Deep linking: firewalls versus contracts

I'm too much a creature of the Web to ever think that outright blocking of links could make sense, even as a lesser-of-two-evils compromise. In a subscriber-access regime, of course, you can skirt the issue by sending the non-subscriber to a preview -- effectively, an ad. But many publishers also want to maintain lots of open content in order to build global mindshare. It's easy to write firewall rules in such cases, but much harder to write contracts that define acceptable uses. One reason, as I mentioned, is the intersection of competitive and cooperative aspects. Will more precise delineation of those aspects help? What do contracts that do that look like? [via Jon's Radio]


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