Permission to link

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:17 am

Some big businesses have taken to the absurd notion that one must obtain permission before linking to their online content. This is akin to a department store forbidding you to tell your friend which aisle you can find socks or a restaurant forbidding you to tell anyone their street address. And now NPR, who really ought to know better, has announced the same policy. Well, boo to them. Here’s a here’s a completely unauthorized link to this morning’s segment on World Sauntering Day from Morning Edition in RealAudio format. And, for good measure, here’s a link to their segment on Jack Buck. Take that, National Public Radio!

(Side note: The NPR web staff munged their own link to the World Sauntering Day story. My link may be the only one in the world that correctly points to the story, and it’s 100% unauthorized.)


  1. The thing is, even if you tell someone what asile the socks are on, your friend still needs to go through the front door and pass the displays. So it’s a bad analogy.

    Comment by Anonymous — 6/19/2002 @ 3:23 am

  2. Bad analogy or not, it’s still a ridiculous policy. Sheesh. :P

    Comment by Blaise — 6/19/2002 @ 10:13 am

  3. Wired has a funny bit of commentary on the whole policy.

    Comment by eric — 6/20/2002 @ 1:03 am

  4. What sort of permissions? Do you need to pay for them?

    Comment by Matt — 6/20/2002 @ 9:22 am

  5. No fees, just permission. click on the policy announcement above for the scoop.

    And maybe the store wasn’t the most perfect analogy. Maybe this: it’s akin to a newspaper forbidding you from clipping out a story to give to someone. And forbidding you from giving them the entire page or section that the story was found in. And, forbidding you from passing on the entire paper without permission.

    Clipping an article is like deep linking content (like I did to the two segment links above). Giving someone the whole page or section would be like the “this morning” or “Morning Edition” links above. And passing on the entire paper would be like linking to the front page, like the “NPR” link.

    Comment by eric — 6/20/2002 @ 12:51 pm

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