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- Right to publish a link
December 3, 2010, 12:00 am
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I published a link on the links page on one of my sites, linking to a
page on website A (not my site). I also published it on a social media
site. All positive, as I think the content is great....
(Basically "check out this cool page - www.example.com/coolpage.htm")
I got an email from website B saying :-
"If you want to use this link you have to state below the link that is
taken from Website B. In any other case it is forbidden to use the link."
To be honest I just took the links down and didn't even reply. (and I
didn't take the link from website B, I found it on Google)
I personally am chuffed to bits when someone deeplinks to a page on my
site, it's good for both SEO and proves compeling content IMHO.
But I did then wonder.... Can you stop people linking to pages on your
site? Is there a good reason too?
Re: Right to publish a link
No, there isn't any legal way to stop people linking to your pages. The one
possible exception would be where the nature of the link is clearly
defamatory, like this:
<a href="http://example.com ">An organisation which murders kittens</a>
In that case, they could probably force you to remove it. But that's
nothing to do with linking per se, it's simply about the law on libel. And
it has also been established, in UK law at least, that linking by means of
a frame or iframe is actionable as it gives a false impression that the
included content is your own. There are also some cases where deep linking
may constitute an infringement of copyright or other intellectual property
(although all the reported cases where a court has found against a linker
are either lower court decisions that were overturned on appeal or, on
closer inspection, turn out to involve other forms of infringement of which
the linking is merely one manifestation). So it's pretty much an
unchallenged fact that a simple link from one website to another, without
anything that is either libellous or that falsely passes off the linked
content as belonging to the linker, is not in any sense illegal.
As for your case, where website B claims to have copyright over a link to
website A, that's simply absurd.
Please let us know the link and the website which claims they own it. I
have a repeated blog series where I post about websites with stupid terms
and conditions, and I'd love to add this one to it.
Re: Right to publish a link
I'm not sure I even understand your example. If A and B are unrelated,
what makes B think they have *any* standing to address your linking to A?
The only "good reason" I can think of is malicious. Someone, maybe a
competitor to A, doesn't want people giving them business, so they send
threats. And apparently it worked in your case, because you took down
the link to A.
Do everyone here a favor and give the actual domains in question. It's
all vague conjecture without knowing the particulars.
iPhone apps that matter: http://appstore.subsume.com /
My personal UDP list: 127.0.0.1, localhost, googlegroups.com, astraweb.com,
and probably your server, too.