deep linking dealt setback by danish court
A Danish court has ruled that a newspaper's Web site is entitled to ban hyperlinks to its content by an Internet news service. According to Wired News, the ruling's substance seems to be about the news site's specific practice and not the concept of linking itself.
According to court transcripts, an injunction against Newsbooster forbidding the service to deep link to any association-owned content was granted because Judge Michael Kistrup found that Newsbooster service was in direct competition with the newspapers to whose content the service linked, a violation of the Danish Copyright Act and the Danish Marketing Act, which forbids profiting by use of other companies' products and/or services.
The injunction is likely to be challenged to a higher court; as a member of the European Union, Denmark's laws reflect EU standards, so the ultimate ruling could influence practices across Europe. The court holds no jurisdiction in the US, where linking practices have also been the subject of litigation or threats thereof.
Experts quoted in the Wired story scoffed at the term "deep linking," noting that hyperlinks do not have specific levels.