Mark's Musings

A miscellany of thoughts and opinions from an unimportant small town politician and bit-part web developer

Linking madness from a con-artist


Back on the subject of websites that somehow think they have the right to stop you linking to them, I found this really stupid clause at this one:

Unless expressly authorized by website, no one may hyperlink this site, or portions thereof, (including, but not limited to, logotypes, trademarks, branding or copyrighted material) to theirs for any reason. Further, you are not allowed to reference the url (website address) of this website in any commercial or non-commercial media without express permission, nor are you allowed to ‘frame’ the site.

Apart from framing (which has been determined to be a copyright violation by the courts), the rest is totally unenforceable. But why, you may ask, don’tthey want people linking to them? Well, probably because they don’t want people pointing out that they’re a bunch of con artists trying to rip off the unwary by selling them a get-rich-quick scheme. And their over-protectiveness of their own intellectual property seemingly doesn’t extend to other people’s, given that they reproduce the logos of Google, MSN, CNN and various other legitimate organisations. 

The slightly worrying aspect of this is that this organisation has been advertising this site, and similar ones (they’re generally just throwaway accounts – the real HQ is which, oddly enough, has exactly the same terms and conditions) on Facebook. I don’t expect many people have been taken in by it, but if you do come across one of these ads then I’d suggest you do two things: Firstly, click the ad (since it’s probably being paid for on a cost-per-click basis, every time you click it costs the scammers money) and then report the ad as a scam. See here for some background on reporting ads to Facebook.