Monday, March 30, 1998

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:02:14 PM michelle_s:OK. First, this seminar is intended to allow real-time discussion of the issues you've read about in Module One.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:02:42 PM michelle_s:I am a teaching fellow, and am not an expert in the field, and not qualified to offer legal advice.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:03:21 PM michelle_s:Beyond that, please observe basic chat etiquette rules -- take turns talking, try to stay on the topic, no obscenity, etc.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:03:48 PM michelle_s:You may direct questions to me, but don't be surprised if, in true Socratic fashion, they are answered with another question.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:04:18 PM michelle_s:We can begin now. Was there anything specifically that piqued your interest in the topic?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:04:29 PM david_d:MS:Are these classes being archived somewhere? This Chat client doesn't allow copy/paste.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:05:12 PM michelle_s:I don't know, but I'll find out for you and let you know in a few minutes . . . continue . . .

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:06:10 PM david_d:RE: interest in the subject - I had someone link to my page inside a frame. I gave her the URL of top 10 web errors (#1 was using frames), but she said Microsoft said it was OK in their classes.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:07:24 PM david_d:The use obscured the true location, cramped the format... Techno solution, added button to page to 'banish frames'

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:07:57 PM jack_l:Michelle's computer just crashed, please continue; she'll be back in a second.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:08:39 PM jack_l:What Microsoft classes are you referring to?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:09:06 PM david_d:But back to interest: linking seems to be fundemental to net usage. Having to have permission to link would have a chilling effect on speech (I think)

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:09:55 PM david_d:The class was a Microsoft 'webmaster' class, she didn't give specifics beyond that her husband was webmaster for a radio station.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:11:12 PM michelle_s:Do you think that all copyright law has a chilling effect on speech, David?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:11:45 PM david_d:Does the history of the web 'assuming' linking was OK set a precedent that limits people's ability to say "I want to be on the web, but I don't want anyone to link to me"

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:12:23 PM david_d: (C) chilling effect: No. Protecting creative works encourages effort in producing them in the first place.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:12:56 PM michelle_s:But what I was getting at was the tradeoff -- it does have some effect on the "freedom" of speech

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:13:24 PM david_d:Well, you don't have the freedom to plagerize...

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:13:48 PM michelle_s:Basic question: is the tradeoff worth it? You partially answered the question. I'd like to hear some discussion from all about this. What are your thoughts?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:14:55 PM david_d:Anyone?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:15:19 PM michelle_s:Maybe a more direct question is in order

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:15:50 PM david_d:What is the value of free speech vs what is the value of copyright... How else to ask?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:16:34 PM michelle_s:Copyright law places some limits on what can be done, in return for providing incentive to create. How does this apply to links on the Web?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:18:20 PM michelle_s:Should links be considered violations of copyright? Just because something is on the Web, should it be available to anyone for any use?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:18:28 PM david_d:Someone has to visit you page in exchange for seeing what's there. They can't go to someone else's. But do they have to view your FRONT PAGE if they don't want to?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:18:39 PM roy_k:maybe the "value" doubled in david's question really relates to two values, which would not necessarily be commensurable (i.e. the value of copyright as property value, measured in money; value of free speech as something else)?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:19:10 PM michelle_s:good point roy, any response from David?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:19:41 PM david_d:A web address isn't the information it contains, any more than a phone number is the person who answers it.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:19:58 PM david_d:re: diff values...

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:20:46 PM david_d:The value of free speech is the wealth of ideas generated. The whole greater than the sum of the parts. A public good.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:21:18 PM michelle_s:Re: your web address analogy -- are we pointing people to a web address, or to the information located there?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:21:36 PM david_d:The property value is good incentive for people to contribute their best.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:21:43 PM david_d:re web analogy...

