Federal Court of Canada rules on hyperlinks

The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that posting hyperlinks online that link to authorized materials falls within the law and does not constitute unauthorized communication or copyright infringement. The court determined that news aggregators, bloggers and other third-party individuals who re-publish news headlines and excerpts and hyperlink to copyrighted articles and photographs cannot be penalized as doing so can be qualified as “fair dealing.”

“The decision has enormous implications for Internet users and news organizations as it removes much of the legal uncertainty surrounding sharing information online,” said Internet Law Columnist Michael Geist in an article for the Toronto Star.

Geist goes on to suggest that the decision, which will likely be appealed, “will (also) have significant implications for copying in a wide range of venues including collective licensing for educational institutions.”

Read more »