You have the right…

…to link.

I’m trying to clear out my personal cache of things I’ve been saving during this hectic week, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some air space to the Right2Link campaign.

It’s an interesting question of fair use, information sharing and more. Basically, why shouldn’t bloggers and aggregators be able to compile and point people in the direction of news. As indicated in the mission of the organization, “All should be free to create, use and circulate links — they are the signposts to content on the web.” The group goes on to explain its belief that you can own the shop, but you can’t own the ways that people choose to get people there.

Stemming out of the recent block placed on a news aggregator – U.K.-based NewsNow – by News Corp’s Times Online, the question of free access to linking is certainly interesting. Going into the weekend, the topic of the link economy is certainly not the most exciting Friday post. Still, it speaks to an essential part of how online media works. The aggregator wasn’t re-purposing content, just sharing it from the source.

If information needs to remained chained, why is it even on a worldwide network to begin with? More importantly, if producers start blocking access site-by-site, does it start to make some more equal than others?

Check out this video from the movement’s leader, Struan Bartlett of NewsNow (clearly he has a horse in the race, but I digress; he still makes an excellent point):

As noted by WebProNews, Bartlett has some good folks on board with the idea, mainly What Would Google Do? author and Superblogger Jeff Jarvis:

“Linking is not a privilege that the recipient of the link should control – any more than politicians should decide who may or may not quote them. The test is not whether the creator of the link charges (Murdoch’s newspapers will charge and they link),” says Jarvis. “The test is whether the thing we are linking to is public. If it is public for one it should be public for all.”

Some fun food for thought going into the weekend.


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