October 11, 2004

Who Are These People and Where do They Get This Link Policy Stuff?

Came across another clueless linking policy that is just absolutely revealing about how little people understand what is going on online. This time, it's the Pacific Research Institute. It starts out:

Right. I'm going to fill out a form to link to them, including a box for the "purpose of my site." WTF. The purpose of my site is to get C&D'd over your freaking linking policy. I'll add it to the pile of other ridiculous C&Ds.

However, I noticed that the language is almost the same as last week's linking policy dust-up. Where do they get this garbage and who is running around recommending to ignorant site owners/keepers that this is acceptible?

The rest of their link policy:

General Link Conditions

Upon approval, links may be established to the PRI home page at www.pacificresearch.org. Links may not be established to any other pages of the PRI Web site without PRI's prior written permission.

After link approval is given to the PRI Web site, PRI grants you a limited, non-exclusive, nontransferable, royalty-free license to use the PRI service mark (logo) and Internet icon(s), if available, (the "Licensed Marks") solely for the purpose of serving as a link from your Web site to the PRI Web site. Except for the limited license to use the Licensed Marks granted in this paragraph, you may not use any of PRI's trademarks or service marks (the "Marks") for any reason without PRI's prior written permission.

You acknowledge that all rights to the Marks, the content appearing on the Web site, and the look and feel of the Web site belong to PRI. You will not at any time directly or indirectly contest or infringe these rights.

If you link to the PRI Web site, your Web site:

-Should not create frames around PRI's Web site or use any technique that alters the visual presentation of PRI's Web site.

-Should not imply that PRI is endorsing you or your products or services.

-In the absence of any affiliation with the PRI, should not imply an affiliation between your company and PRI without the prior written consent of PRI.

-Should not misrepresent your relationship with PRI or present false or misleading impressions about PRI's products or services.

-Should not contain materials that may be interpreted as distasteful or offensive; all materials should be appropriate for all age groups.

PRI has no responsibility or liability for any content appearing on your Web site.

PRI may at any time, in its sole discretion, immediately terminate your license to use the Licensed Marks and your right to link to the PRI Web site, with or without cause. If PRI exercises this right, you will immediately remove all links to PRI's Web pages and cease using PRIís Licensed Marks.

PRI may amend these Link Conditions at any time. You agree to abide by these Link Conditions and all other legal terms and conditions on the PRI web site, as amended from time to time. All terms and conditions related to the use of the PRI's Web site will be construed according to the laws of the State of California, United States of America, without regard to its conflict-of-law provisions.

Posted by Mary Hodder at October 11, 2004 08:04 AM | TrackBack

I don't know if it's truly "clueless" or ignorant. I do suspect it's an effort to control the uncontrollable. If I build a store in town, I may have a right to control who comes into my store, but I don't have a right to control who takes a picture of it, or puts it on a map.

Posted by: Terry Steichen at October 11, 2004 01:33 PM

Hi Terry, I do actually think it is clueless, because they don't understand that anyone *can* link to them, and there's nothing they can do about it, except block the link by resolving it to something else. Clueless is not realizing that having people link is a great thing, because it means traffic is driven to your site, you are being discussed and you are explicitly relevant to people due to the practice and expression of linking verses just the top layer of words. Social practices online often value behavior and activity that is about openness and freedom generally, so making rules for people about behavior that cannot by rule or law be controlled is silly and makes them seem out of touch.

Regarding your example, yes, store owners can control who comes in as long as the method of discrimination doesn't include any of the outlawed varities (race, religion, etc.) but any private property own can control who takes pictures within their property, though not what is viewable from public places like streets or sidewalks. Maps are out of the store owner's control as you say.

But my question for the Pacific Research Institute is, why have a site, if you are going to try to control how people get to it, but your mission says this:

Now more than ever, it is vital that our policy responses are guided by the principles that best preserve the essence of America Ė its entrepreneurial spirit, belief in the dignity of individuals, and vigilant defense of liberty.

The mission of the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) is to champion freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility for all individuals by advancing free-market policy solutions.

Their linking policiy is the opposite of this mission. That's clueless.

Posted by: mary hodder at October 11, 2004 02:52 PM