Quite a few points, but as you noted: The general policy towards copyrighted video is, "Unless YOU own the copyright, please do not link to it." I will maintain that policy until there is legal precedent to change. I don't expect the matter to be resolved soon.
I think you're wrong about this. I think this issue has not in any way been officially or legally resolved. You cannot copy copyrighted material. But making a link is not copying.
This is a new issue arising out of new, unforeseen technological advances, so there is as yet no clear cut legal interpretation of what a hyperlink constitutes.
You are right, the legal precedent has not been set. A link is not copying, but it does provide direct access to the copyright violation. Basically, that is why they sued and shutdown Napster, for providing the access.
Sharing music has never been fully resolved either, for that matter. So that leaves open the more interesting question: is music sharing OK when no profit or transaction of any kind is involved? For instance I think I should be able to make a cassette tape of my favorite songs, and send it to my daughter as a Christmas present. And I should also be able to do that with a cdrom or dvd.
Sharing is only legal if you don't get caught. See this Wikipedia.org article
for some indications of the legal morass involved. RIAA is actively pursuing and suing individuals for sharing. The cassette tape and CD copies have considerable legal precedent. They are clear copyright violations unless they are made for your own archival purposes. With regards to video, MPAA has bigger, badder, uglier lawyers than RIAA and better political connections.
Finally: back to deep linking. Google does it all the time. It is there policy to remove any deep link the page owner complains about, but they're careful to say this does not constitute any admission of copyright infringement. It's just their policy. So ... at the very least, the "general rule of thumb" about deep linking is "do your thing." In those rare cases where some fool complains, consider removing the link. But consider that then and only then.. ..people deep link to my website all the time. Occasionally I write to them to say "thanks."But usually I don't say anything at all.[/quote]There is a certain courtesy involved in proper linking. A direct link to the deepest contents of someone's website makes the source of the material unclear. For instance, a proper citation to your extremely interesting Lure Fly pages would be "see Sandy Pittendrigh's Lure Flies page on the montana-riverboats.com website" or something similar to let the reader know where it came from. Wikipedia.org is a great place to see good examples of internet referencing.
I don't want people to avoid video like the plague. But I do want them to ensure they are giving the copyright owner their due. Many people do put video on the web for unrestricted use. I simply asked Davie McPhail and he was very happy to give us permission. It is common courtesy to acknowledge the author and ask their permission to create links.
I also don't want to be repeatedly going over this topic. I realize my stance is extremely conservative, but it is my butt that will get sued in the long run. Perhaps we should revise this thread to include only the instruction resources and pin that to the top of the forum. And Sandy, I would really love it if you could include a post outlining/indexing some of the material on your site and some of the others on montana-riverboats.com There is some really neat information there.