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

Nick Gall
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On Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM, Jonathan Rees <>wrote:

> ...This seems very similar to your example #1 of image
> inclusion. If so a court may very well one day find <img> links to
> unlicensed material to be infringing.

The US Ninth Circuit  has already decided the issue of inline linking: "While
in-line linking and framing may cause some computer users to believe they
are viewing a single Google webpage, the Copyright Act...does not protect a
copyright holder against [such] acts..." See
more details.

I'm not sure the other circuits or SCOTUS will agree with the ruling, but it
is out there.

Wikipedia has some great resources collected around the issues of deep
linking and inline linking:

Speaking as a former intellectual property litigator, I'd say that when you
strip away all the technological details, the fundamental issue comes down
to "fair use". So if the W3C, or anyone else, wants to take a position of
the copyright aspects of various kinds of hyperlinking (whether inline or
not), it should be couched in the four factor framework of US fair use law.
See .

-- Nick

Received on Friday, 17 December 2010 19:08:33 UTC