If link therefore I post?

I was scrolling through Slate Magazine over my lunch hour today, as I am wont to do, and found an interesting entry in their Hot Document section. The Hot Document is a Smoking Gun type feature that brings readers an interesting document, often related to something in the news (a recent entry featured Canada’s fact sheet on BPA, for example). The key thing is that the documents in question are usually posted directly on the page (see the BPA link).

The most recent feature (the contract one must sign before becoming a Scientologist), however, has this mysterious note at the bottom of the article:

[Editor’s note: Slate posted the contract in this space earlier today, but subsequently removed it.]

The preceeding paragraph contains a link to the document (in pdf form) on another site. Glaring questions about why Slate removed the contract notwithstanding (threats from the Good Ship Scientology?) it made me wonder if simply linking to another site really covers one’s ass.

If this is a legal issue, is Slate really covered just by linking externally? In the conventional sense the document is not on their property but as Web 2.0 unfolds, and form disassociates from content, what will the ramificaitons be for this sort of issue? To the user, a link is a link is a link, whether it be to your own site or someone else’s.

Any experts out there want to bring clarity?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *