linking to sites - naive question

Subject: linking to sites - naive question
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 09:19:00 -0600

If I publish a book and it's in the library, do I expect readers to
contact me for permission to check out the book?

This isn't the issue. An analogous issue to that for the Web is choosing
which sites may connect to the server. The issue isn't who's reading the
page, but who's linking to it?

A book publisher has the right to determine whether the book will be sold
directly to consumers by the publisher or only in retail outlets. An author
can decide not to make the book available to the "Book Of The Month" club,
or whether a movie can be made of it. Those are closer analogies to what
we're discussing.

If I publish a web site, why would I object to having someone
establish a link to it?

On the whole, no one does. That's why permission is usually so trivial to
obtain. But there are circumstances. Suppose a neo-nazi group put a link to
Michael Medved's column, and couched the link in terms which made the
reader believe he approved of their aims? Doesn't Medved have the right to
prevent them from making it look like he's associated with them?

Context is everything.

If a corporation publishes a web site, wouldn't they *want* lots of
folks to link to it, thereby increasing its potential for
"circulation"?

Depends. If the people all passed though a site which claimed that
everything the company said was a lie, it would do more harm than good,
wouldn't it?


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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