August 7, 2002
9:21 PM   Subscribe

In the colorful tradition of linking, debates about the etiquette and legality thereof, and moronic corporate policy, comes Don't Link to Us: a weblog documenting corporate sites with painfully stupid linking policies. Perhaps, as the footnote points out, public shaming is the only means by which the tyranny of evil men can be fended off.
posted by Danelope (12 comments total)
(The author's primary site, too, is an excellent source of information on IT law, domain name disputes, and more.)
posted by Danelope at 9:21 PM on August 7, 2002


The site's linking policy: "The Linking Policy for Don't Link to Us! precludes us from requesting permission to link to a site, and compels us to link directly to the targeted page (i.e., a "deep link") rather than to a site's home page."

*claps some more*
posted by mediareport at 9:52 PM on August 7, 2002

Maybe we should just ignore sites that have these insane deep-linking policies. It seems as though companies who do this receive more traffic than normal because of the numerous links to their site, the numerous people discussing the company and the numerous articles published about the furor. Though, I can't readily cite any source for my assumptions.
posted by stavrogin at 10:46 PM on August 7, 2002

These linking policies are absurd. They betray a fundamental misunderstanding on the structure of the word wide web on the part of the people who make up these rules. I suspect part of the problem arises from the choice of the verb "to link," which to less-than-savvy internet users implies that some sort of physical connection must exist between a site that links to another. If the early adopters of the web had used the term "reference" instead, this fallacy of this attitude would be more obvious. Establishing a "don't reference us" policy just sounds absurd.

The irony is that a competent web server administrator can prevent deep linking, or any linking for that matter, using apache's mod_rewrite. Presumably you can do the same thing using MS's IIS. Unfortunately, companies hire shitty sysadmins, but their lawyers are highly competent.
posted by Loudmax at 11:39 PM on August 7, 2002

I don't think site traffic equates to hard currency by any means, so I really don't see the harm in following the links to have a bit of a giggle at companies with such a clearly absurd internet policy.

Also, the weblog in question would be sacrificing some credibility, not to say quality, in not deep-linking to the sites it was talking about.

If only more weblogs were this entertaining.
posted by nthdegx at 12:18 AM on August 8, 2002

Huntingdon Life Sciences probably have more occasion than most to ban people from linking to their site (spoof sites which then link through making it appear like an official site, etc.), I suspect Shell do so for the same reason. For organisations like these it's because they are web savvy that they try and put people off linking into their site.

p.s. if you're wondering what Huntingdon Life Sciences do, you'll find some differing opinions here and here.
posted by johnny novak at 2:02 AM on August 8, 2002

Lest We Forget...

As for Don't Link To Us, a great effort. As an Aussie, I was particularly embarrassed to see Australia's Post's clueless policy, which goes so far as to specify which words you must use when linking to the five 'allowed' pages. Sadly, those words are not wibble, antelope, forsooth, pants, and ectoplasm.

I'd love to see some of these guys in the classroom.

Teacher: Now, children, if you'll all just turn to page 132 of your text...

Lawyer: Excuse me, but that's in breach of our Linking Policy. Kids, you're only allowed to look at the front cover. You can only open the book provided nobody else has told you to. And they're not allowed to tell you its title, either!
posted by rory at 4:38 AM on August 8, 2002

I was also particularly embarrassed to write "Australia's Post's" when I meant "Australia Post's".
posted by rory at 4:42 AM on August 8, 2002

The irony is that a competent web server administrator can prevent deep linking, or any linking for that matter, using apache's mod_rewrite.

Not for video files, you can't. Or if you can, I'd appreciate a lesson.
posted by walrus at 7:45 AM on August 9, 2002

How strange. It's gone.
posted by rory at 3:37 PM on August 14, 2002

(Aha. Exceeded its bandwidth allocation and had to switch hosts. More news via
posted by rory at 4:23 AM on August 15, 2002

News coverage at CNet.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:17 AM on August 21, 2002

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