Legal questions - Linking to streams


I'm looking to start a website which will link to online streams.

I have a few questions:

  1. Would I be liable for people linking to illegal streams from my website (my website will only link to websites, I would not host any streams physically on my site )? I would put a disclaimer on the site to only link to legal streams.
  2. Is there a difference between linking to external website pages and linking to external website streams? That is, are different 'laws' in place when linking to different types of material found on the web (pictures, information, streams, music etc)?
  3. Do I need permission from the website owner I'd link to to allow me to link to their website?

Any help appreciated, thanks.

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asked Sep 3 '11 at 19:06
115 points
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1 Answer


1). Depends on the laws in your country. Typically, it will also depends on the frequency of these "illegal" streams. If the occurrence is rare compared to the volume, you'd be fine so long as you remove questionable links within a reasonable time period. If the majority of your streams are illegal, you may get a lot of unwanted legal attention.... and if your website is a .com the US now believes they have jurisdiction over your site.

2). No. Sometimes a link is just a link.

3). That is a matter of opinion, but the general answer is no. If memory serves me correctly, there is a law suit with this question going on now (or just happened) where Newscorp (or another media company) didn't want their content linked by particular people but that may have been more to do with automated services linking to their content.

answered Sep 4 '11 at 08:55
310 points
  • Thank you Mike, +1. – Muffinbubble 12 years ago
  • Further to Mike's answer to (3), note that if the website owner doesn't appreciate your linking, he or she may employ technical measures to make your life difficult. See for an example. – Mike 12 years ago

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