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Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Are You Agreed?

After an extended absence from the office I have just retrieved a voice mail from the Los Angeles Times requesting that I remove the link to the article "Firm says law stifles fair use on DVDs" until we can negotiate a licensing fee.
More here, at Kevin Heller's. The article Kevin linked to in his News sidebar is about the 321 Studios case (mentioned earlier here; the company's news page now is more up to date, but doesn't reference the Times article). According to the Times' Terms of Service, "... If you operate a Web site and wish to link to, you may do so provided you agree to cease such link upon request from No other use is permitted without prior written permission of ..." (Emphasis added.) This is reiterated when one follows the iCopyright linkage at the bottom of an article on the Times' page. The article in question is reprinted, presumably with the Times' permission, at, where I can't readily locate a linking policy of any sort. NPR ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin's thoughts on linking issues are memorialized here. Cory Doctorow's response on shortcomings of the revised NPR linking policy is here, and an article by Mike Janssen in Current further summarizing and rounding up links about the NPR episode is here. Among other things, Janssen notes that, "The Washington Post and the New York Times openly allow links to all of their pages, and the Los Angeles Times stipulates that webmasters can link to its pages as long as they agree not to if asked." Bret Fausett's piece discussing the potential enforceability of "click-read" agreements is here, and Kevin Heller's own thoughts as to why such agreements should not be enforceable are here. Hordes of inbound links to the Times. The Times reaching out and touching people on their voicemail. Hmm. I'd say this one's destined for a bench memo near you, soon.

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