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Deep Linking Legal in Germany 142

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sprechen-sie-deutsch dept.
BlueWonder writes "German news site Heise Online reports a recent decision of the Bundesgerichtshof, the highest court in Germany: Deep linking is not illegal. Newspaper company Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt had sued the news search engine Paperboy for deep linking to their articles. According to the Bundesgerichtshof, the public interest in a well-working Internet takes precedence over the commercial interests of the newspaper company, even if the advertizing of the company is bypassed. The Bundesgerichtshof has clarified that users can access any page if they know the URL, and deep linking is just a technical simplification for entering the URL manually. (Warning: links go to German sites - use the fish...)"
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Deep Linking Legal in Germany

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  • Wrong dept. (Score:5, Funny)

    by BgJonson79 (129962) <srsmith@alum.wOO ... inus threevowels> on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:12AM (#6484234)
    Shouldn't it be from the-no-shit-dept. ?
  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:20AM (#6484308)
    It's good to see that theres at least one state in the world that isn't rushing to welfare programs for lawyers with pointless laws.

    Imagine if they had ruled deep linking was illegal ? think of the enforcement nightmare.
  • by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:22AM (#6484321)
    I've recently started using a news aggregator that takes RSS feeds from various sources and provides deep links straight to the article pages of their sites.

    I find myself visiting pages on the Register, The Motley Fool, and loads of other websites that I would never have visited otherwise.

    The publishers of these feeds know that, they know that it brings traffic and if they didn't want to do it they could pull the feed and prevent deep linking using any of various hacks.

    It is up to them as a publisher to use deep linking to their advantage and stop being so anal about it.
    • Yeah, what would happen if everyone had to cruise the net rather than picking up the important but deep-linked news and information that I post in my .sig?
    • Deep linking almost always generates only one hit/page impression/whatever you like to call it per user while a visitor that starts out on the homepage is likely to generate more than two clicks.

      Remember, most sites use banner ads as a way to earn money and every hit means more money to them. Guess why so many news site just have a teaser of their articles on the homepage? Yes, to make you click on that link that provides you the full story and generates them another hit.

      bye,
      Settel
      • by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:56AM (#6484544)
        But that one click is one more click than they would have got.

        The whole point is that deep linking drives somebody to your site that would never have come by were it not for that deep link - i.e. you do not have the opportunity to generate the 2 clicks that you talk about.

        You have the opportunity on the end of that one click to capitalise on it and entice the visitor into the rest of your site.
      • First, in most cases, the alternative in most cases is not one click (with deep linking) or more (when starting from the home page), but people seeing a page (when news search engines link to it) or not. Most people only read few newspapers completely and would not read articles from other newspapers if there wasn't a link to a topic they're interested in.
        But I would also dispute that deep linking necessarily makes people see fewer pages - perhaps there are studies investigating visitors' behaviour. Many g
    • by Ethelred Unraed (32954) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @05:21PM (#6486524) Journal
      They're nuts. Deep Linking = GREAT traffic source

      The attitude of Handelsblatt unfortunately does not seem to be that unusual, at least not in Germany. I remember having to work with a large marketing and design agency on a web project (the small agency I was working for was doing the website, the other agency -- the biggest in our area -- did the print marketing and was trying to also lecture us on how to do the site).

      First they criticized the fact that we had a full navigation on every page of the site -- in their view people should page through the site like a magazine.

      Secondly they wanted to force people to start at the homepage and work from there.

      They apparently thought of websites as being literally just a form of magazine or book -- you start at the beginning and page through to the end. I remember arguing with them vociferously that that was wrong, since it threw away all the advantages of the Web (I said it was akin to putting a radio ad on TV with no video) and also explained the principle of deep linking -- to which they reacted with horror and practically demanded we block deep linking, by lawsuits if necessary (WTF?).

      Given that the client's site was for a major German utility company with loads of info for customers, deep linking made all the sense in the world -- much more so than many other sites (since news sites, etc. would link directly to pages with promotions and so on).

      In the end we carried the day by arguing our position with the client's marketing director (who seemed to "get it" in general, even if he had some bizarre suggestions, like doing the entire ~1000-page site in Flash -- thank God we didn't do that).

      OTOH that other agency was also pretty damned clueless about a lot of other things -- proof that large agencies often aren't large because of the quality of their work, but just because the PHBs have all the right connections. *sigh*

      Cheers,

      Ethelred

      • Far as I can tell, it's not even a German issue, but simply an issue of "what happens when you get one PHB, two clueless marketroids and a couple of retarded graphics artists in charge of making the site."

