Latest on UK WWW links copyright infringement case
Sun, 24 Nov 1996 02:06:21 +1000
At 14:55 22/11/96 -0700, you wrote:
>hmmmmm...You're saying that if you put up information that is available
>for free to anyone who knows the URL that other sites that want to point
>to that FREELY accessible information is stealing? I don't get it.
No I'm saying that if they want to add a link to it then they should ask me.
The perogative is mine if I wish to charge them for the link. If I do not
wish them to link for free and wish to charge them and they do not wish to
pay then they do not have to link.
>If the your site was password protected and the other site was
>circumventing the access in some way as to enter without password or to
>give away a password to the persons without ownership of that password, or
>privilege from your company to share a password, then you may have a
If you mean like some sort of link ino the middle of somewhere like
cyberbabes or some other pay by perv site or similar arrangement, then I
should hope that would fall into some sort of illegal category.
>Yes, companies [and some educational and government institutions] pay
>major amounts for having information "published" on web sites.
So do those of us who are trying to get this industry up to critical mass.
>a business decision about how that information can be accessed - open or
>closed. They make a business decision about how much the investment in
>MARKETING products is going to lead to sales of those products. Web pages
>are VERY seldom the actual product that a company is selling.
It is the product we are trying to build an industry on, This is after all
an information superhighway , not an access superhighway.
>products, such as courses, software, electronic journals, etc., are
>different in that they are classed as intellectual property. But if
>someone puts up a web page that has open access to that information, the
>provider must understand that he/she is essentially giving away open
>access to that intellectual property for anyone who chooses to look at it.
Yes we give the information away, put it on public display etc, etc
>If they wish to sell access, then they must be mature about it and put in
>the appropriate access controls.
I do not wish to restrict access I just do not want people building a new
front end to the information I have spent a lot of time and money publishing.
>Now to combine those two situations, if a site puts up the URL for an open
>service, doesn't that just meet the actual desires of the originator, to
>have people go look at the marketing/advertising and/or free information?
>And if a site puts in a link to a closed service, doesn't that just meet
>the actual desires of the originator, to entice people to buy access to
>their intellectual property?
The key word in this one is buy. Not all sites fall into the nice
categories of Academic free to air or paid closed sites. Most of us have
some banners or ads or links Usually in index.html that are to help meet the
cost of the rest of the information. These are the higher paid ad locations.
other ads in lesser subsections/directories do not fetch as much money.
If a competitor, presuming to display a similar range of electronic
products (and the consumer/surfer is usually only guided by the search
engine metas) can entice the surfer onto the pages containing his ads (thus
increasing hit rate) without producing any product then he would have a
significant business advantage.
>Therefore, isn't the pointing site providing
>FREE advertising of an online product? And isn't that also meeting a
>desire of the originator?
Yes, it would increase the hit rate on the subsections pointed to.
The disadvantage is that the industry is still very small and fragile and
needs this comercial sponsorship. Any sponsorship or paying pages are hard
to find, particularly with the plethora of backyarders, producing 600k web
pages with heaps of scanned pictures and placing them on "chose one by
lowest price" providers servers. The govt and semi govt bodies are not even
paying for the information we are publishing for them, (they do not have
enough vision to see the need) The more the waters get muddied by the
charlotans the harder it is to sustain quality product within the industry
and maintain trainees and employment.
> If I assume that the small IT
>publishing company has people re-publishing their material without
>permission, that to me would be a breach.
Yes but its _very_ hard to pin, even when the breach is blatant. We have
also had to tackle that one recently.
> However if the complaint is
>that someone published a URL for their site, that would not be.
Not if they asked, or paid if I deemed it apropriate. Its my Info not
theirs, If they want to make that a part of their product, and I believe
that linking certainly can give this impression, then I expect my due from this.
The same company that republished our pages, when confronted by copyright
breach legislation then proceeded to modify the look and feel of their front
end to blend seemlessly with our information. Multiple links were then
thrown to our site and the information appeared to all intents and purposes
to be that of their own. we even recieved e-mail compliments (from the auto
mail links on the pages) for our work from a govt tourism body saying how
good the work was- the letter was headed "Hi XXXXX" it was to to the
manager of the other company.
We followed the links to get to the sending page- 2 of their pages and 5
>would be akin to denying any other publishing company from printing
>bibliographic info or a catalogue.
I dont see it that way at all. It is far more serious to me. Even more
serious to the trainees now unemployed because of it.
The multimedia information industry is in its infancy and the scammers are
already taking their toll. We must examine what has to be done to make the
industry self supporting and we must take action to minimise the damage done
by the parasites and do what we can to help it to grow.
For these reasons I see a great difference between publishing and
signposting in the comercial sector.
>My $.01 :-)
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