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Linking to major news articles
sierra11b




msg:234381
 9:50 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a business site with good content that's being improved on every chance I get. I write monthly widget market articles that relate to my service area(s). I have an archive of past articles/newsletters etc.

I am interested in linking to other content related articles from other major news websites as resource to my clients. There is no request for reciprocal linking.

What are the repercussions, if any, of doing this? Last thing I want is a lawsuit.

Thanks,

Eric

 

diamondgrl




msg:234382
 10:54 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you simply link to another site, no problem. Don't think twice about it.

I've actually been advised by lawyer to get a legal opinion on whether linking to another site is okay without express written permission, but that is the most bone-headed, idiotic, butt-covering caution I've ever heard coming from a lawyer whose interest appeared to be to make his colleagues some money. The whole web would collapse if you couldn't link. And at worst, somebody ends up telling you to stop and you do if you don't feel like you don't need the controversy.

Now, on the other hand, do NOT appropriate content from another site and put it on yours. That's theft. And more legally gray but in my opinion clearly in the wrong is framing another site's content without permission.

eurotrash




msg:234383
 11:40 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

As you are not breaking any copyright then you should be fine.

To be ultra-careful, if you are going to link to a story on a site, quickly check out that site to make sure that they don't expressly request that you don't link to them. I would suppose that you are linking to trade publications for a certain industry/service and that you would know most of them anyway.

incrediBILL




msg:234384
 11:51 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Did you all just miss that Google just lost a major lawsuit in France over this very issue?

[webmasterworld.com...]

I would say linking to the web site OK, deep linking directly to news articles on sites has always been questionable. Maybe if you write your own headlines, or just leave the links as a pure URL with no comments under a listing of "other related articles" - but I wouldn't use their headlines until this all shakes out.

eurotrash




msg:234385
 12:01 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL,

I think this is a completely different situation.


Agence France Presse has sued Google Inc., alleging the Web search leader includes AFP's photos, news headlines and stories on its news site without permission.

This is about taking AFP's content into it's site. The person here is only asking about linking to articles. As far as I am aware, there are very, very few news organizations disallowing this. I have been a journalist for over 20 years and all through the web time can remember very few complaints to linking to articles.

FYI - Google haven't lost the suit, it was only filed on Thursday according to the Reuters report.

incrediBILL




msg:234386
 12:10 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

There have been others, I remember sites like the NYT jumping on people deep linking to their articles.

I am interested in linking to other content related articles from other major news websites as resource to my clients.

All I said was don't use their headlines.

The problem was the site deep linking had ads, which were construed as taking money away from the site they deep linked to which also had advertisement which were perceived of diminished in value due to the site linking to them. I don't remember all the details, was many years ago.

You're best off getting permission first, that's all I'm saying.

sierra11b




msg:234387
 12:21 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would say linking to the web site OK, deep linking directly to news articles on sites has always been questionable. Maybe if you write your own headlines, or just leave the links as a pure URL with no comments under a listing of "other related articles" - but I wouldn't use their headlines until this all shakes out.

I would think writing my own headlines for the link would be worse? Can anyone explain why this isn't the case?

Just so i'm tracking let's assume the original headline is "red widgets turn for the worse." If I change it to "red widgets affect the price of rice in the local market" and deep link off that new title then that's more acceptable?

incrediBILL




msg:234388
 12:27 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would think writing my own headlines for the link would be worse? Can anyone explain why this isn't the case?

Because the headlines are copyrighted material - which is the very thing the French are yelling @ Google about.

Sacre bleu! Tels sont MES titres que vous avez volé le Monsieur Search Engine

martingale




msg:234389
 12:39 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Go ahead and link. I would think most of the time using the headline is OK too. If they don't like it they will send you a cease and desist letter, at which point cease and desist.

While the French are launching a suit over the headlines I would think there is a clear "fair use" argument for using the title of a page in a link to it.

Voxman




msg:234390
 12:43 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

And more legally gray but in my opinion clearly in the wrong is framing another site's content without permission.

Someone should tell that to about dot com ;)

diamondgrl




msg:234391
 1:27 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

This discussion is getting out of hand. Long before the Internet was a glimmer in inventor Al Gore's eye, books - yes, those bound packages of paper - cataloged articles on specific subjects. The Science Citation Index did the same for scientific journals. The Social Science Citation Index and many many more.

There was no legal issue providing the name of the headline and the author and page number it appeared on. Nor has the law or standards of decency changed since then.

The fact that we're having this discussion and providing seeds of doubt in anybody's mind means that the lawyers have won.

Use common sense. Don't be greedy. Don't go so far as Google did, including portions of the articles and images. If all you have is headlines and links, I wouldn't even listen to a cease and desist order frankly, although you might if your tolerance for risk is lower.

I have mentioned in another thread that I got a lawsuit threat recently by a guy claiming to "own" his name and that I couldn't publish his name as the author of an article. Not that I was publishing anything of his that was copyrighted, mind you, must that I couldn't mention his name because he "owned" it. That is such outrageous horsepucky that I told him politely after several rounds of failing to convince him that he should consult an attorney and I also provided him the names of multibillion dollar companies that he would also have to sue for doing the exact same thing with his name as I was doing.

sierra11b




msg:234392
 6:32 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I see what everyone's saying. I also understand & agree with the “information bank” type civil-disobedience as it steers away from the ideal a lot of you internet old timers once knew. Unfortunately, I do not know enough about law and copyright infringement in the WWW to make these types of decisions. I wouldn’t want to step on my own tail as a result my own ignorance.

I'm going to go ahead and do it with my own, similar headlines. If they send a cease and desist letter then the content will be removed that evening. I doubt it'll ever come to that though... It’s a good thing I have some close lawyers friends though.

martingale




msg:234393
 2:46 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I doubt you'll need a lawyer, even if you use their headlines. It's expensive to go to court for them too. If you comply with their cease and desist letter they'll be content with that. You'd only need a lawyer if, like Google, you wanted to keep the content on your site and ignore their letter... and really, I will bet dollars to donuts that you will never get any such letter.

Buzliteyear




msg:234394
 10:22 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

My main page has a news section where I write my own headlines and link directly to the articles.

About a year ago I even asked some of the newspapers for permission to put the articles on my site, but they said no way. (Hey, it was worth a shot) So, they do know about me.

My point is that they know and have done nothing. They geat a lot of hits from me and would be crazy not to want it. I link to about 15 different newspapers or news web sites at any give time.

I say, go for it.

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