Shetland Islands Linking Lawsuit Settled

Reprinted with permission from the November 1997 issue of Computer Law Strategist.
1998 The New York Law Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

TWO COMPETING on-line newspapers in Scotland's Shetland Islands, have settled a lawsuit stemming from unauthorized linking. Shetland Times Ltd. v. Wills, Scot. Sess. Cas., (10/24/96) 1 EIPLR 723 (11/1/96), settled Nov. 11, 1997. (See Computer Law Strategist, December 1996.)

The Shetland Times had accused The Shetland News of copyright infringement, after the News posted copyrighted headlines from the Times on the News' Web site without authorization. The headlines linked directly to articles on the Times' Web site, bypassing the front page, which contained paid advertising. Under the settlement, the News is permitted to link to the Times' Web site, by means of headlines, provided that the links conform to the following requirements:

"(a) each link to any individual story shall be acknowledged by the legend 'A Shetland Times Story' appearing underneath each headline and of the same or similar size as the headline;

"(b) adjacent to any such headline or headlines there shall appear a button showing legibly the Shetland Times masthead logo; and

"(c) the legend and the button shall each be hypertext links to the Shetland Times online headline page."

Information on the settlement is available at The court's October 1996 order in the case is available online at shetld1.html.



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