There’s a rather big online debate going on at the moment about what websites are allowed to link to.
News aggregator sites such as NewsNow collect headlines from several news sites around the web and puts them on their website, creating an easy hub to the worlds news as it happens. NewsNow don’t provide (or even pretend to produce) any of the content themselves. All the headlines will link to the website where that news article was found, allowing the original creator of the article to receive traffic to their website.
It’s effectively free advertising for news website, however many newspapers have taken this the wrong way. The Times started the argument in May and have recently asked NewsNow to pull all reference to their site off the news aggregator. Since then others have followed suit including The Sun and News Of the World. Other papers are also planning to remove themselves from the service.
The reason? These companies claim that by “accessing their website from a link, or quoting a headline in a link, you could be infringing their copyright.”
As far as I’m concerned, this is a ridiculous point with no real backup. Yes news aggregators do take headlines from newspaper websites, but they do this to send traffic back to those sites and give us all an easier way of accessing articles. It’s just another option of accessing news which the powers that be want to take away from us.
What’s next? Stopping people linking to articles on social networks like Twitter? It all seems completely absurd.
That’s why as of today, my blog, The Rich, Harsh Poet is officially supporting the Right2Link campaign, to save the public amenity of linking to other websites.
If you too are in favour, then you can help the campaign here.
Also please feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!