Is linking from your Blog illegal

Picked up this titbit at Slate magazine, it all revolves around copyright, and of course took place in the mother of all litigious country’s the United States.  Apparently a real estate company was using  links to a very large law firm highlighting the biographies of various lawyers who worked for them.  These links were embedded in articles about properties the lawyers had bought recently.  It would appear that the law firm took umbrage at this public information being so easily and neatly available to the public at large, and decided to initiate a somewhat far-fetched lawsuit claiming their copyright had been infringed.

Apparently the judge in question was not overly friendly to the defendants and it all ended up being settled out of court. Which in effect means there  has been no hard and fast decision in law made as to whether or not including links from your site in this way constitutes a breach of copyright.

Keep your eyes open bloggers this may be the thin end of the wedge.

Oh and of course here’s the link to the full article at Slate.

3 Responses

  1. As I understand it there is no question of copyright infringement if all you do is provide a link. That’s how the internet works. If you don’t want someone linking to something of yours, don’t put it in a publicly accessible place. It’s like pinning a piece of paper to a lamppost and complaining when people read it.

    Embedding linked images or including other web pages on yours within an iframe or similar, well that would get you in trouble!

  2. It appears that the idea of a member of the public being able to see the public info and link it to how much you spent on your house was the real problem.

  3. I completely agree with Tony, if you put information on a website you are choosing to put it in the Public Domain, and as such you cannot complain about how others link to it. The whole thing that strikes me about that this case is that it was under the auspices of a judge who had decided that he did not want to piss of a large law firm…

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