Europe’s highest court resolved a seemingly obvious question about the right to use links on websites. This week’s court decision will hopefully put an end to a long-running discussion.
The controversy over writer Nate Thayer’s failure to credit his sources, which some alleged amounted to plagiarism, is just part of an ongoing debate over how we use — and give credit for — information in a digital age.
The body that represents Ireland’s major newspapers says a charity group’s website should pay substantial licensing fees for simply linking to its members’ content — and it is also lobbying to have the country’s copyright laws define the simple act of linking as copyright infringement.
If Fareed Zakaria and Jonah Lehrer had spent more time linking to the original sources of content they used in their writing, they wouldn’t have faced accusations of plagiarism. Their cases and a recent defamation lawsuit against Gawker Media help reinforce the value of the hyperlink.
Hyperlinking is fundamental to how information spreads on the web — it’s the reason why traffic spikes on some sites and also explains why…