Sunday, April 5, 1998

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:24:58 AM moderator_betsy_r:I'm Betsy, the moderator for this seminar. Today we're discussing the issues raised by this week's module on metatags, linking, and framing. I'll be listening and contributing throughout the hour. Standard chat etiquette applies

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:25:49 AM moderator_betsy_r:Let's start with linking. It is almost axiomatic that the Web would be pretty useless without links between websites. But what about "deep-links" -- links that bypass the main index page of a website and go straight into the desired content of the site. Would the web still work pretty well without deep-linking? Should deep-linking be frowned-upon unless the site operator has given consent (for example, through a disclaimer) to deep-link into its content pages?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:28:25 AM moderator_betsy_r:I just got a direct message that someone can't see my message text. is that happening to anyone else?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:28:27 AM sally_r:Is it up to me, as a 'buyer' of information, or as a 'builder of information to sell' to educate myself and work to be certain I get the most for my $$$ and time? Or do I have a right to demand protection for my rights and dollars?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:28:40 AM sally_r:I can see

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:29:00 AM john_r:In most cases deep-linking would not be objectionable. But when a competitor starts passing off the material as their own, then unfair competition claims take on some merit.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:29:28 AM moderator_michelle_s:Sally -- could you explain your question further? I don't quite understand . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:31:28 AM moderator_betsy_r:John -- passing off seems a clear-cut example of misuse, except that in most cases people can see by looking at their URL bar that in a deep link, they are going to another site. Is that enough "notice" to exonerate the linker?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:31:39 AM sally_r:If deep linkining can result in unfair competition, when is it unfair, who decides when it is unfair, and what does the law andthe interpretation of the law play inthe discussion?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:32:12 AM moderator_michelle_s:That's what we should try to think about here. When do you think it's unfair?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:33:40 AM john_r:Nevertheless, one has to use common sense as to when to seek consent to frame into another's site. As for the 'notice' issue, in my framed sites the URL does not change to the URL of the target site -- to the average viewer, it looks like you haven't left the host site.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:33:46 AM sally_r:That's the difficulty. Is it a 'buyer beware' sort of world or one in which big knowledge daddies take care of those of us who do not about URL bars demonstrating a deep link?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:34:54 AM moderator_michelle_s:Well, let

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:35:06 AM moderator_michelle_s:Sorry! Let's explore this a little further . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:35:39 AM moderator_michelle_s:Say you are in John's site, and you pull up a frame into another site, but you don't know that it's a separate site . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:35:54 AM moderator_michelle_s:What are the effects to you as a consumer?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:36:27 AM john_r:For what it is worth, I recently discovered that you can find the URL of the target site even though it does not appear on the URL bar --- simply right click on Properties and there it is.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:37:13 AM moderator_betsy_r:Well, people who don't know about that will think that the linker wrote what they're seeing. That seems like pretty clear-cut copyright infringement to me.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:37:32 AM moderator_michelle_s:What kind of competitive disadvantage is the operator of the other site (the framed site) at?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:37:41 AM sally_r:Sorry. I do understand that. Both my questions concern the extent of who should police and under what circumstances. I think perhaps I should follow your (pl) threads for a bit; I am not being clear. I'll try to think of how as I read you all.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:38:52 AM moderator_betsy_r:Sally, I think your question ties in here. Should the author of the linked site have the ability to _sue_ the linker for making it difficult to ascertain the identity of the real author?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:42:23 AM sally_r:Thank you. You stated that which I attempt to get toward. The best example in our recent reading was the site in which the new news site compiled news from lots of major others and reframed them without also bringing their names or their ads - similar to the INS v AP in the (20's) - sorry - I can't remeber the citations - but I thought the questions raised were immensely interesting, epsecially in that the detail can vary - ie how 'newsworthy' is the news, do0es time matter? How much of a p

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:43:02 AM john_r:I received aprivate message with the text appearing in red...I sent a reply and it too was in red...but the recipient couldn't read it because it was in yellow. No idea how to correct. How does one initiate a direct message?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:43:57 AM moderator_michelle_s:I'm going to log out for a few minutes to try to fix this on the administrative end -- please continue with the discussion -- Sally's raised some interesting points!

