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Internet sites: Is a link inside the pages legal?

Is a link inside the pages legal?

The Internet works and it is more interesting thanks to the connection made between the pages present in the web, in order for the user to move from one page to another via a series of cross-referrals, the famous links, representing an important tool for the computer communication. The links are a constant fact and are normally considered licit. Even if the administrator of a site can forbid, with an appropriate clause on the same site, to operate a link to his home page, in fact a link is normally appreciated. Unfortunately, occasionally it happens that the sites administrators don’t waste too much time in elaborating the contents and writing the texts as they are building the sites, but they copy them here and there, or they find other sites already containing those information and therefore refer to them. This is a “deep linking”, a kind of link skipping the home page and going directly to the internal pages which open as if they were the pages of the site operating the referral. Usually this is considered illicit, because of the violation to the copyright, as it tends toward the exploitation of other people’s work without even highlighting to the user the actual author. Recently, though, some foreign judges, in analogue cases, have considered licit and possible such behaviour, whilst in Italy there are not any known sentences referring to this. The most convenient thing to do is looking to find an agreement with whoever makes the link, asking that he addresses to his own home page or to the internal pages, as long as the administrators are prepared to pay a royalty fee, otherwise to remove it altogether. They are more and more frequent agreements, even the big firms often reach such agreements, and therefore this is the best direction to follow, before deciding to opt to promote a legal action.