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It is more of a legal question but related to what you can and are allowed to host on your service/server.

How responsible is a server administrator for links on the website that point at illegal content (Copyrighted material mainly, excluding child pornography).

I see that google is forced to remove few links from their database due to DMCA breach but how is hosting any links illegal since you don't host the copyrighted material.

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migration rejected from serverfault.com Jan 20 at 1:14

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as primarily opinion-based by dan Jan 20 at 1:14

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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This question appears to be off-topic because you need legal advice from a lawyer, not a bunch of sysadmins on a free website. –  MDMarra Jan 19 at 22:35
    
@MDMarra sure... maybe we should open legaloverflow or something :P –  user2789433 Jan 19 at 22:41
    
Is the question about United States law? You mention the DMCA, which is US-only. (By the way, to answer your last paragraph -- did Napster "host" any copyrighted material? I'd suggest you start here.) –  David Schwartz Jan 19 at 22:45
    
@user2789433 Although this could be a concern for Webmasters, as MDMarra points out, this is primarily a legal question. It would be advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property in your locale, as laws differ between countries. –  dan Jan 20 at 1:13

1 Answer 1

How responsible is a server administrator for links on the website that point at illegal content (Copyrighted material mainly, excluding child pornography).

If you knowingly assist people in violating copyright law, you can be sued for contributory infringement. The classic example would be holding the operator of a flea market responsible for vendors who sell bootleg CDs and DVDs.

I see that google is forced to remove few links from their database due to DMCA breach but how is hosting any links illegal since you don't host the copyrighted material.

Napster didn't host any copyrighted material, did you not get the news that they lost a lawsuit for millions of dollars and were forced to shut down?

If you are located in the United States, you really want to register a DMCA agent so that you get the protections that United States law affords.

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