[thelist] Linking license?

Zachary Kent zachary.kent at gmail.com
Mon Dec 8 15:30:45 CST 2008

> At my day job I have been asked to place a link to an online newspaper
> article on our public site.
> My question is regarding the licensing. I read the information on the
> newspaper site and they require payment if one wants a pdf version of the
> article for posting or if one would like the html version for hosting on
> one's site.
> No mention to licensing requirements for just linking.
> Is it still necessary (I remember that in the past some companies wouldn't
> allow others to link to their pages but I am not sure if this has changed)
> to require permission to link to a page on another site or cross linking
> doesn't require that?
> What is the consensus on this matter?

My wife is an attorney and I just asked her about this.  The bottom
line is that if you are a non-commercial entity, there are fair-usage
rights that protect you from copyright infringement, however since
your site is commercial you do not have the same protections.  In
times past, links were considered fair game but now even links are
being prosecuted as infringement, which doesn't make sense to my
techie mind.  I would consult an attorney for a final word or be frank
with your employer and tell them if they get a cease-and-desist
letter, they may want to heed it unless they have the cash to defend
in court.  Both of these options might cost more than the reprint
rights to the article which might be the better choice in the end.

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