W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > October 2009

Re: URIs, deep linking, framing, adapting and related concerns

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 09:30:23 -0400
Message-ID: <760bcb2a0910160630u3ec590f8m8c142844d5864a0e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Rotan Hanrahan <rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org, Thinh Nguyen <thinh@creativecommons.org>
I think you are mostly asking architectural questions, which I won't
answer right now; I just wanted to touch on the non-technical
question.

On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Rotan Hanrahan
<rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com> wrote:
> To the TAG members,
>
> Recent discussions with other W3C members once again highlight the general
> mis-understanding of the role of the URI (or URL, to use the term more
> familiar to the wider community). The publication of a URL that identifies a
> third party resource cannot (in any sensible manner) be prevented by that
> third party because the URL is merely the address of a single resource
> within a huge public space. By virtue of placing the resource into the
> public space, the owner of the resource (or the associated intellectual
> property) has effectively agreed to reveal the address and make it “common
> knowledge”.
>
> Some owners of these resources seem to believe that they can legally prevent
> people from uttering Web addresses in public. This would be counter to the
> architecture of the Web, which depends on being able to make such
> references.
>
> This probably seems correct to anyone familiar with the Web. A statement
> from the TAG to this effect reinforcing the open nature of URLs may help
> dispel the misunderstandings about what can and cannot be done with URLs.

I agree that a statement from someone is desirable. But this is
primarily a legal question, which the TAG is ill equipped to answer.
Putting a URI somewhere is a form of speech and is subject to whatever
local regulations govern speech. For example, trademark law prohibits
uses of a mark that might confuse a consumer, and uttering a URI that
contains profanity, threats, pornography, copyrighted material, state
or personal secrets, etc. would also be subject to law. So the
question is not black or white. As for things like the absurd
http://www.aa.com/i18n/footer/legal.jsp "links to the site", you'd
really have to get an attorney or legal scholar to tell you that you
are violating no law by ignoring what American says. You shouldn't
believe me.

I would be happy to reinforce a request that W3C make a statement or
FAQ of some kind on the subject. It might be desirable to summarize
statute in a sampling of jurisdictions, and there is some relevant
case law that W3C could point people to.

Jonathan
Received on Friday, 16 October 2009 13:30:56 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:48:17 GMT