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Denmark, Netherlands and India: New Deep Linking Decisions 

Over the last ten years, a number of deep-linking cases have been litigated in the United States and abroad. The courts in most countries (e.g. USA, Germany and Austria) have come to the conclusion that deep linking is permissible and no copyright infringement. The operator of a web site can not prohibit deep links to his site. In the last few months several cases from other countries have been reported to me, that I want to mention in this update:

In 2001 a court in Copenhagen, Denmark ruled in favor of the Danish Newspaper Publisher's Association against the online news aggregator Newsbooster. Thereby deep linking has been ruled illegal. In 2006, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court has taken the opposite stance. The court accepted the use of deep links. The Danish web portal had made deeplinks to real estate advertisements on the Internet, including advertisements from the market leading estate agency chain Home, who sued Ofir. The court stressed that search engines and deep links are desirable for the functioning of the internet today:

"Different kinds of search services which may be considered to be increasing in number on the Internet must be considered to be desirable as being necessary for the functioning of today’s Internet as a medium for searching and exchanging an incredibly extensive and steadily increasing quantity of information. The database protection that is one purpose of the Database Directive also reflects these conditions. It must be considered that search services generally make available deep links whereby the user can efficiently directly arrive at the desired information which, as the Internet is established and functions, generally must be seen to comply with the interests followed by those who choose to use the Internet for the provision of information to the public."

(Home v. Ofir, Maritime and Commercial Court Ruling, February 24, 2006, English translation of the relevant parts available here; pdf in Danish)

  • March 6, 2006: Groundbreaking Judgment Deep Linking, Law & Justice:
    "In a groundbreaking judgment the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court accepted the use of deep linking in relation to real estate advertisement."


Other country, same opinion: (””; ZAH) is a search engine, which searches all web sites of estate agents in The Netherlands for houses that are for sale on a daily basis and places the results of its search actions on its websites in the form of deeplinks. A court in Arnhem denied two estate agents and the Dutch Association of Estate Agents (NVM) a injunction to stop ZAH from deep linking. According to the court, deep linking is permissible and the texts accompanying the deep links are allowed under the quotation right.

And finally, a closer look to India:

In the beginning of 2006, in a case between the search engine and job site, the Delhi High Court in India prohibited from deeplinking to This is the first case of its kind in India.

  • March 23, 2006: Bhaswati Chakravorty, The Deep Linking Conundrum:
    "Deep linking has confounded the Internet community always. As the Naukri case becomes the first-ever in India, we try to delve into its evolution"




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