        Neither of the types in that mix have half a clue that people go to the site for the information, and not for the bullshit. Taken in random order:

        - Graphics artists. A lot of graphics artists see it all as making art. They don't know, nor care, about usability of that site, or about the visitors' need to
        • Graphics artists. A lot of graphics artists see it all as making art. They don't know, nor care, about usability of that site, or about the visitors' need to get to the actual information, or such. They want their work of art reproduced as such at all cost, regardless of how much their favourite colours offend the eye, their font is unreadable, and that funky illogical page arrangement leaves the user disoriented and confused.

          In defense of graphic designers (since I am one): graphic designers are normally

          • I did say "A lot of graphics artists", and not "all graphics artists".

            I do know that there are people with plenty of clue about accessibility. Graphic artists, marketroids, PHBs, you name it. There are bright people among any of those.

            I'd also like to say that there's a distinction between trained "web designer" and trained only as "graphics artist". Hence, why I spoke about the second category, not the first. The first usually tends to have clue about good web design. The second often tends to have the i
  • Why all the fuss? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stackster (454159) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:22AM (#6484327) Journal
    If a site doesn't want anyone to "deep link" to them, why not just check the HTTP_REFERER HTTP header, and send those requests that come frome a "deep link" (anything outside their own site, probably) to the front page?
    Sure, you can set your own referer header and fool such things, but "ordinary users" wouldn't bother doing that.

    (Or do Big Evil Compaines always try to take legal action first, and if that fails, go for a technical solution?)
    • Re:Why all the fuss? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by janda (572221) <janda@kali-tai.net> on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:30AM (#6484373) Homepage

      Well, most larger companies hire their own laywers, they might as well keep them busy...

      Seriously, I think this is (mostly) another example of the marketing department doing the design work, and not understanding the technology. Then, when they find out that people can bypass their ads, they talk to the programmers.

      The programmers tell them that this is the way the protocol is supposed to work, so there's no real way around it without recoding everything to use cookies, registration, headers, and other stuff, which will make the marketing department look bad for not giving good requirements in the first place.

      It will make the marketing department look even worse if the programmers said it should be done with cookies, headers, etc and the marketing department did the "we don't have time" routine.

      So, drag them to court first.

      Note: You can substitute any department/person for "marketing" here, I'm just using them as an example from personal experience.

    • Re:Why all the fuss? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SCY.tSCc. (514610) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:39AM (#6484434)
      If a site doesn't want anyone to "deep link" to them, why not just check the HTTP_REFERER HTTP header, and send those requests that come frome a "deep link"


      Unfortunally, that approach is inherently flawed. Some proxies remove the HTTP_REFERER header or change it to something else (ever seen those XXX_REFERER removed by SoftwareXYZ in your logs?).

      In addition, caches (built into your browser or proxy) in general might get confused by different content that comes with the same URL because it depends upon the HTTP_REFERER header.

      bye,
      Settel
      • Re:Why all the fuss? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JimDabell (42870) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @12:38PM (#6484796) Homepage

        Some proxies remove the HTTP_REFERER header or change it to something else (ever seen those XXX_REFERER removed by SoftwareXYZ in your logs?).

        As far as I am aware, no software spoofs the Referer header by changing it to another URI. So simply block the people whose referring URI begins with 'http://' and does not come from your domain. Log the ones you block, and whenever any new ones come up, send an email to the webmaster. If a new "privacy enhancer" or whatever appears that does spoof the referrer with a false URI, simply exempt those from your checks.

        Remember, you aren't aiming to catch everybody who may possibly come from elsewhere, you are just making it unlikely anyone will deep-link to you.

        In addition, caches (built into your browser or proxy) in general might get confused by different content that comes with the same URL because it depends upon the HTTP_REFERER header.

        Not if you send a Vary header. Anything that gets confused by multiple objects available at the same URI when a Vary header is present is deeply broken, and will break in lots of different ways on lots of different sites.

        • As far as I am aware, no software spoofs the Referer header by changing it to another URI. So simply block the people whose referring URI begins with 'http://' and does not come from your domain.

          The privacy software Privoxy [privoxy.org] lets you spoof the Referer header. You may either set it manually, like "http://NoneOfYourFucking.Business" or let Privoxy spoof by setting the Refererer to the site you visit.