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:23:25 PM david_d:The practical value is the information located at the address, just as the purpose of a phone number is to talk to the person. The address has no innate value, so (C) protection doesn't make sense.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:23:39 PM michelle_s:I'd like to sit back and let you all talk for a few moments. Please feel free to direct any questions. I'll step back in if we seem to be stuck. Any response to David's ideas?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:24:24 PM roy_k:re: value: is the "wealth of ideas" a metaphor, or are you talking about money?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:24:45 PM nancy_b:Hi it's Nancy B here and I was wondering if someone can bring me up to speed. I was half-expecting a seminar here tonight:. Is that what this is? And is it possible to scroll back up the screen to gain more context for the chat when I log on? Sorry to interrupt.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:25:27 PM david_d:metaphore: I just mean that shared ideas generate more ideas when combined, a 'wealth' of ideas.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:27:31 PM david_d:Has anyone here ever had a link that bothered you?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:29:19 PM david_d:Sigh...

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:29:41 PM roy_k:someone made a comment earlier about bad links not being a real problem - could whoever it was repeat it, or rephrase it?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:31:43 PM michelle_s:Can you be more specific, Roy? I'm looking for the comment.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:32:09 PM nancy_b:David, I hope this isn't a totally naive question, but you mention wealth, if only metaphorically. But who owns the wealth on the net? Isn't that the fundamental question?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:32:39 PM david_d:Got an appointment at 6pm, gotta go. I just logged on today to see what the schedule is, looks like Sunday is the only section that fits. Hope to see you guys there.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:34:04 PM roy_k:i don't remember it exactly, but it was about a supposed problem being only a pseudo-problem, because there is no economic problem involved

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:35:24 PM david_d:I think the creators own their content under previous (C) law, but the medium is based on links. Denying that is like going to a convention with a "Hi I'm David" Button, but expecting no one to talk to you without an advance invitation.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:35:56 PM david_d:Thats a weak analogy, but I'm a bit rushed... See you!

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:36:15 PM jack_l:Who was it that said earlier, "Linking is the name of the game?" I wanted to respond, What do you mean by "Name of the Game?" Most lucrative aspect? What about the actual content? Linking is crucial, certainly, but perhaps the unique technological aspects of the Web are the "name of the game."

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:36:19 PM michelle_s:I can't find the comment you're referring to, Roy. Possibly it was the one before the seminar started when someone mentioned that links bring "hits" to a site, so the "linkee" should be grateful?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:37:07 PM roy_k:could be, i remember that kind of comment from the threaded discussions, but i thought there was something more specific here.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:37:56 PM michelle_s:Well, Roy, tell us what you're thinking about what you remember of the idea . . .

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:41:06 PM michelle_s:Anyone, please feel free to present any questions you may have. //exclaim

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:41:29 PM roy_k:i guess i would like to get a better idea about what kind of links are seen as damaging. i understand the problem of links that bypass certain advertisements (either by framing or by bypassing a homepage), but then the question seems to be one between advertisers and the linker, not the linkee. when would the linkee feel damaged by being linked to?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:43:33 PM michelle_s:To put a question from earlier: has anyone here been linked to and felt damaged by it?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:43:43 PM michelle_s:Or known of any such instance?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:43:47 PM nancy_b:clarify linkee and linker?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:44:10 PM michelle_s:linkee is the original creator -- linker is the one who links to the creation

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:44:28 PM nancy_b:thanks

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:45:50 PM michelle_s:roy -- I have an instance that may follow your question -- hold on . . .

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:46:24 PM roy_k:i'm all eyes...

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:46:50 PM nancy_b:I can't imagine such a case. But what about the case we're presented with this week? What rights do the advertisers have? Can we relate this at all to any copyright laws governing use of television broadcasts?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:47:38 PM michelle_s:This is not a copyright issue, but another instance of damage. Say an adult services site links to Disney (actual case). Should Disney feel damaged by the association?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:49:34 PM nancy_b:Now I see what you're getting at Michelle. I think that would be an uncomfortable situation. Is there any way of monitoring such links?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:50:36 PM michelle_s:I'm not an engineer -- so I'm not aware of the process, but pretty sure that it can be done somehow.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:50:37 PM roy_k:but damaged in what way? is disney uncomfortable when someone who sees x-rated movies comes to disneyland?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:50:55 PM michelle_s:But does that create an association in the minds of others?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:51:49 PM michelle_s:likewise, isn't the essence of copyright protection to give the author some control over what happens to her work?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:52:10 PM michelle_s:Or is it like the first-sale doctrine -- after you've put it out there, you can't control what happens?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:52:55 PM michelle_s:I'm just trying to generate responses, here, not giving any answers! Please discuss.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:54:25 PM michelle_s:Any ideas? //megafone

