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

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 10:29:15 -0700
Message-ID: <3D25D76B.1000401@textuality.com>
To: WWW TAG <www-tag@w3.org>

Saw it in slashdot: 
http://slashdot.org/articles/02/07/05/1431249.shtml?tid=95 - A Danish 
court has ruled that deep linking is illegal.  This is obviously 
architecturally profoundly broken, and furthermore, HTTP provides in the 
"referer" field a mechanism to implement a policy to prevent this 
happening if somebody for reasons that seem good to them wants to do it.

I'm wondering if a statement from the W3C Technical Architecture Group 
might prove useful input to the debate that is clearly already under way 
in the real world outside, something along the lines of

  The architecture of the World Wide Web does not support the notion of a
  "home page" or a "gateway page", and any effort in law to pretend
  otherwise is therefore bad policy.  The publication of a Uniform
  Resource Identifier is, in the architecture of the Web, a statement
  that a resource is available for retrieval.  The technical protocols
  which are used for Web interaction provide a variety of means for site
  operators to control access, including password protection and the
  requirement that users take a particular route to a page.  It would be
  appropriate to bring the law to bear against those who violate these
  protocols.  It is not appropriate to use it in the case where
  information consumers are using the Web according to its published
  rules of operation.
Received on Friday, 5 July 2002 13:29:13 GMT

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