If your site links to a commercial web page other than a site’s home page, you could be subject to litigation.

Deep linking is when one site establishes a link to a page, other than the home page, of another site. The practice of deep linking has been the subject of numerous court proceedings. Generally, the courts to date have reacted relatively favorably to deep-linking, but the issue is far from settled. The more such linking can be shown to harm commercial interests, the more likely future “deep linkers” will lose in court.

The problem with deep linking, in part, is that it does not assist businesses in generating revenue if their advertising revenue depends on how many hits the home page receives. The destination page may also, in some cases, appear to belong to the deep linker and not the true author.

Since web businesses often rely on advertising, and related revenue, the desire for a free flow of information directly clashes with the protection of commercial interests. This makes deep linking a controversial issue; it is often a good idea to inform others of your links to avoid any potential problems.

If you have questions about the extent of your linking activity, contact us for more information.

See also…

Intellectual Property and Internet Law