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:44:12 AM sally_r: (continuing - I got 'cut off') a pruct is 'owned by the producer of the product?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:45:31 AM moderator_betsy_r:Sally: INS deals with "misappropriation": misuse of someone else's creation. There is also the issue of striaghtforward copyright infringement for passing of someone's work as your own. do you think both are applicable here?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:47:48 AM sally_r:I don't know. If I remember correctly, in the current web site the other news services are named, but then their links are 'lifted to the new site - and without their ads' - ???

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:48:32 AM moderator_betsy_r:This has real implications, for example, for this course. In the "newsletter" section of the threaded conference, we have links to newspaper articles &c. Now, we try to be good about attribution, but the truth is that some ads are bypassed, as you say. Should we be liable under INS?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:52:15 AM sally_r:My 'sense' of what I read, and my own experience with what I've watched about the web is two fold: First, both IP and your sources must use all your abilites do catch yourselves and make certain that you do 'right' by telling each other and then increasing your technological skills - in the case of the WWW, the development is almost by permutation. But the way I have read the cases and the articles, judicial action, historically, is a long way off.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:53:43 AM moderator_michelle_s:Do you think our legal system has some inadequacies in terms of time response to address these issues?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:54:29 AM moderator_betsy_r:Or at least that the legal mechanism for dealing with linking just doesn't exist yet? quite possible, considering that if you apply regular existing law to the web you will stymie some of it's most valuable abilities.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:54:38 AM sally_r:The second thought: If a content 'owner' is being 'robbed' by accident or design, and increasingly content owners are robbed similarly, then is there first a legislative need for a 'fix'?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:56:30 AM sally_r:Yes. The time element in all that which I have read so far, and in that which I have observed by living experience seems paramount. And as naive person about the law, it seems the one which most of us who do not study or know the law need to know the most about.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:57:19 AM moderator_betsy_r:One might argue that in those cases, existing copyright law may do just fine. Have you seen the "Playboy" case that was just decided?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:58:07 AM sally_r:Yes, but it was not one I focused on. Can you help me put it in to context?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:58:24 AM john_r:Sorry about that...I just got an Inactivity Period Expired message and lost a long message I was about to send

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:59:20 AM moderator_betsy_r:Sorry, John. Technology strikes again. Anyway, in Playboy, Playboy won against someone who posted/linked to several images from Playboy magazine (Michelle, correct me if I'm wrong here).

Sun Apr 05, 1998 11:59:24 AM sally_r:That happened to me awhile ago - my incipient learning disability thrives in this environment - how to repsond and how also to be quiet and listen and not get thrown off -

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:00:22 PM sally_r:Oh - I think I remember - Playboy (Clein) were metatagged into another site in order to pull folks in thorug search engines?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:01:22 PM moderator_michelle_s:No -- this is a different case where someone linked to a bunch of Playboy pictures

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:02:05 PM moderator_betsy_r:So Playboy had bee "robbed" even though no one would mistake these images for ones created by the site owner.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:02:42 PM sally_r:I am ignorant on two counts then: i. Re: the Playboy case; 2. the clear understanding of what 'existin copyright law' suggests

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:03:01 PM john_r:Playboy also sued for the use of over 7000 images. Playboy inserts digital watermarks somewhere on the bunnies and then sends out a digital spider to spot the unauthorized use. Playboy is the leading Cyber-Copin the world.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:03:22 PM moderator_michelle_s:That's exactly the case we're talking about here

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:03:45 PM moderator_michelle_s:John -- could you explain in your words what happened there?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:03:53 PM moderator_michelle_s:In the Playboy case?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:03:57 PM sally_r:I am listening; will post so just to keep from being thrown off

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:05:35 PM sally_r:stilll listening

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:06:37 PM moderator_betsy_r:While John is typing,let me just throwt this out, because it refers to Sally's earlier question. Playboy is policing it's own stuff with some pretty advanced tech. Should playboy have an advantage this way becayse it is a rich company? This advantage doesn't apply as much in a less technological medium.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:06:42 PM john_r:I believe Palayboy sued a Web site owner for displaying over 7000 images...tell you the truth I did not read the case, just commentary on it. So I don't know if they were setting it up so viewers could easily copy to their own sites; selling ads around them; passing off; etc.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:07:37 PM moderator_michelle_s:I'll admit ignorance on the precise details, also. But, they were making copyrighted Playboy pictures available to people who weren't paying Playboy for them . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:07:59 PM moderator_michelle_s:That's the crux of it

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:08:32 PM john_r:I believe there is a company named DigeMark which makes this technology available to anyone, not just rich companies.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:09:05 PM sally_r:As I remember our reaing for this week, I noticed that there were no obvious cases which did speak to the economic disparity invovled in creation and its care - Oh - the one in which a cloth desinger had had his cloth copied did didn't it - and the courts threw the case to the legislators???

