With more and more people choosing the convenience of online shopping over traveling to a retail store to make a purchase, many Arizona business owners are focusing on building the ideal e-commerce site. Many entrepreneurs employ web links and graphics to drive traffic to their websites in hopes of a sale. While these can be helpful strategies, they can lead to serious legal issues such as copyright infringement.
Legal issues can come about when a company uses deep linking to direct consumers to another website. When a company’s homepage is bypassed, consumers avoid banners and ads. While this may not seem like a big deal, a company may lose out on advertising revenue from sponsors.
Inlining is another type of linking strategy that website owners may use. This allows a viewer to see content hosted on another webpage. This commonly happens with image search engines, when full-size images were shown without directing users to the website where the image was culled. But when smaller images are shown, the law states that no infringement takes place.
Although rare, copyright infringement can occur from linking. When a website posts a link to copyrighted materials – such as graphics and content – and encourages others to download or print them, this could be considered infringement.
Misuse of another company’s webpage, artwork or other intellectual property could lead to unfair competition. This is when a business takes advantage of and profits from another business’s work. While it may seem easy to do, in the end, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Those wanting to use another person’s work should do one thing: ask. On the other hand, it is also important to distinguish unfair competition and copyright infringement from perfectly legal fair use.
Source: FindLaw, “Website Linking, Framing, and Inlining” accessed June 6, 2015
Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.