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:54:33 PM nancy_b:I'm going to throw in another potential example of what Michelle is talking about. I'm teaching an international literature course on the internet this spring. What if a white supremacist group, for whatever reason, decides to link to my site. But I agree with Roy's point as well. Is my web-site damaged in any way for its intended users, or is it only being used in what I would consider an inappropriate way (and how can I ever control that?)

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:55:20 PM roy_k:maybe the disney example clouds the issue, since they have the opposite problem, i.e. of over association with "wholesome" images; maybe the opposite problem of association (big name company links to unkown company that is trying to establish a name for itself, but without associations to what the well known company does)

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:56:17 PM nancy_b:can you elaborate on your example, roy?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:57:38 PM elizabeth_r:Roy has touched on the issue of sponsorship -- some people might be confused and think that Disney, or Nancy's class, is sponsoring the site that links to theirs.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:58:05 PM roy_k:it is like what you are talking about in a sense, although the problem seems to be guilt by association. say a breath mint company, relatively unkown, is linked to by a cigarette maker - that could make the mint company uncomfortable.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:58:29 PM elizabeth_r:although theoretically it is good advertising.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 08:58:59 PM roy_k:well, good or bad, depending on what level the anti-cigarette fever rises to...

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:00:47 PM nancy_b:I like your point about sponsorship, Elizabeth. But is that perception damaging per se? What does it damage, and for whom?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:01:22 PM elizabeth_r:what happens with disney is, when you say you don't want to log on to a porn site, the porn site will bump you to Do you think this could lead to sponsorship confusion on the part of people who leave the porn sites?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:01:38 PM roy_k:have to go - thanks for the time

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:02:17 PM elizabeth_r:that is to say, will people think that Disney was secretly in charge of the porn site?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:06:26 PM nancy_b:I've always thought that Disney was in charge of the porn sites. But, seriously, how likely is that perception to affect Disney? Again, maybe Disney is a bad example. Let's say a white suprmacist group links to my course site and users of the link believe that I sponsor the other site. As horrifying as that may be, in what way can this perception damage my course. And even as I type this, I think I have an idea, but I'll throw this out to the group for now.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:07:48 PM michelle_s:That's actually a very good question, Nancy. And one for which I don't have a quick response.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:08:07 PM michelle_s:Since it's past 9 p.m. now, I'll be logging out in a moment.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:08:08 PM elizabeth_r:an even tougher question is, what can nancy do about it?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:08:40 PM michelle_s:I'd say continue chatting, but it's just the 3 of us left. Nancy -- could you post that question on the threaded discussion under this topic?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:09:08 PM nancy_b:How do I do that?

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:09:30 PM michelle_s:Go to "Threaded Discussions" and click on the topic "Legitimacy of Linking"

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:09:39 PM michelle_s:Click on "Post"

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:09:44 PM michelle_s:Type your entry

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:09:51 PM michelle_s:Hit "Submit"

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:10:51 PM michelle_s:I'm checking right now to see if there's an online help guide, hold on . . .

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:10:59 PM nancy_b:OK Michelle, will do. I assume I need to give the entire context of my question, in as terse a form as possible.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:11:29 PM michelle_s:No need to be terse, you may talk naturally

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:12:07 PM michelle_s:Correction, Nancy, you hit "Post" after entering your message, not "submit"

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:12:42 PM michelle_s:And, unfortunately, there is no online help guide. If you have any difficulty, please e-mail me at

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:12:47 PM elizabeth_r:see y'all next time. i'll be "moderating" saturday and sunday. bye!

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:13:06 PM nancy_b:I'll go do that now. Nice talking to you, Elizabeth and Michelle. Got the correction, Michelle. Thanks for your help.

Mon Mar 30, 1998 09:13:25 PM michelle_s:You're welcome. Good night!