Misinterpretations run amok

I happened to stumble upon Al Macintyre’s blog and in particular this post:

A hot topic in the latest editions of Search Day are the implications of a court in Denmark ruling that Deep Linking is Illegal.  What does this mean?  Well the first thing is that if you have been doing business with anyone in Denmark, if you have any urls connected to Denmark, get legal clarification immediately.  It may be that the rest of the world will have to stop doing business with Denmark until their courts overturn or clarify the ruling.

[Al Macintyre, July 10, 2002]

As I commented on Monday, the verdict isn’t really about linking, but about copyright.

Actually during the week since I posted, it has been made clear that a major reason that this particular company (Newsbooster) was banned from doing deep linking into a particular list of news sites was that the court considered Newsbooster a competitor to the news sources it was systematically deep linking to. I.e. Newsbooster was banned from effectively stealing content from its competitors.

To further complicate things, Newsbooster now alleges that the evidence given in court by the news sites was faked. Newsbooster says it adheres to robot.txt files, i.e. it doesn’t index sites that do not want to be indexed, but in court the news sites presented evidence to the contrary, by showing some Newsbooster pages that included or linked to content from news sites that had set up a robot.txt. Newsbooster says that its own log files shows no mention of crawling the news pages presented in court!

But to underline the point: This is not a general finding that deep linking is illegal in Denmark!

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