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deepLinking-25 : What to say in defense of principle that deep linking is not an illegal act?

From: David Booth <dbooth@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 16:59:02 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20021011164924.025f82f0@localhost>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, www-tag@w3.org

In reading the draft finding at 
http://www.textuality.com/tag/DeepLinking.html , I have two suggestions:

1. I think there is a concept a stake that is not sufficiently brought to 
the forefront.  In particular, the difference between IDENTIFYING something 
and ACCESSING that thing.

2. I would suggest a library/book analogy for deep linking.

I would suggest adding (or merging) the following description to your draft 
finding:

--------

A URL is simply a NAME for a particular document on the Web.  It is NOT the 
same as the document itself.  Consequently, there are two very different 
acts that need to be clearly distinguished:  (1) The act of IDENTIFYING, 
REFERRING TO, or TALKING ABOUT a document; versus (2) the act of ACCESSING, 
OBTAINING or COPYING that document.

A "home page" URL is analogous to the physical address of a library.  A 
"deeply linked" URL is analogous to the physical address of a particular 
book within that library.  Both are used to unambiguously identify 
something and indicate where it can be found.

For example, I can unambiguously identify a particular library by writing:

         "Somerville Public Library, 75 Highland Ave,
         Somerville MA, USA"

This library address is analogous to a "home page" URL.  It allows me to 
unambiguously identify that library when I am talking to you, so that we 
are certain we are discussing the same library.  It also tells you where to 
find that library.  However, IDENTIFYING the library is NOT the same as 
ACCESSING it.  Your possession of the library address does NOT necessarily 
give you the right to ACCESS it.  (Indeed, you might be required to hold a 
valid library card for that particular library in order to access it.)

I can also unambiguously identify a particular book WITHIN that library by 
writing:

         "The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins, Call number
         591.35/DA, Somerville Public Library, 75 Highland Ave,
         Somerville MA, USA"

This is analogous to a "deeply linked" URL.  Again, it allows us to 
unambiguously discuss that particular book, and it tells you where you can 
find that particular book.  However, your possession of the book address 
does NOT necessarily give you the right to ACCESS, OBTAIN or COPY that book.

ANYONE should be able to use a URL to IDENTIFY, REFER TO, or TALK ABOUT any 
document on the Web, even if that document is deeply nested within a 
particular web site.  However, this does NOT mean that everyone should have 
the right to ACCESS, OBTAIN or COPY that document.


-- 
David Booth
W3C Fellow / Hewlett-Packard
Telephone: +1.617.253.1273
Received on Friday, 11 October 2002 16:57:37 GMT

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