Links to NPR Web Sites
NPR encourages and permits links to content on NPR Web sites. However, NPR is an organization committed to the highest journalistic ethics and standards and to independent, noncommercial journalism, both in fact and appearance. Therefore, the linking should not (a) suggest that NPR promotes or endorses any third party痴 causes, ideas, Web sites, products or services, or (b) use NPR content for inappropriate commercial purposes. We reserve the right to withdraw permission for any link.
Anyway, as co-founder of Infoseek Japan (I'm still on the board), as a newbie blogger and as someone who believes that the contextual flexibility of the Internet is one of its most important attributes... I am horrified by the idea of limiting deep linking. It goes against the basic idea that brought us this medium in the first place.
A court in Copenhagen, Denmark ruled in favor of the Danish Newspaper Publisher's Association against the online news aggregator Newsbooster who was deep linking into the Newspaper's site. This is the first court ruling deep linking to be illegal.
I testified in a case in Japan where an Osaka court ruled that someone who linked to an illegal pornography site was actually running a pornography site and found guilty which has similar legal ramifications, but didn't seem to have the impact that the current deep linking debate has.
Sen proposes an interesting technical solution. (I always like technical solutions more than legal solutions.)
Frankly, I think that if people don't want to allow deep linking, people should just configure their software (probably requires some implementation work and may be some access control depending on how strict the site wants to be) to not permit browsers to reach portions of their site directly w/o a "legal" referer.
It's not a perfect solution, but I bet it would prevent 99% of people from reaching certain parts of websites directly...
Here are some links:
NPR's Mixed Messages - Online Journalism Review
NPR's brutally stupid linking policy - Boing Boing
Public Protests NPR Link Policy - Wired News
Danish Court Rules Deep Linking Illegal - Slashdot
Web site barred from linking to Danish newspaper Web sites - DigitalMASS.com