawings embedded in
an article about just that theme. But in many cases it will be evident from the first look onto
a site, that the material offered there cannot be posted with compliance to copy rights. If a
whole book, that is still available in the bookshop is offered for free download, the alarm bells
should ring. And there are other sites with hundreds of 3-views, but never a source is mentioned.
Here, too it is clear, that the owner of that site don't give a damn on copy rights.
Had at first the idea of a kind of a black list with such URLs, but this probably would just turn out to
be additional promotion !
I was thinking about this last night - as I'm aware of a number of cases where whole books have been released to the web by writers/publishers deliberately - specialist subjects with narrow reader base. Aviation history in particular.

Yes, you can often find the original release and copyright restrictions, if any.
But search engines often deliver you to a popular site which may contain material rather than the original / authors site.

I agree that your idea of a blacklist, if published, would probably encourage miss use - but they can be embedded in sites to check posted links in such a way as to be hidden. Merely automating what moderators may do in practice.

I fully support the intention here - it was just the way it was put by the moderator when the link was deleted that annoyed me. Whilst I'm reasonably sure the intention wasn't to imply that the link was offered as a deliberate encouragement to access , as he puts it, 'illegal' material it did carry an element of that in the rather blunt wording.

In this case a dubious link has been detected by the site moderators - fine.


I in no way intended to imply a deliberate act on your part. Perhaps a poor choice of words? I was probably just in a rush and wanted to remove the link.

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