Why Is Business Week Telling People They Can't Link To Its Site?

from the you-got-me dept

We've been linking to Business Week's website for many, many years here on Techdirt. A quick search shows a long list of posts that all link to articles on the Business Week site. In fact, Business Week has hired a PR firm that has often sent us stories, requesting that we write posts to them. I actually found it rather amusing that a publication would have PR people to try to get more buzz about its own articles -- but those PR people were always friendly, and some of the links they sent were actually quite good. Yet, apparently, someone didn't make this clear to other folks at Business Week. Mathew Ingram points us to a post by SmugMug's CEO, who claims that Business Week demanded he take down a link to a story about his company, pointing to this user agreement that forbids deep-linking, among other things. In the past, we've seen other sites make such claims, though none have been shown to be legal. You simply can't forbid someone from linking to you, no matter how much you might wish to do so. It's rather surprising that a site like BusinessWeek.com would have such a policy in place (especially while actively seeking such links from others) and even more surprising that someone there would move to enforce such a policy. In the meantime, if they would prefer it, we can stop linking to Business Week.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Hellsvilla, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 4:16am

    Right hand, I have someone I want you to meet.

    Right hand, please do come in and sit down. I have someone I want you to meet. His name is wrong hand. Watch him closely and slap the hell out of him when he gets out of line.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Stephen Arnold, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 4:52am

    Linking to Business Week

    I am delighted with one more "old media" company sending mixed signals. The world has changed for publishers of traditional magazines, and their actions remind me of rescued dogs. There's joy, confusion, discomfort, and wariness. One hopes some of these dogs adapt and maybe learn some new tricks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Merrill, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    No Follow

    You should add a "No follow" to all the links to BW.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:15am

    Re: Linking to Business Week

    One more example of why the lawyers should not be the ones setting business policies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    atomatom, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:18am

    Telling people they can't link to your site is like telling people they aren't allowed to send you email. Even if it was true it isn't going to make any difference on the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    vic, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:23am

    link

    The ability to link to othere sites should be allowed. If only to make the host site user friendly. Is this hampering free enterprise? I will go in search of a link if I need to find out more. Let the host site give it to us and we will continue to use them take away the ease of use and ruin their business.I think that is UNAMERICAN.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    vic, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:24am

    link

    The ability to link to other sites should be allowed. If only to make the host site user friendly. Is this hampering free enterprise? I will go in search of a link if I need to find out more. Let the host site give it to us and we will continue to use them take away the ease of use and ruin their business.I think that is UNAMERICAN.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Alexander Muse, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    Not so...

    Turns out BusinessWeek is denying this one. According to them, 'it just isn't true.' Do you have a copy of the letter?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Mark Evans, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    BusinessWeek

    It's a bizarre move - probably made by a "senior" executive who believes blogs are using links to BusinessWeek to create better content..or something like that. I expect there will be a very quiet reversal in policy soon because it's such a dumb decision.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Trevlac, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 7:31am

    Re: link

    Well the internet is not hosted by "AMERICA" so take into consideration the whole world please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    Who gives a F$%k?

    Most sites, if not all - I use are the result of being linked there. Techdirt is one.

    As a matter of fact, with My google page set up - all the sites I ever visit are links from RSS feeds.

    I had Business Week up there too - but I'll give them their wish - I'll take it down and link to another financial information site.

    Of ALL the business in the world that CAN make money off of the web - the finance industry is 'A Number 1'.

    That's ok however - in all consideration, they obviously don't have a good grasp of how the economy is changing due to the internet. I believe I will get more sound advice elsewhere anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    rkme, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 8:42am

    who week?

    hmmm.........and they call themselves business week? Interesting way of doing it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    JustMatt, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 8:52am

    Trying to be funny

    1) Ha ha, I'm self-referentially linking to TechDirt! http://techdirt.com/articles/20080126/18041977.shtml

    2) Re: Hellsvilla thanks, I needed a laugh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Jamie, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    Why not just block external referrers?

    Business Week could save itself the bad PR but shutting up and just having its web developers redirect all external referrers to some other part of the website. There's no point in demanding the rest of the Internet stop "deep-linking" when Business Week could just redirect those links itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Rick, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    Sue Them.

    Maybe SmugMug should sue Business Week for daring to write an article about them and posting it on their web site? It's obvious trademark infringement if they dared mention the company name, right?

    /sarcasm_off

    Our sense of legality is so corrupted and confusing right now, it's a wonder people even try to observe the law anymore. If one company can't figure out what the left hand is telling the right hand, why should anyone bother? We can just sue, instead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Iggie, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:41am

    Do they understand the concept of http?

    Business Week is completely clueless with the regards to the core nature of the Internet. They should have a look at any URL in the address bar of their browser and they will notice four letters - http. I wonder what they stand for?

    hypertext transfer protocol

    Hypertext as defined by Wikipedia is:

    "Hypertext most often refers to text on a computer that will lead the user to other, related information on demand."

    Therefore

    Business Week=Out of Touch=Irrelevant

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 10:05am

    This seems like an easy thing to deal with: don't link to them.

    They'll wonder why no one's going to their site soon enough...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    User agreement yawn. Worthless and ignored. I have never read one and I have no intention of feeling obliged to obey them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This