I'm an individual who has designed a page listing links (organized by state) to animal shelters. The purpose is to try to encourage people to adopt animals that would otherwise be killed (instead of purchasing them). I have logos displayed for some of the shelters (all done with emailed permission from each particular shelter).
This page was up for years, and then down when my ISP went under this past year and lost all data. I recently got my own domain, put the page back up, and emailed all the representative shelters to let them know my new URL, in case they were interested or wished to add their logo if it didn't appear.
I got one angry email from a rescue site that claimed (to paraphrase) 1) They refuse to allow links to their site on sites getting revenue from ads [I have adsense ads on my page]; 2) They are not affiliated with my page [which I never claimed]; and 3) They never gave me permission to link to them, and if I don't remove the link to their site in four days I will be contacted by their legal council.
I do have their logo displayed - someone at their site gave me permission (by email) quite a few years ago, but sadly the hard-drive where I had that information stored at the time got corrupted and the data are unretrievable. I don't have a problem removing their logo if they no longer want it there, or even with removing their contact information (such as email address, which appears on their website). My beef is with their claim that my simply *linking* to their site is illegal if they don't give permission.
I have no money to hire a lawyer to answer this question for me (and I certainly don't have any money to fend off a lawsuit!) - is there any chance anyone here is familiar with whether it is illegal to link to someone's site if they ask you not to? They could hardly claim that I'm stealing customers from them with my ads, as I block/remove all Google ads from breeders or pet stores that sell pets.
Thanks in advance for any advice