Can I “deep link” to someone else’s website or blog post?

Yes. Most people are happy to have other websites link to them. Indeed, “permalinks” for each blog post, to which others can link directly, are one of the features that have helped blogs and blog conversations take off. But some website owners complain that deep links — links that lead readers to an internal page on a website — “steal” traffic to the homepage or disrupt the intended flow of their websites. For example, Ticketmaster has argued that other sites should not be permitted to send browsers directly to Ticketmaster event listings. Ticketmaster settled a claim against Microsoft and lost a suit it had brought against Tickets.com over deep linking. See Ticketmaster v. Tickets.com.

So far, the courts have found that deep links to web pages are neither copyright infringement nor trespass. No court has enforced a website’s terms of use that bar deep linking.

 

Posted in: Questions About Copyright

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