Every time you think that we'd reach that point in our internet evolution that people knew better than to think they could "regulate" or charge people for the privilege of linking
to them, you find out otherwise. Jeff Jarvis
points us to the rather amusing news that the Newspaper Licensing Agency in the UK, which currently licenses things like clippings and reprints of newspaper articles, has now declared that it also controls the right to link to newspaper sources
, if done for commercial purposes. So, for example, PR services that used to send out clippings, but now just send out links to online sources will soon have to pay up, according to the agency. This is quite an interesting interpretation of how the web works, to claim some sort of extended right to how one can use a link to your site. It's basically saying "to hell with the way the web works -- and has always worked from its earliest days -- we want to pretend that things are the same as they used to be." It is, in so many ways, the equivalent of demanding that all automobiles only be driven with men waving red flags walking slowly in front of them. Good luck, Newspaper Licensing Agency, in convincing the world to pretend the web doesn't work the way it has always worked.