Proposal: Congress should pass a "Freedom To Link" act

Several recent court decisions are, in my view, threatening the generally accepted notion that the Internet thrives on a "free to link" privilege between any two sites.As rabid as some content creators, their lawyers and agents are, I fear that we may be headed into an era where these rights are challenged.

Several recent court decisions are, in my view, threatening the generally accepted notion that the Internet thrives on a "free to link" privilege between any two sites.

As rabid as some content creators, their lawyers and agents are, I fear that we may be headed into an era where these rights are challenged. Challenged to a point where some content creators  will demand paid licenses just to link to their content.

To stem this, I propose a "Freedom To Link" act.

The "Freedom To Link" act would read: 

The status of the Internet as an open forum where links are freely practiced between websites, it should be resolved that:

No website should have the right to prohibit any other site to link directly to its content- whether on a home page or via "deep link" existing as a static web page on its site.

No website should have the right to demand that any other website sign any contract or form to grant this linking access. This does not preclude such contracts as facilitators for featured status partnerships- such as from a linking site and a linked-to site.

No website should have the right to demand that any other website facilitate payment to grant this linking access. . This does not preclude such payments as facilitators for featured status partnerships- such as from a linking site and a linked-to site.

No website should enact provisions that would block a site from accessing and then linking to "on the fly" web pages from another site where those pages are created via access to database objects maintained by the linked-to site.

No website should enact provisions that would block a site from accessing and then linking to streaming media address files that when clicked on, play the streaming media program or clip.

Websites can, however: use technical or contractual means to block direct link access to web addresses that when clicked, will spawn an advertisement for an ad on the linked-to site or a copyrighted photograph on the same linked-to site.

Linked-to websites have the right to install special software that will prevent some or all of their sites to be "crawled" by web page aggregators or search engines.

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