Re: LAW: Legality of deep linking to Web sites

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 13:35:01 MST

Keeping secrets doesn't seem to matter in this case. Those who know
the technology well enough to implement something like this tend to
also know the market realities well enough not to make (as) boneheaded
decisions. It's kinda like why terrorists and nuclear scientists tend
not to be the same people.

Besides, there's a much better way. Have the restricted content
served by CGI or some other process that checks the HTTP_REFERER (typo
in RFC) header. If the person came to this page by any means other
than clicking a link on your site, this header will tell you, and your
server's code can simply redirect to your front page - or provide a
link to a new window, with no frames other than your own, with the
desired content. (Javascript, or any other code interpreted by the
client besides basic HTML, is not required for this.)

John Marlow wrote:
> SSsshhhh. Don't spread this one around. What a nightmare...
> jm
> On 19 Jan 2001, at 18:41, Chris Russo wrote:
> > >Note that the NYT seems to have resolved the issue--all links to
> > >articles (so far as I know) run you into their entry page, where you
> > >must enter registration info. You are then forwarded to the linked
> > >page. Wonder if this can be done w/o the registration bit? All links
> > >diverting to a "start" page?
> >
> > I haven't looked at it, but I'd guess that's basically a cookie
> > mechanism. If you don't have the "logged in" cookie, it throws you
> > to the login page. If you used something similar to prevent deep
> > linking, you'd probably catch the first occurrence, but subsequent
> > ones would let you through.
> >
> > A better solution would probably be to have some dynamic renaming
> > system that frequently re-maps the files to new URLs. Any specific
> > URL should only last a few hours or a day (depending on what you're
> > trying to accomplish). That way, no one could really expect to
> > maintain deep links to your pages. Everyone would have to start at
> > your commonly-accessed gateway to get the current links.
> >
> > Just an idea.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Chris Russo
> >
> > --
> > "If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought
> > or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet
> > hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance
> > which does harm."
> > -- Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS, VI, 21
> >
> John Marlow

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