(13)  Copyright, the Internet and the Shetlands (1)

On 24 October 1996 Lord Hamilton in the Outer House of the Court of Session granted interim interdict to stop the Shetland News from including within its World Wide Web site a link to the home page of a rival publication, the Shetland Times (Shetland Times Ltd v Wills 1997 SCLR 160, 1997 SLT 669). This was on the basis of infringement of copyright, through use of the Shetland Times headlines on the Shetland News page as the means of access, and because the Shetland Times web site was a cable programme, access to which did not involve interaction with users (see Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, ss 7, 17 and 20). The case appears to be the first on copyright and the Internet, but doubt has been cast upon the reasoning. A full hearing upon the petition for permanent interdict is expected later in 1997. Meantime the story can be followed on the newspapers’ respective web-sites, albeit without direct links to each other for the time being: http://www.shetland-times.co.uk and http://www.shetland-news.co.uk. See further No 24 above.