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:09:24 PM moderator_michelle_s:The Web made it easy to infringe Playboy's copyright. Should laws prevent this? Do existing laws work?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:10:02 PM moderator_michelle_s:Also, Sally, one of the major themes in unfair competition is the amount of time and money spent in creating the infringed work . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:10:15 PM moderator_betsy_r:Perhaps the Web is even better than the real world for protecting yourself -- if anyone can be their own cybercop.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:10:43 PM sally_r:& that seems to be the wonderful 'crux' of the internet. As with the printing press, all of a sudden we are 'almost' on a level playing field. Of course it's not true, but perhaps it cannot be totally level, and this very course is example of the vast opportunities which are 'freely' available.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:11:21 PM moderator_michelle_s:There is one area of huge economic disparity on the internet, though . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:11:32 PM moderator_michelle_s:That is litigation . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:11:51 PM moderator_michelle_s:The big companies can afford to sue to protect their rights. Can the little guys afford to defend?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:12:02 PM john_r:Courts seem to be applying exisating law to the cyberworld...but there are also technological devices to counter unauthorized framing, for example. Simple to blow out frames; rotate the urls of internal pages, thus making the framer look bad by showing dead pages...

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:13:06 PM moderator_betsy_r:But perhaps "protecting yourself" (through litigation) on the web will harm its functioning -- linking is a key element of the web. But the techy waysof protecting yourself are effective. So should law just ignore the medium?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:13:13 PM sally_r:Thank you for the 'precic' "time and money" used to create - helps - Playboy and Microsoft also spend time and money - does proportion have any relation? I spend inordinate amounts of time and money to teach myslef and put 'me out' for buying, but I am not in the same league as Playboy (no 'pun' intended) not Bill Gates -

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:14:24 PM moderator_michelle_s:It seems that some courts are more willing to find that material has been misappropriated if there was a "substantial investment" that is nullified by the second comer's use . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:14:55 PM sally_r:Perhaps. John and I seem to be pretty good examples right here. I am essentially ignorant. He sounds very sophisticated. We meet on a site like this. I better do a lot to learn before I go running for ju7dicial or legislative help.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:15:20 PM moderator_betsy_r:Or maybe not. who are these laws designed to protect?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:15:37 PM moderator_betsy_r: . . . in many cases, they refer directly to the

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:15:49 PM moderator_betsy_r: "average" user. who is that?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:16:03 PM sally_r:Aren't laws in general made to protect the ones who pay for the laws to be made for the protection, in general of those who can pay for them?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:17:05 PM moderator_betsy_r:cynically, yes. but realistically, oftimes they try to protect the little guy even if lobbyists don't want it that way.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:17:59 PM john_r:Actually, Sally, I know very little about internet and copyright law...that's why I tuned into this seminar. And you are right...the Internet is a fabulous way to utilize the talents of the audience in distance learning adventures such as this. I expect seminar such as this one will become quite common in th enear future and I appreciate the Berkman Center making it available to the public.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:18:31 PM moderator_michelle_s:Thanks John -- we'll relay your appreciation to others!

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:18:31 PM sally_r:So. the Washington Post, et al, obviously put substantial investment into their news searches anbd production and sales. How long are their products substantially thiers?

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:18:46 PM moderator_betsy_r:Well, guys, I hate to do this, but the hour's way up and both Michelle and I have to go soon. It looks like we've gotten a lot to think about here and I've had a great time. Tomorrow, the next module opens and it will surely bring some new issues into the mix.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:19:06 PM moderator_michelle_s:Sally -- this is a good question to post on the threaded discussion . . .

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:19:07 PM moderator_betsy_r:you all can stay on for as long as you want.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:19:19 PM john_r:Thanks Betsy and Michelle.. Aloha

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:19:23 PM sally_r:Thank you all. & I add them to the Berkman Center. See you next Sunday.

Sun Apr 05, 1998 12:21:40 PM sally_r:You may not know about the law, but it sounds like you are one helluva 'techie', and that's my point - so far, in my learning, the internet wise folk seem quite ready to teach; to take work to overcome whatever is stolen by learning and discovering and going to their own next level of sophistication...