          If a new "privacy enhancer" or whatever appears that does spoof the referrer with a false URI, simply ex

      • Re:Why all the fuss? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by i_really_dont_care (687272) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @01:37PM (#6485146)
        There are a bunch of other possibilities to avoid "deep linking", for example by using dynamic content. I assume, they are already using cookies or session IDs to track their users. The same technology can be used to assure that a user has to view the main page before a subpage can be shown.

        It's also important to note that the ruling was about deep linking "per se" and not about accessing content that is protected. The press text reads:

        "Ein Berechtigter, der ein urheberrechtlich geschütztes Werk ohne technische Schutzmaßnahmen im Internet öffentlich zugänglich mache, ermögliche dadurch bereits selbst die Nutzungen [...]."

        Which means (sorry for my bad English, emphasis mine):

        "A benificiary who publicy publishes a copyrighted work without technical protection on the Internet, thereby already permits its use [...].

        This makes perfect sense for me.
      • I think that if a site requires the referring page to come from one its own domain and you spoof that somehow to make a deep link, then you would be guilty of copyright infringement, for unauthorized derivitive work. Deep-linking should be legal as an explicit authorization rule, because the web server authorizes you to use the work in the way your HTTP GET requests. If your HTTP GET header is fraudulent, then you don't have a grant to use it.

        If a site requires it and you use a proxy that strips it off, th
        • I think that if a site requires the referring page to come from one its own domain and you spoof that somehow to make a deep link

          That makes no sense. The Referer header is under the control of the user, not the website with the originating link on. A person who deep-links to another site can't make his visitors send "fraudulent" requests in this way.

          If a site requires it and you use a proxy that strips it off, then you will simply be denied access. That's the proxie's fault for purposefully


      • Simple fixes all around. If the REFERER is blocked, check the logs for requests from that IP previously. If they've hit the main page within, say, the previous 20 minutes, then it's probably just a proxy.

        As for confusing the cache, I wouldnt' think the HTTP_REFERER would have anything to do with it, the actual URL would probably be a much better choice for labeling what comes from that URL (*shrug*), but for the sake of the possibility: Toss them a "Location:" HTTP header in response and simply bounce them
    • Just becouse.

      If person sees link to some interesting article,
      clicks on it, and comes to clueless home page,
      full of advertisments, he/she becomes very angry
      with this site and probably would never click on
      links pointing to this site again, thinking
      "Arghh, it is that bullshit site which shows me
      their ads instead of what I want to read"

      Moreover, these people would become angry with site which do provide incorrect link too.

      This is even an issue with news sites where news
      tends to go away from first page after
  • Please consider (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlueTrin (683373) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:24AM (#6484338) Homepage Journal

    arresting Google [google.com], they provide deep-linking and even CACHE !!!

    Oh wait ... you are too lazy to put a robots.txt in your root ?


    • Adding a robots.txt file won't necessarily work. Google's bots do follow the instructions in the robots.txt file but there are lots of sites that don't. Following the instructions in the file is a common convention, not a hard and fast rule/requirement.

      Robots.txt is ignored by the more unscrupulous sites and bots so other measures have to be taken in those cases.
      • by bwt (68845) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @03:32PM (#6485880) Homepage
        If you have a robots.txt entry and somebody ignores it, then you should have a good case to sue them. If you don't have a robots.txt entry and somebody relies on it, you should have no case to sue.

        Hopefully, the legal standard will be that when you choose a particular technolgy to disseminate your works, that the documents that define that technology become legally binding. In other words, the law should reinforce the technology.
    • Deep linking into an existing site and caching a site without its permission are two totally different things, technically, ethically and legally. Please try to stay on topic.

  • by mkweise (629582) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:31AM (#6484380)
    ...is that the rulin states that if the owner of a web site wants to prevent deep linking, it may feel free to use technical measures to prevent it. (That could be as simple as using the referrer= tag.) It goes on to state that circumventing technical measures designed to prevent deep-linking very well may be illegal (and that they'd rule on that if and when it comes up.)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That could be as simple as using the referrer= tag

      1. It's not a tag, it's an HTTP header.
      2. It's not 'referrer', it's 'referer'.
      3. The syntax it appears in is 'Referer: xxx', no = anywhere.

      Agreed on the general "use technical methods before the law" approach though.

    • ...is that the rulin states that if the owner of a web site wants to prevent deep linking, it may feel free to use technical measures to prevent it. (That could be as simple as using the referrer= tag.) It goes on to state that circumventing technical measures designed to prevent deep-linking very well may be illegal (and that they'd rule on that if and when it comes up.)

