Don’t Link To Me Or I’ll Sue You!

In a ruling sure to please ignorant site owners and lazy webmasters everywhere, a Texas judge has allowed a ruling forbidding deeplinking to content. Instead of using a simple referrer redirect, the site owners spent thousands of dollars suing the website for linking directly to content. Now, these site owners will have much fewer inbound links, and substantially worse ranking. These corporate owners have chosen to isolate themselves from the web and are hurting themselves and web users in their community.

Suing to stop linking is nothing new

Deep linking is a time-honored practice that has existed since the very beginning of the web. Indeed, deep linking was one of the fundamental design principles that helped the web grow as quickly as it did, by making it easy for people to directly access individual web pages.

There is even a DMOZ category devoted to deep linking and link law. I’m sure Jim Boykin the self proclaimed link ninja would agree 🙂


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2 Responses

  1. Exactly, and the site owners could have used this simple line (if they use the Apache server) to stop the linkers:

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ [NC]
    RewriteRule .*.(mp3|mpg|wma|mp4)$ – [F,NC]

    3 lines of code could have saved tens of thousands of legal bills, and would have kept them a part of the natural web.

  2. It’s worth reading the entire post (including the comments) on slashdot. The case in point was about someone linking to an audio file without giving any credit or asking permission. Nonetheless, I really hope that these e-commerce lawyers don’t start getting all self-righteous on us…

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