Unauthorized linking…

Some people and firms simply don’t have a clue of how the Internet works, and of simple concepts like freedom of speech/expression. Here’s a little gem I got in my inbox earlier today: (I’m replacing the name/URL of the company in question with BlahBlah, to avoid further ‘legal’ excrement in my inbox)

Dear Webmaster:

I write to notify you of unauthorized linking on your website.
[BlahBlah] is the owner of the exclusive rights protected under copyright law and other intellectual property rights. The following links are specific examples of URLs that link to http://blah.blah without authorization:

https://evert.meulie.net/2010/04/20/chatroulette-and-its-alternatives/
https://evert.meulie.net/tag/shuffle-people/
https://evert.meulie.net/tag/anochat/
https://evert.meulie.net/tag/zupyo/
https://evert.meulie.net/tag/chatroulette/

[BlahBlah] hereby notifies you that the following constitute or incorporate links to http://blah.blah which were placed without prior permission and are therefore unauthorized.

[BlahBlah] requests that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access to all unauthorized links to http://blah.blah on your website. We also ask that you provide us with written assurance of this fact within 3 business days from the date of this letter.

The undersigned has good faith belief that use of the material in the manner described herein is not authorized by [BlahBlah] or its agents. Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned is authorized to act on behalf of [BlahBlah] with respect to this matter.

If these links are not removed within 3 business days, we will have no choice but to file a formal complaint with your hosting company and domain registrar. If this happens they will notify you to take down the offending links or risk having your website shut down or domain name inactivated.

Sincerely,

Blah Blah
Legal Department
[BlahBlah]

First of all (before you ask): Yes, I did remove the requested link, and provided them with written assurance of this fact within 3 business days:

Hi,

Clearly you don’t have a clue of how the Internet works.
But since I neither have the time nor the will to educate you on the matter, I have removed the link (which were in no way negative towards [BlahBlah], and therefore nothing but free advertising!) you mentioned.

Evert

I’m sure that organizations like the ACLU & the EFF eat ‘legal’ notices like these for breakfast, but I’m not going to waste any more time on it. 😎
But if you do get a notice like this one as well, and have the time to fight it, please do! I seriously doubt they have any legal grounds to stand on…

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