Deep Trouble for Deep Links

CNET is reporting on a recent court judgement preventing deep linking to webcasts. This case in particular deals with linking directly to supercross motorcycle videos, bypassing the sponsors who paid to be on the official site with the videos. The article looks at a few sides of the issue, and other recent legal cases involving this issue.

I suppose the concept of deep linking can be compared to so much of what is going on with media:

  • Watching TV shows online or with Tivo and bypassing commercials.
  • Ordering individual songs online, bypassing album tracks.
  • Online radio or music channels which allow you to time shift, skip, or all out avoid surrounding media like ads.
  • Aggregation and syndication with writing online.

Methods of skipping past advertisements has been a problem with media for decades. But product placement within videos and those crafty double underlined advertiser links within articles are just two ways that content providers are trying to make ads unavoidable.

Ethics issues abound over the blending of content and ads however. But the question remains – would you not watch a great movie because Pepsi paid to have the lead actor drinking it in a scene?

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