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url does not permit hyperlinking



8:21 pm on May 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

I recently saw this on the underwriters laboratories site...

UL does not permit hyperlinking to this website without its express prior written consent and the execution of a hyperlinking agreement.

Is this legal? I understood you could link to any URL you wanted.


8:34 pm on May 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member agerhart is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

hence the term 'WEB' in world wide 'web'..........some people take things too far. I can understand if there was an Adult site that was linked to a site that I had done for say a school, or a charity organization.

Anything outside of an instance like this should be open game......this is what makes the internet surf-able and interesting


2:56 pm on Jun 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think this is aimed at sites deep-linking to another sites streaming content, passing it off as their own while bypassing the owners advertising.

There was a row about this happening some time ago, I can't remember the details.


3:03 pm on Jun 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

"...the cautious operator of a commercial Web site will either seek permission before linking to the site of ..."

Article here [phillipsnizer.com]


3:24 pm on Jun 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thats crazy isnt it. :(


2:06 am on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Iíll tell you, we dealt with this on a large scale with Fortune 500 companies, the top in paranoia. This was particularly true with a pharmaceutical company. What they donít seem to realize is that they can basically only control whom they link too and not who links to them. I think theyíre shooting themselves in the proverbial foot. That is unless they have a very large and complex site with multiple domains that are strongly linked.


5:23 am on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>Fortune 500 companies, the top in paranoia.

That is so true. I can't count all the battles with the legal department I've had. I had a conversation once with an attorney that was pushing the same policy as UL. When I pressed him on the issue, he admitted that such a policy is just lawyer chest pounding.

There is no legal precedent that supports the position that any web site needs to get your permission before establishing a traditional hyperlink linking to your site. There have been a couple of high profile cases, (Microsoft vs. Ticketmaster) but they all delt with additional issues and were settled out of court, so no definitive rulings have ever been made.


4:25 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Editorial freedom would suggest that linking is OK, as long as it isn't done in a way that confuses the visitor as to whose content it is, etc. I thought that Ticketmaster prevailed against Microsoft. (Microsoft Sidewalk provided ticket buying links to Ticketmaster, who, instead of being incredibly thankful, sued 'em because they wanted to do their own Sidewalk-type site. Hey, Microsoft - if you want to link to any of my sites, just go ahead... I'll sign a release, even...)

On the other hand, in the U.S. legal system right and wrong are less important than magnitude of legal resources and willingness to spend money. If a Fortune 500 company wants you to remove a link, the can probably throw a lot more legal firepower at you than vice-versa. I'd probably send a letter declining to remove it at least once, but I'd fold before I got to court.


9:06 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

This issue is nowhere near as clear cut as it seems:

Link Law: The Emerging Law of Internet Hyperlinks [ldrc.com]


11:52 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I've just had a nice experience with this ;)

I run a non-commercial site. You'd expect that to be more immune to nasty commercial people, but no :P I setup a couple 'hubs' as per good SEO practice... I provided a small description of the pages linked to -- specifically in this case, tutorials.

One was especially bad, and misleading, so I mentioned that fact in my review. I thought it might have been a beginner's naive mistake, so I mentioned it... it turns out the guy knows what he's doing (technologically speaking), and wrote the tutorial to promote his products. I guess that could be volontarily misleading potential customers, or he just may not have been able to get his point accross. He denies this, misses the point and tries to confuse the issue more with a long-winded abusive email.

He threatens a law suit, and asks me to remove the link. I call the bluf, leave the link intact, but remove the description (which works out for both of us). Nothing since...

Surely, the reason for the tutorial is SEO, and to drive the potential customers to the page (undoubtedly he won't admit that in court, which is a bummer). It's then his business to convert that traffic into sales. A link can surely do only good to the company? (assuming the review on the other side is a good one ;)

Surely it's up to the site to convert deep links to main traffic, advertising revenues or sales. It should be an integral part of the site design and flow.

And surely I'm allowed to review other people's work, and post my opinion on my site? Also, if i mention the same link within a forum, say, that would be classed as my personal opinion right, and thereby be considered separate from the site...



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