      Which in a way is sensible enough -- if someone really really really doesn't want people to link to individual pages in their site, as

  • by Krapangor (533950) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:33AM (#6484400) Homepage
    You might now think that Germany is the land of the sane and bright, but this isn't true.
    In fact in some German states ISP are required to use censorship filters to filter content which is showing disrespect to human dignity like infamous rotten [rotten.com] or neo nazi propaganda.
    Indeed taking the new decision of congress to ensure free, uncensored internet access everywhere on the world, then you'll see very soon that Germany will be besides North Korea, China, Vietman, Iran and Lybia on the list of offenders.
    Germany has a long list of incidents of restricting the peoples right to access information and entertainment by claiming to protect youth and society. So sales of Doom, Quake and Command and Conquer 3 are extremely restricted like hardcore bukkakke porn. Furthermore you can't get Hitler's "Main Kampf" or plans for explosives of weapons in stores.
    This is a severe restriction of free information access. Free is free and information is information. That doesn't imply a qualitative measurement. So, in a truely free society people would have free access to images of severed head, torn inards and mindless racist propaganda, too.

    I think that's a very bad direction for the German society. The public rights are slowly getting more and restricted. In this picture it fits that the limits for consumed alcohol before driving are steadly lowered, speed limits are spreading like salmonella, the weapon laws are more and more restricted and smoking is made illegal in more and more places.

    Honestly, I don't know where this leads to. I'm just scared.

    • Furthermore you can't get Hitler's "Main Kampf" or plans for explosives of weapons in stores.
      I won't complain for these ones =)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        the reason that you cannot buy Mein Kampf in germany is not due to any legal restrictions but rather because the (german language) copyright holder has chosen not to allow reprints.
        • the reason that you cannot buy Mein Kampf in germany is not due to any legal restrictions but rather because the (german language) copyright holder has chosen not to allow reprints.

          The copyright holder is the Bavarian government and they are using copyright law to restrict distribution of that book. So, yes, it could be argued that this is censorship, and, yes, in this case I am glad they are doing it.

          • Educational tool (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Yanna (188771)
            How can you get to know your enemy if you are not allowed to access their content?

            How can adults keep the memory of the horror alive if they are not allowed to read it and discuss it and above all, use their critical thinking capabilities?

            If someone tells me that something is "bad", I feel compelled to go and check by myself. If I am told that something is bad, but I am not allowed to validate that information, then I tend to grow suspicious.

            While I wouldn't recommend that this book is allowed to any per
            • I know. It's a tough call.

              I think the Bavarian government made the best of a bad situation. They inherited the rights, and they seem to get lots of reprinting inquiries from around the world. Not to talk about illegal reprints from companies that don't even bother to ask ...

              What the Bavarian government allows is annotated/commented issues of Mein Kampf. Maybe that's the smartest way to deal with it.

    • by mkweise (629582) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @12:05PM (#6484598)
      You might now think that Germany is the land of the sane and bright, but this isn't true.
      In fact in some German states ISP are required to use censorship filters to filter content which is showing disrespect to human dignity like infamous rotten [rotten.com] or neo nazi propaganda

      Indeed taking the new decision of congress to ensure free, uncensored internet access everywhere on the world, then you'll see very soon that Germany will be besides North Korea, China, Vietman, Iran and Lybia on the list of offenders.

      As would the United States, if you look at the matter objectively. Please understand that many Germans feel as strongly about neo nazi propaganda as Americans do about kiddie porn...or certain decryption tools, for that matter.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2003 @12:10PM (#6484624)
      That's not correct!

      > So sales of Doom, Quake and Command
      > and Conquer 3 are extremely restricted

      You must be 18 years old or older, thats all.

      > In fact in some German states ISP are required
      > to use censorship filters to filter content
      > which is showing disrespect to human dignity
      > like infamous rotten [rotten.com] or neo nazi
      > propaganda

      There are 17 German states, contents are only filtert in North Rhine-Westphalia. (I think that about 10 - 20 sites are filtert.)

      There are many people and clubs like CCC against filtering, because it is AGAINST THE GERMAN LAW.

      But it is allowed to use other DNS outside NRW.

