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Norwegian Supreme Court: Linking to MP3s illegal

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 29 Jan 2005 1:35 User comments (15)

Norwegian Supreme Court: Linking to MP3s illegal Norway's Supreme Court has upheld the lower court's earlier ruling and decided that linking from a website to MP3 files is illegal even when the actual MP3 files aren't hosted by or in any way associated to the website linking to them.
Case is about a Norwegian teenager named Frank Allan Bruvik who set up a website called back in 2001 and allowed his users to submit direct links to MP3 files that would then become a huge browsable list of links to MP3 files across the Web.

Now, the case sounds like a really simple -- providing links to illegal material, guilty. Not quite. Can Google be sued, closed down and its owners thrown to jail because they provide links to millions and millions of sites that distribute cracks, illegal audio copies, etc. Should the person linking to an external site take a full responsibility of the material also behind that link? And where is the limit? Is it that linking directly to .mp3 files is illegal? Is it legal if I'd link to a otherwise blank page (instead of directly to the MP3 file itself) that has only a link that says "Download" and that would then open up the MP3 file?

Well, Norwegian court has decided that its technical knowledge is broad enough to answer to all of these questions and apparently direct linking to illegal material, even if it is not put there or hosted by you, is illegal. Period.

For providing links upto 170 MP3 files (compare this to millions available on P2P networks), Mr. Bruvik violated Norway's copyright legislation and has to pay 100,000 kroner (12,126; $15,807) to Tono, the music industry's lobby group in Norway. The ruling was identical to lower court's original decision back in 2003, which was later overruled by Appeals Court who decided that Mr. Bruvik didn't violate any laws, but the users who put up the links, did.

Tono's representative said that they were satisfied with the ruling, because it showed that music piracy would not be accepted.

Source: BBC

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15 user comments

129.1.2005 14:39

The world has officially gone mad!

229.1.2005 14:44

nothing surprising there, the writing has been on the wall for a long time now, for those of us who run ed2k sites its really a simple your site in the anally retentive USA or European Union and get busted eventually even though you do nothing illegal or move to Asia, Canada or somewhere even more obscure and more tolerant and less funded by the RIAA and MPAA.

329.1.2005 14:47

they're working on an appeal here in canada so don't count your chickens yet

429.1.2005 15:01

I never count my hcickens you just have to be ready to move ahead of the times instead of with them and that means checking out the legal situation in any country where you rent a server.The fact that the law may change in the future isnt a reason to stop renting a server in a country which permits it at the moment.

529.1.2005 15:05

as technology moves forward stuff like this keeps happening. eventually we will be told when to breath, and every family will have a window of time for when there computer can be on. hopefully not in my lifetime...the government can kiss my pure white ***!!!

630.1.2005 01:40

Whos for a ISP on the moon? just point your little reciever dish at sea of tranquility and your off.

730.1.2005 06:19

So linking to any MP3 is illegal? What about linking to Oggs or other formats? Also illegal, most likely. What about linking to MP3s from independent artists who have given the public the permission to distribute their music? Illegal?

830.1.2005 06:23

no as artist gave permission whereas others did not give permission

930.1.2005 07:28

just sending my crime tip to on the great piracy organization known as and oopss... i guess i committed a crime already.

1030.1.2005 13:44

Does it not seem to everyone that these corporate media hogs are attempting to stir paranoia into the very hearts of people? Are you paranoid yet? I'm not. You can't stop the wind from blowing. The internet is larger than any Corporation ever invented. You cannot squash P2P file-sharing no matter how many children you sue, or how many hostile threats of law suits you promise. You cannot stop global linking to mp3s whether direct, or 2nd party or 3rd/4th/nth-party. Big business has not learned their lesson yet. Big business is perpetually stupid. I don't want to draw unfair analogies, but these Corporations seem to be indulging in the same terrorist strategies as the alQueda in Iraq. (No, really....) If you are caught voting, you will be killed. (If you are caught downloading mp3 files you will be sued). If you are even spotted leaving a voting booth, you and your family will be killed. (If you link to an mp3, when we find you, we will sue you and your kids). Sounds like Corporate terrorism to me!!! Protect yourself everyone. Turn all your computers OFF right now, and don't ever visit another webpage. (Lock your doors, draw the shades, unplug the phone...) Stoooooopid .................. Recent history has taught us that for every single new restriction imposed on us by some corporation, there will be 1000 new resourseful, intelligent workarounds developed by the internet community to nullify it. No..... they never learn.

1130.1.2005 13:52

the only way to stop that is to shut down the internet & i doubt that will happen as it will affect corporations as bad as the average individual

1231.1.2005 04:33

I suppose that this it the website of TONO: It probably is useless, but you could mail them your opinion on this matter.

131.2.2005 06:40

Why email them my opinion when I can just email them some mp3 links? =|

142.2.2005 00:49

A_Klingon I totally agree with you. How naive of them!

152.2.2005 05:27

Thank you! :-) In my mind's-eye I can 'see' all these executive big-sh### sitting around the corporate back-boardrooms smoking Cuban cigars, sipping cognacs dreaming up all this crap to cause hardship on a select few in an attempt to justify their 6-figure salaries, 3-BMW homes, and private mistresses. But you wanna know a little secret, skan? Shhhhh.... this is just a secret between us here..... Not only have they lost, they *know* they have lost. What's more, they have known it for years. Just don't expect them to admit it to anyone. My comment that the internet is larger than any Corporation ever invented is proven true every day as more and more paid media-download services go online. Are the Global Record Companies "embracing new opportunities on the internet" ? Hell, NO! THEY'RE SUCKING-UP TO IT. (To you and me). WE are bigger than any of them! (And a lot more handsome, too).

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