Friday, 24 October 2003
Indirect linking & the DMCA
Ed Felton asks an important question over at Freedom to Tinker. As first blogged by Ernest Miller, Swarthmore has begun suspending the Internet accounts of students who link to the Why War? web site, which maintains direct links to the infamous Diebold memos. (See my previous blog entries on Diebold: 1, 2, 3.) While Seth Finkelstein points out the potential dangers of linking under Rameirdes (the DeCSS case), Ed notes that Swarthmore has escalated the danger by punishing students who link indirectly to the Diebold memos. The college is shutting down web sites that link to a site that links to the memos. What, Ed asks, is the limit? His article links to Ernest's article, which links to Why War?, which links to the memos. How many intermediate links would Swarthmore require before its students may exercise their free speech rights?
Ed offers the opportunity to test the waters by linking to his page, which is two steps removed from the memos. I deliberatetly avoided linking this article to any page "closer" to the memos than Ed's blog, to increase the chain by one. Anyone at Swarthmore feeling lucky?