The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.
This newsletter often points to interesting articles available elsewhere on the web. I usually give a 2- or 3-sentence introduction, followed by a link to the article of interest. According to a coalition of Irish newspapers, if I provide a link to an Irish newspaper, I am a pirate.
The National Newspapers of Ireland has adopted a new policy. Any website which links to one of the 15 NNI member newspapers will have to pay a minimum of 300 Euros ($395 US dollars), with the license fee going up if you post more links. See http://goo.gl/K3Oj3 for the details.
Note that this is not a fee to post an excerpt or some punitive measure for the copying of an entire article. No, the NNI wants to charge for links alone. It doesn’t apply just to newsletters or web sites, the NNI wants to charge the same fee to ANYONE who even posts a single link in a Twitter message or any other message in any public place on the Internet. That includes Facebook, all blogs, all web pages, and perhaps anyplace else online!
This is one of the most stupid ideas I have read in recent times. The National Newspapers of Ireland obviously has no idea how the web works and also has no concept of the amount of valuable publicity that links to their members’ newspapers can provide.
Online news site Slashdot suggests this is an elaborate way to commit suicide.
Whatever the reasons, I will abide by this rule. I will no longer refer to any Irish newspaper web site until the National Newspapers of Ireland wakes up and rescinds this foolishness.
Investigating this madness a little further, I discovered an Irish Solicitor who agrees with Dick.