There is now legal authority to support the proposition that hyperlinking to sites which host pirated material is sufficient to constitute an infringement of copyright: Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd v Cooper [2005] FCA 972.

The test appears to be whether the administrator authorised the infringement of copyright by "permitting or sanctioning and facilitating" the infringement through his or her website. In this particular case, scripts behind the website accepted hyperlinks that were submitted by users, and those hyperlinks were then automatically published. Disclaimers informing users as to their obligations under copyright law were no protection.

I have instructed our moderators to remove all hyperlinks - within a reasonable period of time - which have a real possibility of attracting the attention of legal counsel in the music industry (or other industries).

Please do not publish links fitting that description on this website.

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