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I'm not sure how many of these suits have been filed over the years but eventually one will go to trial (instead of being settled out of court) and we will all get some real law on the linking issue.
Now, when they invite this sort of Scatter Gun Linking and Posting, do they have any defence on other Linking that happens unilaterally on the Merit of the Article itself?
I would say that you're right... generally a reasonable person would not litigate immediately.
However these old-timey media companies use litigation as the conversation starter more often than not.
Big corporate media are litigation factories and really and truly represent all that is bad in America today.
There's a growing grassroots groundswell that wants media reform in the USA.. we really do need it.