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Copyrights, Freedom and Big Brother

For those of you who are new to this dispute, it began as an authorized link from our home pages to the UFS home page, where the Dilbert comic strip, by Scott Adams, is presented. In my naivete at the time, I did several things that were both improper and illegal, such as using (without permission) a Dilbert icon and mirroring their home page (so I could count "hits" coming from our pages). When they brought this to my attention adn asked me to remove the ofending material, I did so immediately. But two things caught my attention and spurred me to mount this protest in place of the original link to UFS.

The first was the insensitive and ignorant way that UFS dealt with me. They utterly refused to acknowledge any arguments about the wisdom of their policy, treating me as a evil wrongdoing scoflaw rather than a fellow Web developer. Secondly, they made what I considered an outrageous claim to having complete legal control over links "TO" their material as well as links "FROM." While I have subsequently learned that UFS has a good case for the legality of their position, I continue to believe that the assertion of such control fantasies violates both common sense and the functioning of the WWW and that it would be wise for the rest of us in the Web community to put a stop to this kind of ham handed Web fascism before the REALLY big boys get involved.

The page from which you have linked to this summary contains a more detailed examination of the issue.