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Sue Bt Over Broken Links

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Martin Burns

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User since: 26 Apr 1999

Articles written: 143

Web users are threatening BT with a class action for every broken link on the web.

Earlier this week, the telco started moves to enforce a patent it holds on the concept of hyperlinks. BT claims that as it invented hyperlinks, ISPs owe a royalty for every one they host.

BT's patent dates from 1976, some 6 years after Ted Nelson described the concept (and invented the term hypertext), and a good 31 years after Atlantic Monthly published a very similar sounding concept.

TheRegister are now carrying a story which quotes one ISP threatening a product liability class action over every broken link on the web.

Reminds you of the Unisys GIF patent, yes? As we can't burn all our links, we can break a few...

Look, here's one!

Martin Burns has been doing this stuff since Netscape 1.0 days. Starting with the communication ends that online media support, he moved back through design, HTML and server-side code. Then he got into running the whole show. These days he's working for these people as a Project Manager, and still thinks (nearly 6 years on) it's a hell of a lot better than working for a dot-com. In his Copious Free Time™, he helps out running a Cloth Nappies online store.

Amongst his favourite things is ZopeDrupal, which he uses to run his personal site. He's starting to (re)gain a sneaking regard for ECMAscript since the arrival of unobtrusive scripting.

He's been a member of since the very early days, a board member, a president, a writer and even contributed a modest amount of template code for the current site. Above all, he likes to do things because it knowingly chooses to do so, rather than randomly stumbling into them. He's also one of the boys and girls who beervolts in the UK, although the arrival of small children in his life have knocked the frequency for 6.

Most likely to ask: Why would a client pay you to do that?

Least likely to ask: Why isn't that navigation frame in Flash?

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