Links to Rival Web Sites OK, Federal Judge Says

Share this content:
Online marketers can legally link to rival Web sites, according to a California federal court ruling March 27 that was in favor of and against Ticketmaster Corp. and Ticketmaster Online CitySearch Inc.

U.S. District Judge Harry L. Hupp said deep linking by itself -- a practice in which one site will link to another's relevant content page, bypassing the home page and, as a result, premium advertising on which the linked site relies for revenue -- does not involve unfair competition.

"Hyperlinking does not itself involve a violation of the Copyright Act ... there is no deception in what is happening," Judge Hupp said in his ruling. "This is analogous to using a library's card index to get reference to particular items, albeit faster and more efficiently."

All four claims of Pasadena, CA-based Ticketmaster were dismissed. The company plans to appeal.

Both and Ticketmaster display content on upcoming cultural, travel, sporting and entertainment events. Internet users can then buy tickets for these events on their sites.

Ticketmaster is upset that Costa Mesa, CA-based has links to, a ploy that drives online traffic. These links whisk users past the Ticketmaster home page. Moreover, Ticketmaster claimed, such linkage was unauthorized.

Wire reports quoted Ticketmaster lawyer Robert Platt as saying, "If we spend substantial money to build up a site, why should they be able to take that and build their business on the backs of our hard work?"

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above