Copyright on URLs?

Written July 28. 1999, at 02:00 GMT.

Wired's Universal: Don't Link to Us tells of how Universal Studios is threatening to sue the owners of a web site that links directly to their movie-trailers for copyright infringement. Legal people say the matter unresolved in US courts, and that we'll just have to wait.

This is just plain silly. If they don't want people to link directly to their stuff, then they shouldn't assign permanent URLs to it.

Random session numbers assigned at the front gate are an easy way to thwart linkers and bookmarkers. So is embedding their stuff in Java applets or Flash-objects. Universal, however, seem to ignore this and wish to use brute force to get their way.

Universal are caught up in the old-market thinking. They don't realize that they have to seperate their content production from their content marketing and promotion.

Their own interests are best served if they allow their own film-fan sites to compete freely with other fan-sites, in marketing and promoting their (completely seperate) movie and movie-trailer production.

This is the same thing that is happening with the news-giants (news.com, wired, NYT, etc.) and the vertical news portals (Tomalak's Realm, Slashdot, etc.)

Seperation is needed.


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