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Subject:Re: Looking for Copyright info From:Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM Date:Thu, 26 Sep 1996 13:38:00 -0600
I'm planning to have a page in my organization's intranet site that lists
Internet Web sites of interest, such as Oracle Corporation, Microsoft,
and the like. Some people have told me I need permission from these
corporations; others say I do not. I think I should get the corporation's
permission. What do you all think?
I think you should, unless you're linking to a whole lot of them. I *don't*
think you *have* to. It's a courtesy.
I also think it depends a lot on both the purpose of your site and the sites
you link to.
For example, if you're creating a place whose sole function is to point people
to resources on a certain topic, then it can rapidly become tedious to get
permission for a hundred or more links, especially if you acquired most of
them by searching via the web search engines. You can take their presence in
the web search database as tacit permission to link to them. You're simply
providing a quick reference resource. You're not providing any extra editorial
content, so there's little risk anyone will confuse the sites your linking to
with your site.
On the other hand, if you're linking to a select few sites, or sites that
haven't advertised themselves, you *should* ask. Also if the purpose of your
site is to present information on a topic, rather than reference pointers to
It's like the difference between including the notation "for further
information, see x" and including x in your book. If it's at all possible for
someone to draw the conclusion that the page linked to is related to your
site, you had best contact the owner of the page.
If, for example, you presented a list of computer columnists whose material
appears on the Internet, you probably don't need to ask. OTOH, if you write
"Read Bill Machrone's latest column to get a great perspective on the PC
industry" with a link to Machrone's column, you'd best ask Machrone first.
Also, if the rest of the material on your page is at all controversial, you'd
best ask. Again, if all you're doing is providing a page full of links, rather
like a bookmark file, you're probably safe in not asking.
Have I made sense?
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.