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Playboy is going the Quentin Tarantino route with a lawsuit over linking

Playboy is going the Quentin Tarantino route with a lawsuit over linking
[Photo: Les Anderson /Unsplash]

Remember when Quentin Tarantino sued Gawker for linking to his Hateful Eight script and the case was dismissed because linking is not copyright infringement? Well, Playboy wants to try it again for good measure.

The magazine is suing Boing Boing for a February 2016 post titled “Every Playboy Playmate Centerfold Ever,” which links to an Imgur post that archived every single one of Playboy‘s centerfold pictures. The site also reportedly embedded a YouTube video that contained the same 746 images. Boing Boing did not create the YouTube video or the Imgur archive. It simply linked to it and commented on it, which is akin to saying, “Hey, look at this hedgehog camping!”

Playboy may have a perfectly legitimate copyright claim against whoever uploaded all of the images to Imgur, but it’s hard to imagine that a court would agree that Boing Boing infringed its copyright by simply writing about the collection. Playboy may be feeling emboldened, though, because of a recent decision in the European Union that did prevent news sites from linking to Playboy material.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a brief supporting Boing Boing. It said the suit is “groundless and should be thrown out,” citing the many, many times that courts have tossed out similar cases on the grounds that linking is simply not copyright infringement. At least not yet, anyway.ML