TheOptimizationIdiot - 11:13 pm on Apr 30, 2013 (gmt 0)
...there's case law indicating that links CAN form copyright violations in some cases.
Yeah, it's when a site links in a way that constitutes contributory copyright infringement.
If Ford can't get a ruling against the owners of www.f*ckgeneralmotors.com for redirecting to their site, good luck with the "work for free or I'll sue" scare tactics. That's not any more "cool" or "right" than anything else being dogged on in this laughable thread that's only here because Google can't get their algo right and just ignore (meaning treat as nofollow) the links they don't like.
* Visitors to any site likely have no clue these links exist, so if a site was quality (a good experience for visitors) yesterday it's likely still the same quality from a visitor perspective today, so either Google's really had it wrong the entire time they didn't penalize for "unnatural links" and a site should not have ever ranked or they've got it wrong now, because "unnatural inbounds links" have no impact whatsoever wrt visitor onsite experience.
Further, if you submitted content to a site in the form of a directory submission, you have copyright over that content, and the directory owner may be responsible for deleting your content if you request it.
Additionally, you could argue in the C&D that their refusal to remove the directory entry is harming your business.
I'd probably link to someone who did this from every single page on every single site I had, just for fun, because you can't stop me from linking to you. There's no legal grounds or standings for it, except in the case of "trading on your name" (trademark infringement) or contributing to copyright infringement by sending people to a site other than yours to access your copyrighted material for free.
* Also, a directory owner could argue the converse by stating removing the link from the directory negatively impacts their business by not allowing them to provide as many options for visitors and therefore they should be compensated for the removal.
A search engine worth its salt would automatically discount any link from a directory that charged for removal.
FYP: A search engine worth it's salt would automatically discount links (meaning treat as nofollow) rather than allowing any negative impact on rankings, because they would realize it's asinine to penalize for inbound links since they have no bearing whatsoever on the experience a visitor has on website (AKA website quality from a visitor perspective).
When you move out of your apartment, the landlord has to do additional work. Does that mean they can charge extra if you ever want to leave?
For comparison purposes: Long ago I lived in an area where cable TV companies charged a fee to cancel service. No, not to break a fixed-duration contract, or to stop before some minimum period of time. To cancel, ever. Obvious result: People who couldn't come up with $50 all at once were stuck paying $20 every month. The cable companies predictably kicked and screamed when the legislature stepped in.
In the case of someone paying on a monthly basis, this is a great example, but if someone pays for a lifetime link initially they are getting exactly what they agreed to initially when the link is not removed by the directory owner.
If they would like to change that agreement, they are the ones breaking the agreement they initially entered in to and currently being upheld by the directory owner. The directory owner, by not removing the link, is providing exactly the service they initially agreed to.
In this case, imo, there's no way the directory owner is "wrong" to want compensation for providing a different service (updating the directory to remove the link) rather than continuing to provide the service they originally agreed to.
Seriously, get real people.
You can't stop linking on the Internet.
If [especially] you agreed to the service of a "lifetime link" initially and you're getting that service: STFU and quit whining about having to pay for someone to provide you with a service they didn't ever agree to provide you with. (Disavow the stinking links if you don't want to pay for their removal, but don't get upset because another site owner doesn't want to work for you for free.)
If the directory got penalized for the links and took yours down after you paid for it, but you thought that removal had a negative impact on your site would you get your panties in a wad? I'm sure you would, but since it's you and your site that's having the issue you're complaining because another site owner expects to be paid for providing you with a different service than they agreed to provide you with initially, really? Unreal.
* Disclosure: I do not own a link directory. I would not likely link to any of you from any site I do own. I do not use directories for link building. I think this entire BS created by Google is beyond ridiculous, because inbound links have no impact on visitor experience and spending time on their removal takes time away from other things, like creating a better visitor experience, or providing visitors with better content, which they say is important and does actually have an impact on visitor experience AKA the quality of a website.