|I'm not advertising a site or company. I have removed the URL from my
|signature for this reason. This is a legitimate question. I have been
|approached to remove all of my links because I'm stealing. I need some
|If a web site has links to other sites for free plans, patterns,
|articles, etc, that are opened in a new window with that site's address
|showing in the address bar, does this constitute stealing? This is on a
|non-commercial site with links to 100's of Free Plans and Industry
|Links, of which all are of interest to woodworkers, and not requiring
|anything in return.
|I know there are many other sites doing the same thing. So, are we all
|breaking the law? Should we fight to maintain our sites or remove
|everything? I don't see where this is any different than saving the URL
|as a favorite in your "Favorites" folder.
|All comments welcomed and appreciated.
You've gotten a lot of good advice on the potential legalities that I
won't expand upon. However, as a practical matter, what are they
going to do to you if you don't comply?
I'll give a couple of examples where I was the "victim" so to speak
and yet am helpless to do much about it.
1) I wrote a technical paper that was published in an amateur radio
publication. With their permission, I put a copy on my web site,
along with some further information. I recently saw another paper
that cited me as a reference and gave a link to my paper *on someone
else's web site.* Not a link mind you; the actual pdf file. I email
him and asked what the hell was going on and got zero response. What
can I do about it? Nothing. Technically the publisher could go after
him for copyright violation but we are in the US and he is in Canada.
2) I described gadget in another article that was published in a now
defunct ham radio publication. Shortly after publication I was
flooded with letters requesting that I make a kit of parts and circuit
boards available. I fronted several $K to do this only to discover
that in the next issue there was a ad for a new kit company and their
first offering was "my" design. Oh, the owner of the new company?
Why it was the editor of the magazine. What could I do about it from
a legal standpoint? Nothing. (I sold all of my stuff and more BTW
since I wasn't trying to make a profit. I hope I burned his ass.)
So, unless you're up against Microsoft, GM or Wally World, what's
going to happen to you? Are they going to come to your town, hire a
lawyer and file suit? If you think so, then take the stuff down;
otherwise get a good night's sleep.