Deep Linking

A case is heading to court in the European Union on the legality of deep linking to content on another web site. (A ‘deep link’ is one that links to something other than the home page for that web site.) A newspaper in the Netherlands is trying to block a web site from linking to its content.

Here is my opinion on the issue of deep links:

Misrepresentation of content ownership via framing of pages or content-scraping without permission: BAD.

Normal links to pages anywhere within any site: GOOD.

The thing to note here: the BAD category actually has nothing to do with linking to content. It is the same as traditional copyright infringement and is achieved through techniques other than a standard HTML link. 

Outlawing deep links to other web sites is like outlawing page references in bibliographic citations: a link is merely an HTML tag that provides a citation to another page on the web.