Stupid Attempts At Linking Policies Live On

from the welcome-to-the-internet dept

It used to be quite common for web sites to bury linking policies in their terms of use, asserting that people needed permission to link to them, and could only do so in certain ways. Most people have figured out that's pretty ridiculous, but every once in a while, some lawyer who doesn't understand the internet at all puts together the TOS for a site, and includes some stupid "you have to ask before you link to us" policy. The link is one of the elements that makes the web what it is; it's sort of the point that people can use links to direct visitors to other places, enabling the spreading and sharing of all sorts of information. Linking is not copyright infringement, it's not a violation of a terms of service, it's not illegal -- it's a key part of the web. But somebody at the Financial Times, or its law firm, hasn't figured out that it's a good thing for people to link to one of their new sites, and has inserted a stupid linking policy into its TOS. Here's an idea: if they don't want people linking to the site, people should oblige them and not link to it. Want to try and control or limit how people send you traffic? Fine -- don't reap any of the benefits of inbound links, and take yourself out of Google and other search engines while you're at it.

Filed Under: linking policies
Companies: financial times


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  1. icon
    Desco (profile), 23 Mar 2009 @ 10:16am

    Referrer!

    Or here's another idea-- check the client's referrer and make sure it's coming from your own home pages, and if it's not, piss off your customers by sending them to your home page instead of the content they actually wanted.

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