Found this link (via a Wired article on NPR’s linking policy) to some writing Tim Berners-Lee did about the nature of links:
Normal hypertext links do not of themselves imply that the document linked to is part of, is endorsed by, or endorses, or has related ownership or distribution terms as the document linked from.
So why call it a link? I wonder if this tendancy for the unclued to imply copyright violation or some other tangible impact by hyperlinking comes from the very word itself. To link, in the traditional sense, implies some physical connection or tie. From my copy of Websters:
link vt: To couple or connect by or as if by a link.
If hyperlinks had been called hyperreferences (which is what they are) from the start perhaps the widespread misunderstanding about the nature of linking would be a little less pervasive.