[thelist] Linking license?

Steve marathon.durandal at gmail.com
Wed Dec 10 11:24:32 CST 2008

On Mon, Dec 08, 2008 at 04:30:45PM -0500, Zachary Kent wrote:
> > 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.

Attorney's are usually conservative when offering advice. It's standard
practise even for commercial entities to copy a snippet (teaser) if you will
with the URL going back to the original website in order to read the entire
story. Just look at all the blogs run by magazines|newspapers that do the
this, without issue (Tech Crunch, Valleywag etc.). Can your wife offer any
precedents ?

Best Regards,

(my website):: http://stephen-allen.office-on-the.net 


"The true  measure of a  man is how he treats  someone who can  do him
absolutely no good." 
	      	     -- Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)


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