[Air-l] legal question

Nicole Ellison nellison at usc.edu
Mon Oct 1 10:07:56 PDT 2001

I have heard of this -- Ticketmaster tried to sue Microsoft for "deep
linking," as it is called.  According to story at
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/inwk/0416/inwk0026.html, "... ticket
broker giant Ticketmaster Corp. filed a lawsuit against the software giant.
Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) alleged that Microsoft's Sidewalk
service for Seattle (seattle.sidewalk.com) violated copyright law by linking
visitors straight to Ticketmaster's online ordering area." The case settled
in early 1999 with Microsoft agreeing not to provide any content (or "deep")
links to Ticketmaster's site.
The problem with deep linking (in the eyes of the corporation being linked
to) is, of course, that it allows visitors to bypass advertising. Personally
I think it's ridiculous and is contrary to the spirit of the web, but that's
money-hungry corporations for you.
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/property/metatags/Linking2.html has some
pragmatic suggestions for deep linking. You could also ask the linked-to
site for permission. Since it's such a common practice I can't imagine an
educational institution would be sued, especially if you are not receiving
any financial gain from the links.

I haven't had time to check this out, but here is another page about the
issue: http://www.law.gwu.edu/facweb/claw/linking.htm

Sorry if this info has already been posted-- I'm on the digest.

Take care,
Nicole B. Ellison, PhD


Message: 5
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 08:48:25 -0500 (CDT)
From: Ed Lamoureux <ell at hilltop.bradley.edu>
To: air-l at aoir.org
Cc: "St. Mark's School" <stmark at iaonline.com>
Subject: [Air-l] "legal" question
Reply-To: air-l at aoir.org

I webmaster for a grade school. Our principal attended a workshop last
week at which a lawyer suggested that any links (on our site) out to other
sites MUST go to the HOME page only (no deeper). There was a suggestion
that this was mandated by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and that
linking directly to an article of interest, past the host home page, was
an infringement.

I'm not a legal scholar...though I do try to keep up. This one's new on

Can those of you with experience in this area comment please. Thanks

Edward Lee Lamoureux, Ph. D.
Associate Professor,
Speech Communication and Multimedia
Editor, Journal of Communication and Religion
Bradley University
Peoria IL 61625
ell at bradley.edu
Fax: 309-677-3446

More information about the Air-l mailing list