Stop the Ignorant Legal and Bean-counting Professionals

Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the web as we know it, probably never saw this coming. “Clueless lawyers and commercial greed could soon prevent deep linking between websites”. If some get their way, a great many sites, including some I’m involved with, could be out of business. Basically, the notion is that deep linking – eg linking to a page on another web site other than the home page, could become untenable, due to cost and legal reasons.

The Guardian article makes the interesting observation that hip, cool and cutting edge company Apple behind the scenes forbids deep linking to content on its site.

There has been a court case in the UK where a deep linker lost.

“Clearly, we are seeing a process of creep where legal companies and other advisory bodies are creating a climate where linking in the internet will eventually become a licensed activity. The first victims, as ever, will not be companies but individuals. “

But, as the article says, all is not lost. National Public Radio in the USA tried it on – it started saying that deep linkers needed permission. And they were innundated with thousands of link requests, and eventually scrapped the policy. Perhaps more examples like this, where the Net constituency takes positive action to illustrate to the lawyers and accountants the error of their restrictive practices, attitudes can be changed.

The whole point of the web is links. I don’t think a few ignorant legal and bean-counting professionals should get in the way.

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