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Danish Court Rules Deep Linking Illegal 382

Jstein writes "In a court ruling today Friday, the court in Copenhagen, Denmark ruled in favor of the Danish Newspaper Publisher's Association against the online news aggregator Newsbooster. Thereby deep linking has been ruled illegal for the first time." Currently the story is only in Danish (from Computerworld Denmark, Online). Update: 07/05 23:15 GMT by T : ttyp writes "Here is a link to an English language story about the Danish deep linking case."
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Danish Court Rules Deep Linking Illegal

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  • breakin the law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iosphere ( 14517 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @12:35PM (#3827988) Homepage
    Aren't you in violation of Danish law by linking to the story?
  • by SpatchMonkey ( 300000 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @12:36PM (#3828003) Journal
    Just because one instance of deep linking has been ruled illegal, doesn't mean all instances are illegal. There will have been specifics to the case that causing the ruling to made. Unfortunately, as the article is in Danish, I don't know what they are.

    There are technological ways around deep linking, of course. Checking the Referer header in an HTTP request is one option, and dynamically creating unique URIs on the pages you allow people to visit from is another.

    It would be nice if technology was used to prevent this rather than court rulings, but hey, what can you do?

    Anyway it's only been ruled in Denmark, so the effect on the Internet as a whole is negligible.
  • Re:Sighs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @12:48PM (#3828098)
    Personally I'd stop going to a site that did that. Especially a news site that changes it's content every day. If I was a day late I'd have to dig around and find what section it should be in and then what date it was on. It would be like trying to find an article from last week on ZDNet.

    On the other hand, I probably would never find out about that site because nobody would link to them.

    Also, in order to enforce the ruling they're probably going to have to implement that referrer check on the server anyways, which somebody could easily fake the referrer if they really wanted to get around it.
  • Please note: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @12:49PM (#3828105) Homepage Journal
    While Denmark may seem a good distance away from many of us, the Hague Convention [] may hold all of us responsible for the silly laws one country imposes. Unfortunate indeed, because it may mean no deep-linking for us and the DMCA for the rest of you, and it seems like a rather convenient but nasty way of sidestepping the controversy surrounding each piece of legislation like this by simply allowing it to take effect without any discussion.
  • by DABANSHEE ( 154661 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @01:09PM (#3828241)
    Afterall arn't the vast majority of search engine results deep links.

    This comes down to the fact that web advertising doesn't work. Unlike telly there's none of this having to watch adds to watch the program crap.

    Really deeplinking to advertisers I spose is like being able to instantly fast foreward to the actionshots in a movie that some network's broadcasting.

    When will these news sites learn that they're going to have to pr0n up their sites if they want to make money from them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2002 @01:33PM (#3828388)
    Many companies have several 'home' pages, such as pages for sections, divisions, different languages, products, and so on.

    Unless they put on EVERY page that the users must start at a particular page, I can't imagine the concept of a deep link.

    The company I currently work for (which has a really stupid marketing team) has on our web pages "No part of this website may be reproduced, or an external link established to this website, without the express written permission of an officer of *****." Of course, I don't have written permission of an officer, so I might get in trouble. :-P Guess this will have to go as an anonymous post (I want the karma!!).

    Some of the stupid people have really enforced it, and a web search for my company reveals nothing. We're not on google. We're not on any major search engine that I can find, and it is quite funny. I told the people the problem with this, and they just don't get it. Thank goodness for anonymous posts.

    I agree with the other posters -- people who don't understand the net whould not be allowed to publish on it or regulate it. That includes laywers and marketers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2002 @01:37PM (#3828427)
    This whole linking stuff is now totally out of hand! If I tack a poster to bulletin board located in some publicly accessible place--the local library, or nearby grocery store, a kiosk down the street--do I not assume that someone is going to look at my silly poster? If I did not want people to read what I posted, why in the world would I post it in a public place to begin with? How ridiculous would I look running after everybody who might "link" to my poster by word of mouth?

    Could I really prohibit people from saying, "Gee, go look at Lenny's poster all about his pet cat Spot that is hanging on the library's bulletin board, lower left hand side, next to the notice about next week's book sale."

    And is not the Internet an equally public place, accessible to all? This tastes so of the limiting of the freedom of expression to me. Oops, sorry, can't say more...I might be linking...
  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ranulf ( 182665 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @01:41PM (#3828464)
    I think you're confused as to what deep linking is

    Doh! I think I'm a dumbass! I was still thinking about the Deutsche Bahn case... I'll excuse my self for not reading the article though :-)

    If that's really what the deal is, then frankly they shouldn't be so stupid. There are easy technical solutions to stop people deep-linking in the way you suggest, such as checking the "Referrer" header and redirecting to an index page or some other page that encloses the page in a frame, etc, if you've come from outside the site. I don't see the need for courts to be involved, when there's a perfectly good technical solution.

  • by alanjstr ( 131045 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @02:21PM (#3828714) Homepage
    Read a summary here []. The real issue was that the company doing the deep linking was deemed to be in direct competition with the site it was linking to.
    Copenhagen's lower bailiff's court ruled Friday that was in direct competition with the newspapers and that the links it provided to specific news articles damaged the value of the newspapers' advertisements.
  • Googling in Denmark? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2002 @04:47PM (#3829550)
    If you're worried about this, how about setting up a page with a form using google to search the pages of the suing newspapers. Let them try to stop google...

    Sites of the danish members of DDS:
    www.venstrebladet. dk
    * k
    www.nordjyske. dk
    www.ftonline. dk

    You should especially go for the major nationwide ones with real news sites. (marked *)

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