The Legal Kerfuffle Over Website Linking

Can someone stop you from linking to their website? That's what the Sheboygan city attorney did. The city ordered Jennifer Reisinger to remove a link to the city's police department website - and now, she is suing:

Can a city stop people from posting a link to its Web site?

That’s the question at the center of a federal lawsuit brought by a Sheboygan woman against the mayor and other officials there, in what appears to be a first-of-its-kind case, according to an Internet law expert.

Jennifer Reisinger says the Sheboygan city attorney ordered her to remove from her Web site a link to the city’s police department, in what she believes was retaliation for her support of recalling Mayor Juan Perez, according to the suit filed last week.

The city went further, the lawsuit claims, launching a criminal investigation of Reisinger for linking to the department on one of her sites. - via The Raw Feed

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I'm a lawyer, though I don't practice in intellectual property, and in law school I took a course in Cyberlaw. Many, many Web sites say, in those legalese-filled "Terms & Conditions" pages that no one reads, that you're only allowed to link to the site's homepage and not to any other pages. Example from

"You may link to the home page of the Service without obtaining our permission provided that you do so only through a plain-text link. For any other type of link to the Service, you must obtain our permission."

The (rather flimsy, IMO) legal argument they base this on is copyright: They say they own the copyright in each individual URL on the site, and that by putting one of those URLs in the link on your page and posting it, you're copying their URL and thereby infringing their copyright.

It's a weak argument and I doubt they'd win in court, but who wants to go to court over something like this?
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