- Nov 4, 2020
I recently visited a website and for curiosity was reading their TOS and it contained all the usual stuff, trademarks, image rights etc etc.
What struck me funny was that there was a whole paragraph saying that nobody is allowed to link to the website without express written permission from the site. It was quite dramatic and said especially no linking from a public website. What made no sense to me was the fact that this was a financial institution and they should want people to link to them, that would increase business right?
So I would like to discuss the legal status of that statement, here it is edited to remove names.
BOOKMARKING AND LINKING TO OUR WEB SITE
I find it a bit perplexing because it is like saying you cannot write a public business phone number or address on a public forum. So basically if I linked to their site in this forum I would be liable according to their tos.You understand that you may create a bookmark in your web browser to the home page. You may not create any link to either the home page or any other of the web site pages without the written approval, including, without limitation, a link on a publicly accessible web site. No person may link to this Site from any web site not owned or sponsored by us without first notifying the us of the intention to create such link and obtaining our written permission. No web site linking to this Site may frame or border this Site with the content of the linking site visible in the same window without our express written permission.
Could apple say nobody is allowed to link to a product on our site and discuss it on another site? Could a financial institution which has a public website and is actively soliciting clients make such a rule legit?
If the internet becomes a place where one cannot link to other sites then it would fundamentally break what the world wide web is all about. Its a bunch of connected websites linking to each other.
Am I wrong here?