I made these comments in the chat room about this issue:
- The internet is international and one can post links from Boonedock, North Dakota, and end up dealing with a court in Europe or elsewhere. It's happened and there's no reason to take a risk of it happening to someone here.
- In some countries people have been held accountable for linking to illegal content.
- We don't make the determination of what kind of site this is, educational or otherwise. That would be made by a judge and a prosecuting attorney might make a valid point that'll sway a judge in the other direction. We're not lawyers, we don't know the implications. Presuming to know what lawyers and a judge will say in a field where we (other than, possibly lawyers working for SE) are not experts is foolish.
- Allowing linking to (or embedding of) illegal content encourages more links to such content and that can discourage people who want to keep a clean legal record for various reasons. Some of those are content creators. I'm working on several scripts and also working toward starting my own film production company. When my production company is working, if I were found to be breaking copyright law, I'd be a prime target for law enforcement.
We have one answer on here by the screenwriter for Groundhog Day. The chances are if he had been by here and seen links to illegal content, especially links to long segments of that film, he never would have had a thing to do with this site and may have reported it to authorities.
Courts have, in the past, ruled against those just linking against illegal content. While YouTube has a Terms of Service and does actively pursue copyright infringement, there is no guarantee they get all the infringing or illegal videos. Why take an unnecessary risk of creating trouble.
Also, if material is in a gray area, and it's up on YouTube today, it very well might be yanked tomorrow - thus leaving us with nothing. While this could happen with any YouTube video, it is much more likely to happen on videos that try to skirt the law.
We are a legitimate, legal site and we want it to stay that way - there's no reason to take chances on walking into trouble we don't have to walk into. It leads to unnecessary risks that can hurt the site. One can make arguments here, but that's no guarantee those arguments will hold up in court and there's no reason why we have to take those risks.