Suit Claims Web Linking a Violation

Roy T. Fielding (
Tue, 22 Sep 1998 15:37:45 -0700

More in the evolution of dumb lawyers ...

In a lawsuit that experts say
threatens the freewheeling nature of
the World Wide Web, a
photographer claims JC Penney Inc.
should be held liable because its
Web site was one of three "links"
that ultimately led to an
unauthorized display of his photo of
movie star Elizabeth Taylor.
Celebrity photographer Gary
Bernstein's complaint contends the
department store, which advertises
Taylor's "Passion" perfume on its Web
site, violated his copyright even though its
own site did not show his photograph.
The suit appears to be the first to claim
a copyright violation resulted from
multiple linking, the main way of moving
about the World Wide Web. A hearing on
whether the suit should proceed past the
initial phase is set for today before U.S.
District Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles.