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Is iframing another site copyright infringement?
DLMdesign




msg:3980334
 10:17 pm on Aug 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am creating my first website for a small chiropractic practice, I have an informational/link page with an iframe in the center and 2 menus, when someone clicks a link it displays the ENTIRE site at the page requested inside my iframe, the site is fully interactive, and is not cut off in any way, it shows their logos, menus, links, sponsors, ads... Is this ok to do?

 

moTi




msg:3981270
 2:34 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

can we agree that framing other peoples webpages without their consent is illegal.
can we also agree, that caching other peoples webpages and displaying it in a frame without their consent is also illegal.

can we then make this strong and noteworthy assessment once and for all:

the caching of webpages like google, yahoo, bing do is illegal.

Demaestro




msg:3981298
 3:10 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Frame them on another site and I will consider it theft.

As you can see some people have very little sense of what is allowed and what isn't.

Framing a site is hardly theft, some may consider it to be but the law doesn't.

Digg, Google, and many other very large sites do this all the time. Reading what bill quoted

problems CAN arise if a frame is used to show pages from two web sites at the same time. The use of frames in this way CAN mislead the viewer of a site as to the creator of its content, POSSIBLY raising issues of copyright infringement, passing off, defamation, and trademark infringement

It is pretty open ended using the words "can" and "possibly" doesn't really make a final statement.

I really think it is depends on usage and context. It isn't cut and dry wrong in every instance, and yet there are many instances where it would be wrong.

Example:
A) I have a site that sell widgets, I don't have widget detail sheets that give widget specs and other info so I find a site that does and I frame their product descriptions......

I would call this lazy and wrong.

B) I have a site that educates people on the effects of asthma, treating asthma, and new medical asthma research, I frame a couple pages that show some graphs from the national asthma org, I frame a research paper from a renowned doctor doing great work with asthma patients. I have no ads, I credit everyone, I put it all in 1 nice little page.........

I would find this acceptable and worthwhile.

For me there are times to do it and there are times to not. To call anyone using frames a thief is extreme. To say there is no good time for them is short sighted.

Moti... no I cannot agree with that.

swa66




msg:3981302
 3:11 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

the caching of webpages like google, yahoo, bing do is illegal.

"illegal" only works if referenced to a set of laws. Since those laws aren't exactly the same all over the world, "Illegal" on has meaning without referencing a legislative context.

Even "ethically wrong" references a set of moralities and even that isn't the same all over the world either. What somebody might call "fair use", somebody else would call "stealing". Where others would question the mere concept of intellectual property itself ...

If you want the search engines to stop caching: tell them to do so (yes I know it would be better to have opt-in, but that's not what we have, we have opt-out. unfortunate, but fact of life.)
If you want it changed, and live in a country allowing you to do so: try to convince your government to change the opt-out into a legally mandatory opt-in, and over time we might see a change (but don't hold your breath).

signor_john




msg:3981510
 8:35 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

can we agree that framing other peoples webpages without their consent is illegal.

I wish we could, but the one case that might have provided a definitive answer in the U.S. (the Washington Post v. Total News case) was settled out of court.

FWIW, the Publishing Law Center has some useful observations about framing:

[publaw.com...]

Something to keep in mind: What happens if your client gets sued because of your decision to frame third-party content? For that matter, what if your client merely receives a threatening letter from a Web publisher's attorney? What will that do for your relationship with the client and your reputation as a Web designer? Are the benefits of framing worth the risk?

blend27




msg:3981577
 11:04 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Whether it is legal or not: There would be no explanation, when all of a sudden one of your site visitors sees some "EXTRA Ordinary Content" served by FRAMED Site. The only way I would frame the content is when I am 100% sure that I have control over the site that I am framing. I've seen cases when framed content site got hacked and we started getting complains from our visitors of POPUPS and in some cases :( Viruses.

graeme_p




msg:3981795
 7:42 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Framing is also often bad user experience. Unless you have a good reason to do it, the chances are that their page is going to work better by itself, as it was designed to.

What happens if the page is views with a small screen or large fonts - is there still room for their page in the middle of yours? Does it cause any accessibility issues? What happens is their site is shut down, or even if it is just down temporarily? What about external links from that site?

Brett_Tabke




msg:3981868
 10:47 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

> answers question

It is a total crap shoot in a court. He with the most money for lawyers - wins. There is no bottom line legal answer here. If Google can republish the entire web for more than 10 years with their own branding ad at the top and call it caching - you can do anything you can get away with. If you want an ethics debate - that is a whole 'nuther thread.

Status_203




msg:3981957
 1:29 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

If your page is being iframed then the referer (most of the time) should be the framing page shouldn't it?

If so, and you're in the habit of checking new referers you could serve up a custom page for known offenders in the same manner as messing with image hot linkers. The referer may not be 100% reliable but it's still reliable enough to make framers and hot linkers look bad ;)

What is the referer if a basic frame buster is used? Is it consistent across browsers.

signor_john




msg:3982124
 6:01 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

If Google can republish the entire web for more than 10 years with their own branding ad at the top and call it caching

1) Why the obsession with Google? Is Google the only search engine that caches pages?

2) The caching-vs-framing comparison doesn't hold up under even the most cursory examination.

- First, the intent of caching is much different than the intent of framing: It's merely a way to show the searcher what's on a page if a Web site's server is down.

- Second, when a search engine indexes and caches a page, few users see the cached page and the search engine's accompanying frame. Most users are clicking on the search result and going directly to an undadorned page. With framing, everybody who clicks on the framing site's link is being shown a framed page.

- Third, site owners who don't want their pages cached by search engines (or Google, if you want to be specific) can use a meta attribute to prevent caching. (If there's a "don't frame this page" attribute that's respected by sites like the OP's client's site or About.com, I haven't heard of it.)

3) Whether framing is legal or illegal is less important than what happens if the OP's client gets a "cease and desist" letter from a lawyer for WebMD, a chiropractic association, or some other organization whose site is being framed. If that happens, the OP will look bad, the OP probably will be expected to undo the damage without pay, and the OP will lose any chance at future work for the client.

4) Finally, some people are going to think it's shady for the chiropractor to be presenting other sites' content as their own. Does the OP want to make his client look sleazy? Is looking sleazy a smart business strategy for the OP or his client?

StoutFiles




msg:3982128
 6:06 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

the caching of webpages like google, yahoo, bing do is illegal.

Yes, I would agree.

However, these big search engines are like the "mafia" of the web. You can fight back on caching like others have but then the search engines won't offer you their "protection" anymore, and you'll have to somehow get your own customers without the search engines help.

It's not fair but life isn't fair.

londrum




msg:3982141
 6:22 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

- First, the intent of caching is much different than the intent of framing: It's merely a way to show the searcher what's on a page if a Web site's server is down.

but what business does a search engine have in doing that? why have they taken it on themselves to back-up websites and display them in case their equipment fails? surely that is the owners job.

Demaestro




msg:3982171
 6:57 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

why have they taken it on themselves to back-up websites and display them in case their equipment fails? surely that is the owners job.

It is a service they provide their users, not something they do for the webmasters.

I also wouldn't say that they cache pages as a way to show a page if the server is down. I use it all the time when the description in the SERP has the answer I need but the page it is linking has newer content and the answer I see in Google is removed from that page... this is when I click cache and get the info I needed from Google.

If you really don't want Google doing this all you have to do is:

1) remove your site from Google using the remove URL tool

2) add no-index to all the pages

3) add no-follow to all internal links

4) disallow Google in your robots.txt

Now was that so hard?

Quit complaining about Google they do more for your websites than any other public company could ever do.

If you think the harm they cause is greater than the benefit they provide then remove your site from Google and move on, otherwise get over it.

internetheaven




msg:3982180
 7:13 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

the caching of webpages like google, yahoo, bing do is illegal.

Woah! Woah! Woah!

No-where near the same. You can opt out of caching. It's a simple process that, if you build websites, you should already know about. It a little meta tag.

Framing someone's site is completely different thing. They can't opt out.

londrum




msg:3982229
 8:12 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Quit complaining about Google they do more for your websites than any other public company could ever do.

sounds like you're giving them a license to do whatever they want
just because they've given you the opportunity to opt out of something, doesn't mean it's okay for them to do it.
we shouldn't have to lock our doors to stop them nicking our stuff.

and it's not so different to framing either... because people can "opt out" of framing by placing some javascript on their page. and you are saying we can "opt out" of caching by placing a meta tag on our page... what's the difference? it's just one line of code in each case.

StoutFiles




msg:3982251
 8:50 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you really don't want Google doing this all you have to do is:

1) remove your site from Google using the remove URL tool

2) add no-index to all the pages

3) add no-follow to all internal links

4) disallow Google in your robots.txt

Now was that so hard?

Just because Google provides all the traffic doesn't mean they shouldn't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. I'm not allowed to cache other websites and show it on my own; neither should they.

ken_b




msg:3982264
 9:05 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does Google object to others caching and displaying Googles pages? Do they mind if the site doing the caching puts ads on the page when it gets displayed?

Demaestro




msg:3982265
 9:06 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

sounds like you're giving them a license to do whatever they want
just because they've given you the opportunity to opt out of something, doesn't mean it's okay for them to do it.
we shouldn't have to lock our doors to stop them nicking our stuff.

No I am not.

I am not saying they have license to do as they want. This issue has been decided in court, they are allowed to frame and cache your site.

It isn't theft, they aren't stealing. This issue has been ruled on. People repeating over and over that they are thieves doesn't make it true.

If you really feel they are wrong... take them to court. File charges with your local DA. Do something other than repeat propaganda about them being thieves in a respected forum in which people gain info from.

Just because Google provides all the traffic doesn't mean they shouldn't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. I'm not allowed to cache other websites and show it on my own; neither should they.

See you want them to stop but you don't want to take the steps to get them to stop because you want their traffic more than you want your site not framed.

They follow the same rules as you and I. Legal precedent has been set.

You are allowed to cache websites and show it, you just have to have the same mechanisms as Google in place that would give someone recourse if they don't want you to do it.

They aren't doing anything you can't do, framing and/or scraping.... Yahoo does it... bing does it... ask does it, cuil does it, Digg does it, Facebook does it... shall I go on?

If you don't want them doing it, do something about it... don't hide in forums calling them thieves, file suit, take a stand, prove your point.

I am sure you could find enough people who see it your way, find a lawyer who will only get paid if you win, file a class action. It will cost you nothing but a little time.

Calling them as thieves is more unethical and is more cut and dry illegal (libel) than what you are accusing them of.

iambic9




msg:3982285
 9:36 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Caching is how search engines "cite their reference" they would look quite stupid if they didn't do it.

I would not offer an end user (as an authority) a reference or cite a piece of information matching a query without being able to justify my response.

A search engine matching queries to results on the off chance that the source matching the query hasn't changed and offering no way to view the content responsible for the result set is quite ridiculous, [they] would lose credibility very quickly.

Content caching —when you are participating in a service, or choosing to not opt out of a service is not relatable to iframing content that I have spent many hundreds of hours working on.

I don't personally like to see other peoples tat around my work, so link to my site or contact me to discuss using my work. iframing without prior consent is not theft, it is instead rude, ignorant behavior.

iframing with consent is fine. Obviously. Content caching is part of what happens when you choose to have a site listed in a search engine by not opting out using robots.txt, which happens to be easier, quicker and cheaper than a tinfoil hat.

StoutFiles




msg:3982293
 9:53 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Caching is how search engines "cite their reference" they would look quite stupid if they didn't do it.

It wouldn't be hard to NOT show the cache and only show it when they have legal problems.

Or how about it launches the cache in a popup window with no ads showing?

I'm just saying the way it's done now is pro_Google and anti-everyone else.

If you really feel they are wrong... take them to court. File charges with your local DA. Do something other than repeat propaganda about them being thieves in a respected forum in which people gain info from.

People, please stop suggesting this ridiculous notion. We can't bite the hand that feeds us, but that doesn't make what they do fair either. No one is going to sue Google because they would lose and/or be removed from Google forever. However, we are allowed to be annoyed by the current cache practices they employ.

tangor




msg:3982308
 10:16 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Caching ala search engines (which displays are NOT offered as an end user website) has been tested in court and, regardless of opinions here, been allowed in that strict sense.

Framing/iframing by websites of third party content has also been tested in court and been found to be infringing.

Both instances are copies of third party content... but it appears the application/intent of each is the difference. I have denied Google, Y!, Bing, etc. cache via x-robots for the last few years.

tangor




msg:3982312
 10:26 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd advise you to learn PHP/MySQL and turn those pages from 1,700 to 17.

The can o' worms MySQL introduces to injection attacks is not desired. :)

Have a nifty keen site wide editing capability for static HTML which serves me fine. And some content does not lend itself to programmed display.

In my case, however, the fun thing in this discusson is that MY site IS a framed site that displays my own content! Probably one of very few here who actually use a frameset (not iframes). My commercial sites do not use frames or iframes, but that is a programming choice on my part, not a comment regarding frames or iframes in general.

D_Blackwell




msg:3982345
 11:06 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

How would/does WebmasterWorld feel about being framed? No framebusting in place.

doubtmaster




msg:3990228
 11:19 am on Sep 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Framing does cause problem in terms of Ads !

For example in adsense, there is an option to show ads only on particular websites. So if the site is framed, then though the visitor is visiting the site and seeing ads and clicking all this through someone else's site, if the publisher has not added that site to his list, then he will not get paid for the ads.

(The reason for not allowing ads to run on all sites is because someone can steal your adsense code and create a #*$! site or illegal site with that code. The result would be your adsense would get banned.)

Demaestro




msg:3991734
 4:28 pm on Sep 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

People, please stop suggesting this ridiculous notion. We can't bite the hand that feeds us, but that doesn't make what they do fair either. No one is going to sue Google because they would lose and/or be removed from Google forever. However, we are allowed to be annoyed by the current cache practices they employ.

Ridiculous notion? You outright call Google a thief in a post but then you call it ridiculous to suggest bringing action against them?

What is more ridiculous?
Accusing someone of theft but failing to take action.
Or:
Advising someone who feels they are the victim of a theft to take legal action.

I suggest you do a search for:
lawsuits against Google

Tons of people sue Google, little guys, big guys, some even win. I have never heard of someone being buried in Google for bringing legal action against them, although I suppose it is possible.

Yes you are allowed to be annoyed by their practice, but you have gone beyond being annoyed and have ventured into accusing them of illegal behavior in a public, respected, website.

I feel I am allowed to be annoyed by people throwing around the word "theft" like there are no implications in doing so. I am simply telling people who feel this way to put up or shut up. Obviously I am not the first person to suggest this to you since you have asked "people" to stop suggesting it to you.

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