      > Furthermore you can't get Hitler's "Main Kampf"

      You can buy the annotated version. But I don't like it too, that you can't read the original book if you want. (The name of the book is "Mein Kampf")

      > or plans for explosives of weapons in stores

      Oh, I think that's a good law.
      • Good points! Anyway the Bad Guys(tm) all ready know how to make or buy explosives, the Smart Guys(tm) also know how but don't or if they do they use them where they can't hurt anything. The cops and Feds or whatever they have in Germany might say they stop terrorist but they don't; however they DO stop stupid kids from blowing the legs of there friend's cat. Same goes for the USA
      • > Furthermore you can't get Hitler's "Main Kampf"

        You can buy the annotated version. But I don't like it too, that you can't read the original book if you want. (The name of the book is "Mein Kampf")

        Actually, "Mein Kampf" is not banned, it's just that the state of Bavaria holds the copyright and doesn't allow anything violating that. Journalist asks, the Bayerische Staatskanzlei anwers (in German) [damaschke.de].

        • There is a little more to it than that. If you read all the way to the end, you will see that the state employee also mentions, that the content of the book may violate German law.

          For all intents and purposes, distributing unambigiously neo-nazi and fascist material with the intent of removing the basic democratic order, whether expressed or implied, is illegal and will be punished by the courts. That's not a new thing. It's actually been that way since 1949. And, personally, I don't mind it.

      • There are 17 German states,

        Um, there're really just 16.

    • Furthermore you can't get Hitler's "Main Kampf" or plans for explosives of weapons in stores.

      Note that "Mein Kampf" is not banned in Germany, but in fact the domestic copyright holder (the state of bavaria if I'm not mistaken) does not grant permission to publish it.
    • [...] and smoking is made illegal in more and more places.

      What does smoking have anything to do with a free society at all ? I really hate when people are throwing in their own agenda in an otherwise acceptable argument. Makes the whole argument sound lame.

    • In a way, I understand the US position that freedom of speech should not be restricted in any way. Many people of the left are sceptical about the fight against extremist right-wing propaganda - right-wing extremism, which few people like, can be used as an excuse to introduced repressive measures that will also be used against the left. As soon as freedom of speech is restricted, it's a dangerous slope.

      However, I do think it is right that neo-Nazi propaganda is illegal in European countries - not just in
    • Germany has a long list of incidents of restricting the peoples right to access information and entertainment by claiming to protect youth and society.

      Well troll, pray tell me, why do the German state fund the Open Source project Anonymity is not a Crime (JAP) [tu-dresden.de]? Go have a look at FAQ Concept [tu-dresden.de]. In particular, note that JAP project also provides anonymity and protection from observation against the operator [tu-dresden.de]

      I'm pretty certain such a project won't get funding by DARPA today.

    • by chl (247840)

      You might now think that Germany is the land of the sane and bright, but this isn't true.

      As a German, I cannot really disagree with that. Still, I find Germany a nice country to live in because enough of us are sane and/or bright.

      In fact in some German states ISP are required to use censorship filters to filter content which is showing disrespect to human dignity like infamous rotten or neo nazi propaganda. [...] Germany has a long list of incidents of restricting the peoples right to access information

  • Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vryl (31994) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:34AM (#6484405) Journal
    This is the only sane argument about this. Laws or court cases against deep linking are moronic. It is a public network. You have advertised an address, and you knew what that meant when you did it.

    You are not being co-erced into putting content on the network, and the consequences of putting up content are obvious to all.
    • This is the only sane argument about this. Laws or court cases against deep linking are moronic. It is a public network. You have advertised an address, and you knew what that meant when you did it.
      You are not being co-erced into putting content on the network, and the consequences of putting up content are obvious to all.


      While I agree with your position (and this same position has been put out by many), I wonder how you feel about spam. It seems the same arguement would apply to spam. You have a public
      • If tyhey would send a personlised email for every "customer" I say let spam be. Deep linking is not DOSing you know.
      • This is a good point. The ex-Intel guy finally won his court case, arguing more or less that exact point. Intel were trying to stop him sending email to their employees.

        According to your definition (no fake headers), I have no real problem with it, nor should spammers have any problem with anti-spam measures (there are some braindead cases of spammers trying to sue anti-spammers).

        And I don't really care about using open relays. They should not exist, but if they do, people will use them.

