Stupid Attempts At Linking Policies Live On

from the welcome-to-the-internet dept

It used to be quite common for web sites to bury linking policies in their terms of use, asserting that people needed permission to link to them, and could only do so in certain ways. Most people have figured out that's pretty ridiculous, but every once in a while, some lawyer who doesn't understand the internet at all puts together the TOS for a site, and includes some stupid "you have to ask before you link to us" policy. The link is one of the elements that makes the web what it is; it's sort of the point that people can use links to direct visitors to other places, enabling the spreading and sharing of all sorts of information. Linking is not copyright infringement, it's not a violation of a terms of service, it's not illegal -- it's a key part of the web. But somebody at the Financial Times, or its law firm, hasn't figured out that it's a good thing for people to link to one of their new sites, and has inserted a stupid linking policy into its TOS. Here's an idea: if they don't want people linking to the site, people should oblige them and not link to it. Want to try and control or limit how people send you traffic? Fine -- don't reap any of the benefits of inbound links, and take yourself out of Google and other search engines while you're at it.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: linking policies
Companies: financial times


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. identicon
    linlu, 23 Mar 2009 @ 1:34pm

    I avoid stupid sites like these, don't you?

    Trying to stop linking is basically asking to be driven off the internet. If you don't want to be linked to (home page or deep linked), then don't put up your site. As a corollary any site that redirects me to the home page when I click on a deep link, is a site I don't visit. So much for ad dollars, eh?

    Pretty simple, the more user friendly you make your* site:
    (1) page URLs that don't expire,
    (2) fair use policies,
    (3) minimal loading time (e.g. flash me only if you have to),
    (4) easy navigation,
    (5) using google for search (don't force people to use your brain dead search engine - ala MS),
    (6) javascript only required for interaction - not for content delivery

    the more likely you will succeed in keeping eyeballs on your site. After all, there are at least a dozen or more sites just like yours that we will run to if you fail to meet these expectations.

    * directed toward brain dead companies like Financial Times - which has over a dozen well known competitors.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.