Do You Have the "Right" to Link?

Source : http://www.webpronews.com

By Chris Crum

It was recently discovered that search engine/news aggregator NewsNow.co.uk had been blocked by Times Online, a publication from News International, a subsidiary of News Corp. This has been viewed as a possible beginning to what News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has been talking about for quite some time - blocking search engines and aggregators from using its content (and using apparently includes linking).

Do you think linking is a right? Share your view.

NewsNow founder Struan Bartlett is not exactly backing down from the fight. He has gone so far as to launch a campaign called Right2Link, the premise of which is essentially: linking to online content is a basic right, or officially:

Whether you are a consumer, an NGO, a blogger, an independent researcher, a concerned citizen or a business, your right to link needs protection.

Bartlett picks out the following as "the threats" of media owners stopping people from linking to content:

Serious damage to the ease of access to digital information that drives the economy.

Media owners cherry-picking organisations to target, accusing them of copyright theft, or demanding cash — this is already happening!

Media organisations with significant economic power cutting deals with selected corporate search engines to guide the public to their online media, their opinions and their political and commercial allies.

Media with the power to enforce it levying additional so-called "licence fees" from any business or organisation using or linking to their websites.
This is not just the argument of one man who is upset that he doesn't get to link to News Corp. content. Even influential (though he is receiving a bit of criticism) journalist and author Jeff Jarvis, who has worked for a few big name print publications himself, has weighed in on the conversation.

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