I’m sorry to tell you that I will no longer publish the Java Weekly series. I know that a lot of you liked this series and I really enjoyed writing it. But based on my understanding of 2 recent court decisions and the blog posts of several German lawyers, publishing links to other websites puts me at risk to get sued for copyright infringement.
Let me try to explain what I found out. And please don’t base any of your decisions on anything I write in this post. I’m not a lawyer, and I might be completely wrong.
I spent the last few hours reading about a recent decision of the European Court of Justice (08.09.2016, Az. C-160/15) and another decision of the District Court Hamburg (18.11.2016, 310 O 402/16). As I understand them, every commercial website has to check that another website doesn’t infringe any copyright before linking to it. Linking to a website that violates someone’s copyright without proving that you took appropriate action to check for possible copyright infringements, is a copyright infringement itself.
Thoughts on Java is a commercial website because I do not only publish free blog posts, I also promote my Hibernate training. So, I would need to take appropriate actions to avoid any links to copyright infringements.
And before you start wondering, when I’m talking about copyright infringement, I’m not talking about linking to the latest blockbuster. You can violate the copyright of anything that’s copyright protected, like texts and images.
Based on common recommendations, I would need to send an email to the author of each post to which I want to link. In this email, I would need to ask her/him to provide me a written statement that she/he didn’t copy any text parts from somewhere else, had the required rights for each of the used images and applied all the necessary attributions.
That not only creates additional work and delays the publishing of each Java Weekly post, I’m also sure that most bloggers would think I’m crazy.
But that’s not all. I would need to repeat that on a regular basis because someone might have changed the website.
If I don’t do that, I’m at constant risk to get sued for copyright infringement just because I’m linking to a great technical blog post.
Again, I’m not a lawyer, and you shouldn’t base any decision on this post. But that’s how I understand the court decisions and about a dozen posts I read in the last few hours. I better not get into more details about my unqualified opinion on the current case-law.
Unfortunately, that’s the end of the Java Weekly series. At least until the interpretation of the current case-law changes. Law cases for copyright infringements are just too expensive to take the risk.
But that doesn’t change anything for my technical blog posts. I will still write about JPA and Hibernate. I will just be more careful about placing links to other websites.
I would suggest to host your website elsewhere. If you ever change your mind about that, I will be happy to cooperate. 🙂 In such case, please email me. Your Java Weekly Review is very helpful and interesting.
Sorry to hear your Weekly Mailing list is shutting down – it was always curated really well, with interesting posts
I’m really sorry about this bad news : your job is great. But I fully understand your caution
That is really bad news, the weekly java mails were very good and something that was really missing in the java world. Maybe we can work something out? Move the distribution to somebody else and share the work?
Oh, It’s sad! Your reference links are so useful to me. Because there are a lot of them out there, It’s better if freshers (like me) have reviews about them by a senior first.
I can’t believe this court decision.
Can’t you just remove all links?
IANAL. Are you in Germany? is this site hosted in Germany? do you do business with Germany or pay VAT? if none of these are true, then you’re not really subject to German copyright law. If you’re concerned about being sued in Germany, make your webserver block Germany with a big “I’m sorry but I’m a afraid due to concerns over the following court cases that we are unable to provide services to you.
p.s. I did a whois and it appears you are in Germany, in which case maybe you should consider seeing if there’s some way to join an appeal. As this will negatively impact your business and the business of others in that country. I know I’m less likely to read because the Java Weekly was my primary interest. It may also be possible that by hosting elsewhere you might protect yourself, but that’s also hard to say. Java Weekly as a Facebook Page or something 😉 Sue this 😉
I’m German. So, I either emigrate to somewhere outside of Europe or I follow the law :-/