Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Date


Publication Citation

49 Federal Communications Law Journal 731 (1997)


The explosive growth of the Internet as a widespread medium of communication raises many novel copyright issues. One issue that has escaped much examination is the copyright implications of "links"--references to other Internet Web sites that allow immediate access to those sites. This Comment analyzes such questions as whether linking gives rise to direct or contributory liability to the copyright owner of a linked site, and whether the links themselves are copyrightable. It concludes that, although contributory liability is possible, linking cannot constitute a direct infringement any more than dialing a phone number to reach an answering machine with a copyrightable message. Additionally, the owner of a Web site with links to other sites possesses protectible interests analogous to the publisher of a telephone book.