Author Puts Article Online, Insists That Due To Copyright, You Cannot Link To It

from the that'll-work dept

BeeAitch points us to yet another misunderstanding of copyright law, though this one is more amusing than anything else. It comes from an article from 2005 written by one Dr. T. Matthew Ciolek, from Australian National University, and it's apparently about "trade routes." Honestly, it doesn't matter what the article is about. What matters is that at the very top, it says:
Note: due to copyright restrictions this page may not be linked from other online pages.
Then, at the very bottom, it says:
Copyright (c) 2005 by Encyclopedia of Globalization. Grolier Academic. All rights reserved. This page may not be linked from other online pages.
And, in neither case is that accurate. You absolutely can link to it as I have just now (and above) and (what the hell) will do again (just for fun). Sorry Dr. T. Matthew Ciolek, that's just not how copyright works. You are free to block anyone who comes via referrals from other sites (or block referrals from this site specifically). You're also free not to post your content online, or to bar others from republishing it (recognizing certain legal exemptions). But, nothing in copyright law says that you can order people not to link to your work.

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  1. identicon
    MrWilson, 11 Nov 2011 @ 6:02pm

    And the problem with this notice is that the uninformed will be afraid to link to the article.

    I had a coworker bring me a similar situation where she wanted to quote a sentence from a website that was reporting some statistics that were relevant to the report she was writing and that she was going to post online. But she was wary of the copyright notice on the website which stated that any reproduction of any aspect of the website without express written permission was a violation of copyright laws and violators would be subject to civil and possibly criminal prosecution.

    I laughed and explained to her about fair use, about how statistics themselves cannot be copyrighted, and about how the copyright laws are so fucked up that there's no liability placed on parties that misconstrue what their rights are under copyright. They could put up a copyright notice that states that you owe them your first born if you copy any of their content and there's no repercussions for such misrepresentations.

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