Don't link to this blog

by Daniel H. Steinberg

Cory Docktorow has been documenting his on-going dialog with NPR about their policy of having other people link to their site. Actually, Cory's campaign has led to NPR's reconsidering and updating their Terms of Use . In Cory's response he explains why the revised policy still doesn't meet his objections. In particular, he says "I don't need your permission to link to your site... There is not intellectual property interest in controlling the contexts in which your work may be referenced... A link is a public fact ... authors [are not legally granted] control over the contexts in which the existence of their work may be noted." You can find more discussion and content on

In a related story, the online magazine 2600 has won an interesting linking victory in it's battle with Ford. 2600 registered the domain which I'll refer to as f*** and had it link to Ford's site. Ford was concerned that visitors would think that Ford had commissioned the site and tried to legally stop the link. Check out the stories on 2600's page as well as in The Register .

What rights should you have in controlling who links to you and how?