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

From: Rotan Hanrahan <rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 16:40:13 +0100
Message-ID: <D5306DC72D165F488F56A9E43F2045D30210C4CA@FTO.mobileaware.com>
To: <www-tag@w3.org>
Indeed, yet 6 years on the misunderstandings persist.

Also, this earlier TAG Finding predates the massive growth in adaptive sites where the representations returned from a URL will vary considerably depending on context. Deep links to such sites are problematic. The sites would not necessarily attempt to deny access via out-of-context linking, but might respond otherwise with an error, a redirection to a better alternative URL, or perhaps an alternative representation of the identified resource. I am not aware of any general guidance on which, if any, of these strategies would be appropriate.

There is also the issue of what is appropriate when a page contains references to third-party resources. If the phishing culprit were to directly present/manipulate the logos of the Bank of Webtopia, then perhaps a copyright/trademark infringement might be noted. But if said culprit were to place the manipulations into JavaScript/CSS/etc. and merely reference the images in the markup, then it is the end-user's browser that is doing the infringement. Or is it? (It's a legal question, so perhaps out of scope for the TAG.) Browsers might get clever about spotting these abuses of the Web, but if we *expect* the browsers to be this clever then perhaps the behaviour has to be part of the Web architecture itself.

I feel that perhaps a refresh of the 2003 Finding may be beneficial, and perhaps should include an appropriate "sound bite" that would attract broader attention and hopefully drive the message home.

---Rotan.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Booth [mailto:david@dbooth.org] 
Sent: 16 October 2009 15:49
To: Jonathan Rees
Cc: Rotan Hanrahan; www-tag@w3.org; Thinh Nguyen
Subject: Re: URIs, deep linking, framing, adapting and related concerns

"Deep Linking" in the World Wide Web
TAG Finding 11 Sep 2003:
http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/deeplinking.html


David Booth


On Fri, 2009-10-16 at 09:30 -0400, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> 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
> 
> 
> 
-- 
David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.

Received on Friday, 16 October 2009 15:41:21 GMT

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