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RE: Revised TAG finding: '"Deep Linking" in the World Wide Web'

From: Kay, Michael <Michael.Kay@softwareag.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 13:10:49 +0200
Message-ID: <DFF2AC9E3583D511A21F0008C7E62106073DD10C@daemsg02.software-ag.de>
To: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org
I don't find legal German easy, and I'm not a lawyer anyway, but I do find
this case rather puzzling. It doesn't really seem to hinge on "deep linking"
at all. It relates to the right of one party to protect its investment in
the arrangement and presentation of its web site, as distict from the actual
pages within the web site.

My reading is that the complaint described in this judgement is that someone
provided a view into someone else's database without the database owner's
permission. I would have thought that was contrary to the European Database
Directive [2], and it surprises me that they didn't use that legislation to
make their complaint.

Article 5 of the EDD reads:

In respect of the expression of the database which is protectable by
copyright, the author of a database shall have the exclusive right to carry
out or to authorize:

(a) temporary or permanent reproduction by any means and in any form, in
whole or in part;

(b) translation, adaptation, arrangement and any other alteration;

(c) any form of distribution to the public of the database or of copies

The definition of "database" certainly covers the kind of web site we are
talking about here, e.g. a searchable news archive, and "adaptation" and
"arrangement" seem to cover the activity of creating a view of the database
with deep links into its content.

The European Database Directive was established because people felt that
there was insufficient IPR recognition of the investment made by companies
who compile information that itself might be in the public domain, e.g.
legal databases; it creates a copyright in the arrangement and selection of
material that is separate from any copyright in the material itself.

Michael Kay
(this is not in any way an expert opinion)

[2] http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/infosoc/legreg/docs/969ec.html

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian B. Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]
> Sent: 11 September 2003 17:38
> To: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: Revised TAG finding: '"Deep Linking" in the World Wide Web'
> Hello,
> I've published the 11 Sep 2003 of '"Deep Linking" in the
> World Wide Web' [1]. From the status section:
>   "The only change in the 11 Sep 2003 finding is the addition of a   
> reference to a court decision in Germany that relates to deep 
>    linking. The TAG decided to add this to the finding at its July   
> face-to-face meeting."
> I added a new section (9) entitled "Policies" for references of this 
> sort.
> At the July ftf meeting, the TAG agreed that this revision
> could be published without requiring an additional review and 
> decision by the TAG since it only involved addition of a 
> reference to a policy decision. Nonetheless, I welcome review 
> of that (very short) addition to ensure that it is correct, 
> especially since it is a reference to information in German.
> Thank you,
>  - Ian
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/deeplinking-20030911.html
> -- 
> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
> Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447
Received on Friday, 12 September 2003 07:10:54 UTC

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