        However, I do
  • by BlueTrin (683373) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:39AM (#6484429) Homepage Journal

    Deep linking illegal under EU law, By Andy McCue, Computing [26-01-2001] [vnunet.com]

    Danish Court Rules Deep Linking Illegal [slashdot.org]

    Some examples of companies who forbid deep linking [spiffle.com] (the last link is full of stupid examples, some websites which would get a great benefit for their popularity from deep linking

  • An english link (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2003 @11:39AM (#6484430)

    I saw the notice at Links&Law.com [linksandlaw.com].

  • And in Denmark (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snaller (147050) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @12:08PM (#6484617) Journal
    ...it was ruled illegal. Because they said, because of EU rules. Which of the countries will have to change?
  • by BenjyD (316700) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @12:19PM (#6484651)

    Wouldn't preventing deep-linking destroy the use of search engines? What would Google do - provide a link to the front page and directions?

    "On the main page, scroll down half way and click on the small link on the right hand side. Close the resulting pop-up and scroll down to the bottom of the next page. Follow the second link from the right and you will find the content you are looking for."
  • by Bobke (653185)
    I thought in Europe this question was already answered in court in the Netherlands. Maybe I should add german headlines to my deeplinking galore site krantenkoppen.be [krantenkoppen.be] now?
  • No one can accuse Slashdot of being US-centric today, with news from Australia, France and Germany all on the front page!
  • Highest Court (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hank Chinaski (257573)
    In fact the Bundesgerichtshof is not really the highest court in Germany. It can be overruled by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (www.bverfge.de) which is similiar to the US supreme court i guess.
    • In fact the Bundesgerichtshof is not really the highest court in Germany. It can be overruled by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (www.bverfge.de) which is similiar to the US supreme court i guess.

      Close, but not exact. AFAIK, the Bundesgerichtshof is the highest Court, but for cases which touch a right/law stated in the "Verfassung" (Germany's Constitution) you can go to the Bundesverfassungsgericht. They have the power to decide that a law is illegal (against the constitution)

      During the last several years

    • The BGH is the highest court in Civil matters. It is the end of any legal argument in civil matters.

      There is also the BVerfG, which is the court, who decides about Constitutional and basic rights issues with final authority. But unless the Handelsgruppe can show that the current judgement by the BGH violated their constitutional rights in a serious way, the BVerfG will never have to decide this case.

      The American Supreme Court is a combination of the two. Remember the US Constitution was one of the first r
  • by blair1q (305137) on Sunday July 20, 2003 @03:05PM (#6485709) Journal
    Referrer authorization?

    Learn to use the Internet. It's cheaper than learning to use the Courts.
  • Junkbusters adds the following header every time you make a request:

    NOTICE=TO_WHOM_IT_MAY_CONCERN_Do_not_send_me_any_ c opyrighted_information_other_than_the_document_tha t_I_am_requesting_or_any_of_its_necessary_componen ts._In_particular_do_not_send_me_any_cookies_that_ are_subject_to_a_claim_of_copyright_by_anybody._Ta ke_notice_that_I_refuse_to_be_bound_by_any_license _condition_(copyright_or_otherwise)_applying_to_an y_cookie.

    Wouldn't it be a good idea to add one that says, "By sending me dat

  • Is it just me or are companies that discourage deep linking missing the whole point of the internet. Most web sites have severely limited and dumb search capabilities on their own or no search feature at all. Making me spend more than a minute searching on your website is just going to piss me off. The whole purpose of a website is for people to visit it and glean information from it. Preventing people from doing this is wasted capital. It's kinda like having 10 or 12 entrances to a shopping mall, but onl
  • Note the different uses of terms "deep linking not illegal" and "deep linking illegal." The truth is almost always more interesting. Although some early cases in the UK (Shetland Times was it?) seemed to suggest courts might consider deep linking to be a form of IP violation, nobody seems to have taken this point terribly seriously as a general principal.

    This does not mean that deep linking is somehow a blessed activity that can not give rise to liability, the HTML:

    <A HREF="http://their.support.site"

  • I can't even imagine the implications this could have on slashdot if it were in regard to US/UK sites.

    ...or even the slashdot effect multiplier on the sites linked to.
  • Assume deep links was actually made illegal. There would be a simple technical way to avoid them and still get the same functionality:
    1. Somebody register a domain for the purpose.
    2. DNS records are set up such that any hostname under the domain points to the same IP address.
    3. A webserver is set up on that IP address.
    4. The webserver when receiving a request decodes the hostname into a URL.
    5. The webserver replies with a HTTP 301 or 302 redirection.
  • German advertisers are upset that their annoying popups and advertisements won't be seen if deep linking is allowed.

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford

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