A redirect? That some sort of freestyle motorcross trick, right?

You’d think that in this day and age folks would understand that
managing links to online content is fundamental to Web publishing. Not
so. Last week a Texas judge granted a preliminary injunction against Robert Davis,
a Web site operator who’d been providing direct links to live
of motorcycle racing events provided by SFX Motor Sports.
Davis, SFX argued, by deep-linking to its audio Webcasts, offered a way
to access them without viewing the advertising and sponsorships with
which they were normally presented. That deprived SFX’s clients of
exposure and the company itself of revenue. U.S. District Judge Sam
Lindsay in the northern district of Texas agreed and ordered Davis to
cease linking directly to streaming audio files. “SFX will likely suffer
immediate and irreparable harm when the new racing season begins in
mid-December 2006 if Davis is not enjoined from posting links to the
live racing Webcasts,” he wrote. “The court agrees that if Davis is not
enjoined from providing unauthorized Webcast links on his Web site, SFX
will lose its ability to sell sponsorships or advertisement on the basis
that it is the exclusive source of the Webcasts, and such loss will
cause irreparable harm.” Irreparable harm is, I think, too strong of a
word here, but there’s no question that Davis’ efforts, though perhaps
benign in intent, were not benign in practice. That said, as a Web
publisher SFX should have better protected its content. All manner of
tools exist to prevent deep linking and redirect the sort of traffic it
creates. And had it made use of them, it would have saved quite a bit in
legal fees.


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  • What part of share the common wealth don’t people understand? The courts are asserting digital delivery rights.

    What we need is a Service Level Offer presentation from SFX’s Web Site that Mr. Davis’ Web Site(s) can negotiate with and come to an agreement to share revenue from ad presentation. All automated, untouched by broker hands.

    That is the win-win solution for SFX and Mr. Davis. Unless of course, Mr. Davis doesn’t believe in presenting relevant advertisements.

    Of course brokers (marketing agencies) have to operate deeper in relationships by providing the design and procurement of such automated revenue streams for their clients. They lose the control (and concomitant cash as a vig) on individual ad placements.

    This is how YouTube can be monetized by Google to serve as a Platform for the ad buying-selling ecosystem.

  • StarProfit

    It does not matter that the tools and methodologies exist to protect web content. The company (management) does not understand technology and will NOT pay for the proper way to do things regarding web tech. So in the end they have problems and the first thing they reach for is the legal bag (lawyers) rather than looking for a techie way to stop it. As shown, much cheaper to invest tech rather than pay lawyers and waste everyone’s time and money doing the legal tango.

  • Anon Y. Mouse

    Hasn’t this lame legal approach to banning deep links been

    tried by other companies before — and been shot down in the

    courts? I think there may already be relevant case law. This

    ruling should not be allowed to stand — the fundamental

    property and purpose of the web is the hyperlink!

    In any event, SFX’s bullshit approach to their “problem”

    should be rewarded by the web community mirroring Davis’

    links on a dozen other sites, some of which should be

    outside the US and the court’s jurisdiction.

    SFX needs a good whack with the clue stick.

  • Rich

    SFX needs a new web team.