It almost seems crazy that we even need a court ruling on this, but the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that it is legal to link to another web site.
Google’s sphincter just relaxed a little.
I mean, can you imagine an internet where we needed to get permission before linking to each other? Google, for one, would have to shut down immediately. Fortunately, the courts–at least this European one–have obviously read the legal text, “How to state the bleedin’ obvious” and ruled on a case where some journalists where claiming that a link to their story infringed on their copyright.
The plaintiffs wanted to be compensated for the hyperlinks placed by Retriever because, they alleged, the defendant infringed on copyrights by linking to the articles without paying the copyright holder…
…“The Court concludes from this that the owner of a website, such as that of Retriever Sverige, may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site,” it said.
So, sit back, relax, and link to as many web sites as you wish. I know you’ve been holding off such activities, pending this ruling.