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by Don

Professor Lawrence Lessig has posted a link to his blog, basically daring O’Reilly to come after him. As usual, his article leaves out the details and assumes everyone coming along understands what he means to say and the background that surrounds it.

Lessig writes about another blog, Newshounds, that watches the happenings on Fox Television and provides reports. That blog made the unprofessional mistake of quoting an entire article about Buster the Bunny that appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s website in one of it’s posts. Now, re-publishing the works or another is certainly the wrong thing to do if it exceeds the fair use doctrine, and the “O’Reilly people” called them on it — as they should. But according to Lessig, the site corrected it’s error and instead posted a link to the article.

Lessig claims that this link also offended the folks who syndicate O’Reilly. Now, unlike Lessig, I have no interest in dragging this site into litigation — even if we are proper in our usage. Matters such as this are resolved simply in most cases, the David caves to the Goliath. Who wants to defend, let alone fund the defense however just, of a lawsuit over what is primarily a hobby in the exercise of free speech? Not us!

Linking is generally considered to be a proper and expected part of the Internet culture. There have been suits like the 2600.com case Lessig refers to without explaining (or ironically linking to information that does). In that case, 2600.com asserted that computer code, in that case that allowed someone to copy a DVD — and to play a properly purchased DVDs on Linux computers — was free speech. 2600 removed the code when pushed on the issue, but then placed a link. That link was initially found to be a violation of law, but later cases in other jurisdictions found that you could speak the code, even if the act of having spoken it in fact became illegal.

The active on the issue tried all sorts of things to make their point. One proponent actually turned the code into a song! Unfortunately that song was de-listed.

For years there have been contests over deep linking, the act of creating a link deep into another site. However, many in the legal community have still suggested that best practices would suggest avoiding deep linking.

Linking is part of the web. Inbound deep links can easily be identified by receiving sources, as is commonly done by many sites today. In fact, there are actually deep link conversion utilities for some publishers works. Using this type of special link will allow you to get in as explained here, but if you don’t do so, they head you off and realize you aren’t from a partner site. The point is that the site can easily prevent deep linking if that is not desired.

It is great that guys with the resources like Lessig are willing to create the law. While I wish he would explain himself better when he posts, it is great that he does things like this. Indeed, fights like this actually further his aura and enhance his career. For the rest of us, we can only hope he gets it right.








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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   November 17, 2017, 8:22 am
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