From the I Didn’t Know I Was Breaking The Law Dept, you’ll be relieved to know that deep linking is now legal, at least in Germany. Thank God for that. Er, what is deep linking?
Basically a deep link takes you from one webpage to another page that isn’t the homepage on another website. Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say. But what if the link takes you to an article in a pay-as-you-surf database?
The excellent TechDirt website alerts us to a report that says the German Federal Court of Justice last week issued a verdict “holding that an online service which offers links to articles in a protected database is not in violation of copyright and competition law”, rejecting arguments that deep links deprive folk of revenue because they take users directly to news articles, bypassing introductory pages and advertising.
As the article says, a decision the other way may have eventually put an end to search engines, which are nothing more than a list of deep links. “Try to imagine the Internet without search engines!” the article concludes.