Sunday, March 06, 2005

AutoLink illegal In The UK

There was a lively debate upon this over on Grass Roots and Astroturf, until the admin decided to stop people commenting.

So, here’s where I believe Yoz and Cory are wrong about the Google Toolbar screwing with the display of my site.

I don’t live in the United States. I live in the UK. And in the UK I have legally-enforcible Moral Rights over what’s on my web site. For US readers, here’s a quick explanation from about what that is.

Here are the Moral Rights...

Moral rights are granted to the authors of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and to film directors:

  • to be identified as the author of the work or director of the film in certain circumstances, e.g. when copies are issued to the public
  • to object to derogatory treatment of the work or film which amounts to a distortion or mutilation or is otherwise prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author or director

In contrast to the economic rights under copyright, moral rights are concerned with protecting the personality and reputation of authors. The right to be identified cannot be exercised unless it has been asserted, i.e. the author or director has indicated their wish to exercise the right by giving notice to this effect (which generally has to be in writing and signed) to those seeking to use or exploit the work or film. Moreover, both the right to be identified and the right to object to derogatory treatment can be waived by the author or director.

There are also several situations in which these rights do not apply:

  • computer programs
  • where ownership of a work originally vested in an author's employer
  • where material is used in newspapers or magazines
  • reference works such as encyclopaedias or dictionaries

Authors of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and film directors are also granted the moral right not to have a work or film falsely attributed to them.

Now over on Grass Roots and Astroturf some of the arguments are based around the exemption for Computer programs and newspapers and magazines, mainly by Americans who don't grasp the concept, The exemptions are not what you think they are.

When it says newspapers it does not mean that newspapers are exempt from this, what it means is that, If you write a book and I write a review about it. You can not use your moral rights to force me to take it down.

Likewise with encyclopedias or dictionaries if you are famous enuth to be included in one or you invent a word that gets included you don't have the right to say that you want your name credited with inventing that word.

"where ownership of a work originally vested in an author's employer" Does not even apply in this situation unless someone paid you to blog for them, like the US government does with Jeff Gannon.

Computer programs applies to computer code rather than their content as far as I can tell so again does not apply.

I have to say I agree that Autolink Is illegal in the UK, But only if I wirght a letter to google and sign it saying that I don't want them to autolink my site.

Can you imagine the amount of paper work that would create for google? The sooner they realize a meta tag that turns off auto link the better.

No comments: