Re: LAW: Legality of deep linking to Web sites

From: Max More (
Date: Fri Jan 19 2001 - 16:10:34 MST

At 01:36 PM 1/19/01, you wrote:
>I know of no court opinion or statute that would prevent deep linking per se.
> You probably face a bluff, and a dumb one at that.

That's my impression too, after reading several articles over the last day
or so.

>I can imagine a successful claim that relies on a showing that the linking
>party *agreed* to not engage in deep linking, said agreement most likely
>arising by way of a click-through license on the plaintiff's homepage.

In the case that concerns me, I have never seen any agreement that I had to
make before viewing content.

>Framing a deep-linked site (or any site, for that matter) may, if done in a
>particularly misleading way, give rise to an unfair competition claim.

Yes, and I have no problem with that. Using someone else's content and
putting your own frame and advertising around it, making it appear to be
yours, is likely to be misleading. In the case that I'm concerned about
this is not an issue. The site concerned simply describes and evaluates
content found elsewhere. When you click on the link (which is the title), a
new browser winder opens up and looks exactly the same as if someone had
gone directly to the page in the first place.

>Absent that, I can imagine a claim only if the use that results from the
>hyperlink somehow harms the site being linked to.

Yes, and again in this case far from harming the others sites, they are
receiving a free benefit of traffic that they otherwise would not have
received. They might like people to first go through at least a contents
page, but the fact is that these are visitors who would not otherwise have
gone to that page if not for the recommendation.

Thanks for your input, T0M. Much appreciated!


Max More, or
President, Extropy Institute.
Senior Content Architect, ManyWorlds Inc.:

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