Linking To Other Websites – Liability Under German Law

The technique of linking is essential for the World Wide Web. Uncertainty about the legal consequences contradicts the claimed promotion of the medium Internet by the European Union, the national Governments, economy and educational establishments. German Courts are therefore demanded to set boundaries between illegal and legal techniques as soon as possible. Moreover the European Union is observing the development regarding linking and is considering a regulation (Art. 21 Abs. 2 E-Commerce-RL). This summary discusses the potential liability that occur under German Law.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Is it permissible under German Law to link to a website of another?
Are there exceptions to that fictitious assent?
Is there a liability for framing and deep-linking?
Is there also a liability for the contents of the linked-to website?
What happens if the linked-to contents are changed subsequently?

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