Monday, August 09, 2004

Go ahead and link. I dare you!!!

Interesting story over at Slashdot about ZiffDavis threatening with legal action for posting a portion of one of their news stories and a link to the story. From all accounts,'s use sounds like a fair use. Needless to say the Slashdot (or "/." in 1337-5p34k -- a.k.a. leet-speak) crowd got whipped into a frothy frenzy by the time Matthew Rothenberg (Executive Editor of eWeek, a Ziff Davis online publication) could post an apology and an explanation that this was a fair use and Ziff Davis was mistaken.

Why do I mention this? Besides underscoring yesterday's fair use post, it also lead me to this linking policy over at the Daily Aardvark. What I find amazing is that the author feels the need to post a linking policy at all. A copyright notice I can understand and appreciate. Even a license notice (a la my Creative Commons license) makes some sense to me. But a linking policy?!?!? Any attempt to outline an entire policy for the very fair use act of linking just boggles the mind (or mine at any rate). The only portion of it which I agree has some merit is the section on framing other people's sites, something I have only rarely encountered and which would minorly annoy me if it were done to my site. Then again, that section isn't so much about linking as opening or framing others' websites, a facet of netiquette. But honestly, isn't linking one of the core fundamentals of the internet? A free flowing exchange of information, often cross-referenced better than the World Book Encyclopedia! Aaargh! Makes me spin in my grave!