Copyright Aspects Of Hyperlinking And Framing
In copyright law, the legal status of hyperlinking (also termed "linking") and that of framing concern how courts address two different but related web technologies. In large part, the legal issues concern use of these technologies to create or facilitate public access to proprietary media content — such as portions of commercial Web sites. When hyperlinking and framing have the effect of distributing, and creating routes for distribution of, content (information) that does not come from the proprietors of the Web pages affected by these practices, the proprietors often seek the aid of courts to suppress the conduct, particularly when the effect of the conduct is to disrupt or circumvent the proprietors' mechanisms for receiving financial compensation.
The issues about linking and framing have become so intertwined under copyright law that it is impractical to attempt to address them separately. As will appear, some decisions confuse them with one another, while other decisions involve and therefore address both. Framing involves the use of hyperlinking, so that any challenge of framing under copyright law is likely to involve a challenge of hyperlinking as well. (The converse is not true.)
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