W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > August 2002

Re: Potential wild-card issue outside W3C: legality of deep linking

From: Joseph Reagle <reagle@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 12:12:23 -0400
To: tbray@textuality.com
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <200208291212.23116.reagle@w3.org>

Dan Connolly pointed out to me that the TAG was considering the deep linking 
issue [1]. I do think it is an important issue and agree with the statement 
that the law should focus on abuses of existing controlling mechanisms. 
(Though I think some tweaks and further explanation to the strawman text 
would be useful.) To that end, given my limited understanding of the Danish 
case, the issues were rather simple and its ruling was poor. However, there 
have been two other recent incident that are more nuanced and tend to 
relate to the effect of deprived advertising revenue.

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/ilist#deepLinking-25

March 27, 2000 Ticketmaster Corp., et al. v. Tickets.Com, Inc.
Judge Hupp ruled that linking, absent "deception", does not constitute 
copyright infringement. However, the question as to whether a breach of 
contract given the license/terms associated with the target site is left 

June 20, 2002 NPR versus bloggers
Bloggers objected to NPR's policy of requiring permission to link or 
frame its content without explicit permission. It was unclear to me whether 
these constraints were predicated on copright or contract, but the ensuing 
stink encouraged NPR to back of the linking issue but presently they still 
prohibit the framing of their content, "NPR does not allow framing of its 
Web sites." [2]
[2] http://www.npr.org/about/termsofuse.html

While I'm no fan of frames, they too are merely a Web mechanism, just like 
hypertext.Regardless, as a point of information, the W3C does receive 
questions about the right to link to its site. Our FAQ on this note is 
effects based (misrepresentation) and mechanism independent (we don't 
preclude links or frames generally).

  4. May I link to the W3C site?

  Of course. Links are merely references to other sites. You don't
  have to ask permission to link to this site — or any other website.
  See ("link myths" for more on this).

  However, you should never do anything (including making a link)
  that misrepresents what is being linked to, or implies a relationship
  with the W3C that does not exist. For instance, you may not use
  misleading frames, URL tricks, or redirections that misrepresent
  W3C content as being published by anyone other than W3C.
  Note, this requirement to be clear in your representations is
  your obligation, the W3C does not sign waivers about who may
  link to us.
Received on Thursday, 29 August 2002 12:12:25 UTC

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