Terms of use for this site (Or: Deep-link me, please)

So, more companies are attempting to prohibit so-called deep linking, which is where you can’t link to stories themselves, but rather, you have to link to the front page and the poor reader has to try to find the story you’re thinking about.

So let it be known that you can link to anything on this site you darn well please. Not only do I allow it, I like it.As far as search engines are concerned, front pages are worthless. Either they have meaningless PR or marketing fluff on them, or they change all the time.

You shouldn’t have to tell people how wonderful you are. How wonderful you are should be evident from your site’s content. Let the reader read, decide for him/herself how wonderful you are and whether to come back.

So, I don’t care if you deep-link. I don’t care if you print out a copy of an entry on this site for personal use. You can’t republish it or sell it (those are the rights I retain) but if you want to put a copy of something I wrote in your 3-ring binder of useful stuff, then frankly, I’m flattered. Don’t put the text on your website–link. Advertising on this site generates a small amount of money that pays to keep it running and what’s left will allow me to pay off my Honda about a week sooner than I would have otherwise. So don’t steal my pennies.

But deep-linking to a story here that you found useful is as good as giving me pennies. This is something a lot of corporate lawyers don’t seem to realize.

I also don’t care how or when you read it. If you want to translate it through Google or Babelfish into your native language so you can enjoy it more, go ahead. Just don’t blame me when the computer butchers your native language once or twice per paragraph. If you want to read it in the bathroom or sitting under a tree or anywhere else, fine. Just please don’t read it in your car while you’re driving. Yes, I’m being greedy again. If you get into an accident and wind up in the hospital, then you’re not reading my site, so I don’t get any pennies. The guy in the car you crashed into isn’t reading my site either, so I don’t get any pennies. The only people who benefit from you reading my site in your car while driving are slimy insurance companies. I don’t like insurance companies, so please don’t read my site in the car while driving.

So those are my terms of use. I hope you find them less onerous than those of companies like Orbitz, who seem to want to tell you how to run your life.

That’s fine if they do that. Nobody’s forcing anybody to visit. They can have their onerous terms, then whither and die. Sites that respect your basic rights–like this one, hopefully–will continue long after those others have withered away.

2 thoughts on “Terms of use for this site (Or: Deep-link me, please)

  • February 14, 2005 at 7:19 pm
    Permalink

    Dave,
    I appreciate your hard work on this site. I’ve learned a great deal about computers and other objects with moving parts.
    Your writing is some of the best on the net. I miss it when you are tied up at work. Maybe you’ll win the lottery and you can write full time. I understand you can upload to a satellite from those south sea islands.
    Please, keep up the great work for all your fans.

    • February 16, 2005 at 10:54 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks, Joseph. Maybe someday I can write full-time. I’m sure we’re talking an absolute minimum of five years from now.

      I miss not being able to write here every day. But there’s one thing about being busy–I find not only do I have less time to write, I also have an awful lot less to day.

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