Links & Law - Information about legal aspects of search engines, linking and framing

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 Update 1: November 24, 2002


Developing Stories:

1. European Convention on Cybercrime

An update of the European Convention on Cybercrime could criminalize hyperlinks to hate speech websites.

Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime concerning the Criminalisation of Acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, Text


Article 3 – Dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems

1. Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law, when committed intentionally and without right, the following conduct:

distributing, or otherwise making available, racist and xenophobic material to the public through a computer system.


Explanatory Report Nr. 28.

“Distribution” refers to the active dissemination of racist and xenophobic material, as defined in Article 2 of the Protocol, to others, while “making available” refers to the placing on line of racist and xenophobic material for the use of others. This term also intends to cover the creation or compilation of hyperlinks in order to facilitate access to such material.


2. Spamming

Referral logs of weblogs have become a new target for spam. They are stuffed with bogus links to pornography or advertising sites:


3. Paid Links

Is it necessary to label paid links?

According to the the Federal Trade Commission search engines need to mark paid listings. I will deal with that subject in one of my next uploads and ad a new section with links to news reports and legal analysis.


4. State Department Link

Until a reporter inquired about it, the State Department Website had provided a link to a Republican National Committee Website despite federal laws prohibiting government resources from being used for partisan purposes.


5. Link to illegal song

German opposition party CDU has been sued by Sony/ATV Music Publishing because of its use of the song “Aserejè“ by Spanish group Las Ketchup in its political campaigns. A link on their website leads to a MP3-file which features the song with new German lyrics. The song ridicules the government.


New in Decisions:


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New in Legal Resources:


The Links & Law website is updated regularily, so  check back for updated information and resources about search engine and linking issues.

You are currently in the archive with older news. A complete list of the updates can be found here!

Latest News - Update 71

Legal trouble for YouTube in Germany

Germany: Employer may google job applicant

EU: Consultation on the E-Commerce-Directive

WIPO Paper on tradmarks and the internet

The ECJ and the AdWords Cases



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