Disarranging Mine

Wednesday, August 21, 2002, 5:25 p.m.

This is too much fun. C|net's News.Com has an interesting and informative article entitled, "Web site flouts linking bans." This article brings to our attention something we hear about all the time on the web, but rarely pay attention to: Web sites that have various prohibitions against linking to them.

David Sorkin, a law professor at John Marshall Law School appears to have vested quite a bit of time and effort into this issue with his web site Dontlink.com. One thing the C|net article neglects to mention, though, is that Professor Sorkin is a blogger. Woo!

Anyway... The article lists several web sites that have linking bans, including Texas Instruments, the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio. Gee whiz! Those are some of the web sites I regularly link to. Prior to reading this article, I was completely unaware of their linking policies. I wonder if those web sites pay a reward if you turn someone in. What if you turn yourself in?

It's interesting to note that Michigan.gov has a policy banning linking. A .gov site that bans linking? Unreal.

Making a mental note to apply for a job policing web sites that link to the Wshingtonpost.com web site. Do ya think they pay commissions?

A statement from Allison Hoffman, the corporate lawyer for owner of Law.com, which, by the way has a policy banning linking (but not for long), provides this lame-o-matic justification:

One reason media companies might want to restrict links, especially deep links, is that they license content from third parties such as the Associated Press and Reuters. Those content providers could claim that unrestricted links to licensed content amounted to unlicensed distribution, Hoffman argued.

Um, well, that shouldn't be too big of a problem. Most of the major news web sites employ a little thing called the "Angel of Death:" What that does, is kill the article after it expires in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the media news web site and AP and/or Reuters, as the case may be. It makes the link dead, so to speak.

Hey, cool! Browsing around Professor Sorkin's web site, I note that he has another blog, Lawblog.com.

Now I'm off to my local newspaper's web site to see if they have a linking policy. Heh.

Another article from C|net, Media chief decries Net's moral fiber. *sigh* Peter Chernin, president of News Corp. spoke at a conference of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, about "the ‘enormous amount' of worthless content online."

Here we have just another media hack who purports to know what's best for the rest of us. Uh huh.

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