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Web stupidity: Link Bans

The US NPR (an equivalent to the BBC) is banning links to their site without permission. Hmm. I wonder if they have forgotten the definition of "public"?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2002 03:15 am (UTC)
Didn't a similar case get dragged through the courts over here a year or two back?
Jun. 19th, 2002 03:22 am (UTC)
Sort of...
The Shetland Times case was more of a competitor deep-linking to content on a site and then framing it as if it was its own content.

That's quite bit different from saying "check out the NPR site (click here)", which by their policy is forbidden without permission.

The web is built on links. Forbid them and you break the web.
Jun. 19th, 2002 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: Sort of...
Again, it's a framing issue to some degree, but this stuff goes back even further than that:

Jun. 19th, 2002 05:08 am (UTC)
One wonders if it is actually a legal defence mechanism, to allow them to track or halt particular groups linking to them. Then in general, they'd
turn a blind eye, but when they wanted to, come down on someone who was linking to them with something like "The Commie Faggot Fascists at NPR say"....

Jun. 19th, 2002 07:25 am (UTC)
Seems nuts to me
American Airlines did the same thing awhile back. I changed my long-standing link under "Travel - Airlines" to read, I used to provide a link to American Airlines, but their new policy says it "specifically denies you permission to hyperlink or provide references to the Site". For NPR to go this direction seems really wacko.
Jun. 19th, 2002 07:42 am (UTC)
Re: Seems nuts to me
This is what I said, in part, in filling out the NPR form.

How long
I have been linked to you for about 6-8 years. This policy may result in a link like the one for American Airlines at http://www.conjure.com/travel.html - a statement that I *used* to link to you.

I am a librarian and a KQED listener member. I link to you from both my work pages and my personal domain. If this is against your policies I am *so* gone. Put the public back in public radio. If you want to know who is linking to you - search on google. I hope every listener/member who has a web site and linked to you thinking they were doing the right thing fills out this stupid form and totally chokes your system. The web is BUILT on linking. This action of denying links without permission is the antithesis of good netizenship..
Jun. 19th, 2002 07:54 am (UTC)
Added injury
They bounced me back a FAQ! and

Thank you very much for writing. We're unable to answer every e-mail we receive but we do look at each one personally. Here are some other commonly-asked questions and the answers. If you can't find the answer here, please reply to this message and put 'help' in the subject line.

Grrrrrrrrrrr. I hate to penalize my local station but I feel my lifetime membership commitment slipping away.
Jun. 19th, 2002 10:32 am (UTC)
God this is to much like my work. I can pontificate on this if anyone really wants. But I've gotta go now..

Incidentally the Shetland Times case which someone mentions was actually decided on the basis that making a link to the site without permission was equivalent to illegally accessing a cable programme service, ie, like hacking into Sky 1 without a decoder box cos you want to watch Buffy for free. This makes me laugh every time.. great legal metaphors of our time..
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )