Deep Linking And Possible Cause Of Actions

“Deep linking” occurs when a search engine company or website transfers its internet users to interior web pages found in other websites. Usually, this process is performed by a ‘crawler’ or ‘spider’ automatic system that searches the web according to specific parameters. Once the crawler or spider detects the desired pages, the search engine stores the content of these pages in its Random Access Memory (“RAM”) for some few seconds while it discards copyrighted information and retains useful data. Litigation against search engine companies for deep linking practices is scarce. In the few cases about deep linking, plaintiffs have used copyrighted, contract and tort law to frame their pleadings. Yet a defined uniform rule against deep linking is still to come.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Does deep linking violate copyright laws?
Does deep linking constitute trespass to chattel?
Is Deep Linking actionable under contractual theories?

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