Are Links Themselves Subject to Copyright Concerns?

Jan 22, 2008 - 9:10 am 2 by
Filed Under SEO Copywriting

Let's say you wanted to be altruistic and provide a link to a site in hopes to raise awareness about a program that they promote. But when you alert the webmaster of said site, they go on a hissy fit and claim that linking to their site is a copyright violation.

In a WebmasterWorld thread, that's happening.

The back story is this: a person has had a web site about animal shelters. The site links to numerous shelters and provides their logos. A few months ago, he had to change URLs because his ISP went down. He put up a new site on a new URL and alerted the linked sites to the new site. One of these people, in particular, got all upset and said that doing so constitutes a privacy violation. Is it worth fighting in court?

The answer, to many, is no. The easy solution is just to remove the link and logo and let the guy lose his traffic. But the owner feels that this is not a good solution -- his motives are purely altruistic and he wants to keep the link intact because of his desire to have these animals adopted and not killed.

And many people, therefore, think that there's no reason to keep the link. In fact, taking the guy to court over a nonsensical issue like this would not work. Worst comes to worst, the chairman of the charity should be brought in to assess whether the person who threatened the webmaster has done so wrongly (and everyone agrees that the legal threat has no bearing).

I've never heard of any law or regulation that prevents you from linking to anything on your web site. It's your web site -- you decide the rules, aside from your host.

Other reading on the subject has been provided by forum member Victor, who says: "If they publish a website, then they accept the usual rules of conduct for websites." He links to and

It looks like the webmaster is right and the animal shelter is wrong. Linking won't get you in trouble, and the issue probably holds no water in a court of law.

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.


Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community


Search Video Recaps

Google AI Overviews, Ranking Volatility, Web Filter, Google Ads AI Summaries & More - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024 - 10:00 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

PSA: Site Reputation Abuse Policy Also Applies To Google Discover

May 21, 2024 - 7:51 am

Google's Sundar Pichai On AI Overviews Killing Web, Smaller Publishers & Search Console Data

May 21, 2024 - 7:41 am

Google Adds Visuals To About Source Knowledge Panels

May 21, 2024 - 7:31 am

Google AI Overviews Colors Do Not Indicate Confidence Of Response

May 21, 2024 - 7:21 am

Google Rolling Out More Graphical & Richer Search Results

May 21, 2024 - 7:11 am
Previous Story: Give Me My Classic Google Back! Turn Off Google Universal Search Results