By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

News of the weird: Hyperlink edition

Via Jay Rosen, a story that is almost too weird to be true: Irish newspapers are claiming that no one has a right to link to their content without paying for it. And they have a price list.

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  1. Aaron Read

    Don’t piss off the Irish, man. Learn from Edward the Longshanks’ mistakes! 🙂

  2. An important thing these dinosaurs need to understand is this: When other websites or blogs link to these newspapers online, those other websites and blogs are bringing in new visitors, new readers, new clickers to these newspapers’ online editions, which means more clicks on their ads, which means more revenue for THEM! (And free of charge, too!)

  3. peter sullivan

    Interesting point Scott, but if you look at the prices they quote for the links, you would probably make more money selling the links than the extra clicks would bring…. Not a bad idea for a new revenue stream if it were any way enforceable!!!

  4. Mike Benedict

    @Scott: That’s always been the assertion, but where’s the evidence to support it? My belief is that the search engines and aggregators are generally the ones making the money, not the content generators.

  5. I was under the impression that the legality of asserting copyright over hyperlinking was settled case law a long time ago. Now quite possibly that was only in the USA, and I know nothing of Irish/UK courts, but if their courts are ANYTHING like ours, I can’t see how this is going to survive a serious court challenge.

  6. Mike Benedict

    Interestingly, Aaron, the first court decision I’m aware of that covered hyperlinking was in, of all places, the UK. In 1996, a court issued a temporary restraint barring Zetnews (the defendants) from hyperlinking their site to that of the Shetland Times without permission. Ultimately the court allowed hyperlinking, with specific conditions:

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