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April 9, 2005
Still More on the "Is Linking Legal" Question
The question of whether linking is legal continues to be a source of international wrangle. According to The Reg, the BBC have sent a cease-and-desist to a Dutch site that permits users to query British sports results published by the BBC on their Ceefax teletext service.
For whatever reasons, the BBC offers only a limited version of its Ceefax pages on the continent. So Hendrik Noorderhaven created a site (Ceefax.tv) that receives uploads of data published in the UK and permits local users to search it. Noorderhaven claims (with some justification I think) that he's doing neither more nor less than Google does - capture the data source, index it, and respond to queries. The BBC disagrees.
Visiting the site does indeed give one a Google-like feel. It's a bare page with a couple of buttons and a search text box. It notes that Ceefax is a trademark of the BBC. It's hard for me to discern on the face of it how the BBC can complain about this site and not any other search engine.
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