Check out this clause in the User Agreement for Business Week magazine online:
In addition, User may not:
2. use or attempt to use any “deep-link,” “scraper,” “robot,” “bot,” “spider,” “data mining,” “computer code” or any other automated device, program, tool, algorithm, process or methodology or manual process having similar processes or functionality, to access, acquire, copy, or monitor any portion of BW.com…
It’s 2008 and they don’t allow deep linking?
Aside from their lousy web etiquette (and questionable business model), I’ve always felt that legal attempts to prohibit deep linking are crazy talk.
It would be one thing if people were hacking into the site to steal data, or if people were publishing secret passwords. But Business Week isn’t using any of the web security protocols to protect their articles. Everything is wide open. How can it be wrong to publish deep links to their site when their server is programmed to honor deep links?
They claim their User Agreement is a contract that is binding on everyone who visits the site. For all I know, that may even be actual law, but it makes no sense for them to claim one thing in their User Agreement and then implement another thing in their web server. It’s like posting a “No Trespassing” sign outside your door while the people inside are yelling “Come on in!” to everyone passing by. Who are visitors supposed to believe?
(Hat tip: Don MacAskill)