German Court: Deep Linking Is Legal

Deep linking to articles on public news websites in Germany is legal, according to a German court judgment today. The German court dismissed the case of the publishing house Georg von Holtzbrinck against the news search engine Paperboy (kinda like the Google news of Germany…and by the way German language Google News was launched recently).

Interestingly, the judgment explicitly refers to free websites. The judge said that they might have ruled differently if the case had been about paid services. Paperboy, which was down for a while, will start its services again.

According to a Reuters story in German, a German media trade association said that this decision may make its members reconsider publishing free content online, and definitely push these sites toward subscription barriers.

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