Right to Link

January 18, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

We all know how nearly fastidious Erich has been about making sure that we don’t violate any copyrights with the images we use on this blog. One way we manage this is by linking to content that we cannot properly copy or post.

links But now the issue of whether one can violate a copyright merely by linking to another web site is making legal rounds. I found out about the Right to Link movement via my  WebProNews subscription. There is more information at www.right2link.org.

What’s stirring this up is Rupert Murdoch blocking access to his content coming from certain legitimate url’s. Here’s a link to the story.

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Category: Censorship, Civil Rights, Communication, Intellectual property, Internet, Law, Networking

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (3)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    The right to link is still safe in the U.S. I wouldn't doubt, though that some commercial enterprises might someday try to control the link to their pages. This seems absurd, though. To analogize, it would be like making it illegal to tell someone the channel and time of a show you recommend. The link itself doesn't constitute any meaningful content. That's why it's called a "link."

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    This is not a hypothetical fear, but an actual problem. Murdoch has blocked incoming links from another site. If you visit newsnow.co.uk and try to follow a link to TimesOnline, it will not work.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    There's a big difference between blocking links and making it a copyright violation to deep-link. My above comment went to the fear of making it a copyright violation to link.

    I'm less offended by someone blocking a deep-link. I figure that it is their website and they can cut their own throat by blocking incoming links (except, presumably to the home page). This doesn't offend me any more than having a big paywall. I think that either of these are effective methods for diminishing traffic to a site, sending one's site to oblivion. So there is a natural incentive to let the links keep coming in.

    To make linking a copyright violation would be MUCH more problematic, given the damages that could be awarded against a "violator." That was the concern of my earlier comment.

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