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suggest a story: relay@mindjack.com

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

NPR versus linking
National Public Radio (NPR) currently offers a policy forbidding anyone to link to their site - to any page on their site - without their express permission: "Linking to or framing of any material on this site without the prior written consent of NPR is prohibited... Please use this form to request permission to link to npr.org and its related sites."

This is an example of the recent movement against deep linking (hyperlinking directly to content on a site, rather than to its front page).

As others have pointed out, such an attitude towards Web content flies in the face of the Web's hypertextual promise: flexible connections between documents and ideas, driven by users as both consumers and producers. For a fine example of coincidence, note this screen capture from Blogdex this morning, neatly snuggling together a story on this NPR foolishness alongside a story on Vannevar Bush's innovative article on hypertext (way back in 1945).

A further irony is that NPR is America's National (and) Public Radio (and other media content). Restricting public, including American, usage of a public resource is foolish, especially for a resource so devoted to education, freedom of expression, and discussion.

The net is picking this story up and running with, and against, it. BoingBoing moved swiftly to the attack, with Cory pointing it out and smacking it down.
Daypop picks up a series of blogs against it. For example, Ernie the Attorney grabs BoingBoing's entry, then hyperlinks it satirically.

Thank you, Glen and Howard.

:: posted by Bryan, 10:22 AM |

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