Some not fun headlines…

Several stories from the last few days have been fairly grim.

Reading Harry Potter before release date illegal illustrates a view that some content industries love- that you shouldn’t even be able to read something without the author’s permission. This story is from Canada, and I’m not familiar enough with Canadian law to determine whether that viewpoint is accurate or not, but I certainly don’t think it’s accurate in the US. Michael Geist has a few things to say about the situation (July 12-13) and its attacks on the freedom to read, freedom of expression, and personal property. In the US, there’s also the doctrine of first sale…

In Australia, a man has been found guilty of hyperlinking. Combine that with proposed amendments to Canadian law that would make search engine activity illegal and a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, and you’ve got a good picture of how law and policy can affect the Internet as we know it.

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