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.

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Companies: business week

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Comments on “Why Is Business Week Telling People They Can't Link To Its Site?”

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Stephen Arnold (user link) says:

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.

vic says:


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.

Overcast says:

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.

Rick says:

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?


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.

Iggie says:

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.”


Business Week=Out of Touch=Irrelevant

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