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

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2002 21:32:56 +0100
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20020709211938.03954de0@joy.songbird.com>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: WWW TAG <www-tag@w3.org>

At 10:29 AM 7/5/02 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:

>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.

I saw that and had some similar thoughts.  I think any such statement would 
have to be very careful to limit itself to describing technical aspects of 
web architecture, and not of itself appear to try and usurp the role or 
rule of legal process.  So I offer the following edit of your words:

[[
  The architecture of the World Wide Web does not distinguish between the 
notion of a
  "home page" or a "gateway page" and any other web page.  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.
  Direct access to any page on a web site is an integral part of the intended
  design of the Web, and fully in accord with its published rules of operation.
  Sites who which to restrict direct access to specific pages are encouraged to
  use the available technical means to assert such controls.
]]

#g



-------------------
Graham Klyne
<GK@NineByNine.org>
Received on Friday, 12 July 2002 21:13:42 GMT

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